What our readers taught us in Plastic Free July
We asked, you told us
In this day and age going plastic free is nearly impossible. Sure, we can bring our own bags, coffee cups and water bottles but the reality is plastic is virtually everywhere. From the food we eat, to the items we purchase and everything in between our long-running obsession with plastic is almost inescapable. We wanted to find out what you guys did in your own lives during Plastic Free July to make a difference, so we thought we’d share your top responses in the hope of inspiring even more change. Here are your top tips for reducing our reliance on single-use plastic.
Katrina West @katrinajwest_
Start small and don’t overwhelm yourself. Make sure whichever habit you’re going to try and change is sustainable in itself, and build upon that. Within no time, your small efforts will pay off and you’ll be more determined than ever to incorporate bigger, better plastic (waste) free living ways. As a family, we have focused on a plant-based diet, and buying loose fruit and vegetables (not in packaging) has dramatically reduced plastic waste. (There’s a story/ fable floating around somewhere, but the crux is something like; you cannot change the habits of others by making/forcing them to change; you can help them change if you lead by example. I think that’s quite pertinent to waste reduction, and living a cleaner, heather lifestyle.
Melanie Rorke @mrorke
Take reusable mesh produce bags to the grocery store and avoid single use plastic produce bags or fruit and veg wrapped in plastic. Also, reusable beeswax paper to keep food fresh. Small changes make a huge difference and one step at a time is key to filtering out plastic in your life.
Clare Choi @ceoom
I just love the idea of not wasting and reusing. Small changes make all the difference. Imagine if a million people did one small change each! We compost, I use a Keep cup, I wrap kids sandwiches in beeswax wraps, take shopping bags, don’t buy any individually packaged snacks, I upcycle and remake my clothes.
Rachael Bentley @rachael.mjb
I always have a reusable bag or two as well as metal straws in my handbag. I also love going to bulk food stores with jars, and my two-year-old loves filling them up. Taking small steps stops it from being overwhelming, and is worth every effort for our children who can’t yet control what we’re doing to the planet.
Jes Allibone @all_the_bones
Best thing I ever did was to get a hand full of reusable bags that fit inside my purse. Easiest way to remember/never forget to not buy plastic when in any store.
Jenna Flood @ironicminimalist
My top tip for going plastic free is to slowly change your habits. Keep things (reuseables) in a place you will remember for example, with your handbag or by the front door. Also, don’t beat yourself up if you “fail”, just take note to keep your reusables closer and more accessible.
Alexandra Murphy @lifeofalexmurphy
Making our own muesli bars and protein balls to avoid pre-packaged snacks. They’re healthier and greener.
Alejandra Lopera @canela_loperag
My best tip for this first month trying to go plastic free is to be aware and conscious of what and why I’m buying things in my life. AWARENESS of what are we doing every day has switched my way of thinking and actually reduced my waste generation.
Kim Thomasson @kimithomasson
My personal goal was to step up my plastic free use this year. Biggest TIP is change one thing at a time and make it a habit. If you revert back due to habit, don’t give up, try again and keep trying until the habit sticks. After all we didn’t use all this plastic years ago and we can do it (live with less plastic) again. Plastic free July is a great way of bringing awareness to what we use everyday.
My big tip which isn’t normally one I see much in Plastic Free July is to use a pencil instead of a pen. A pencil will last 58 times longer than a pen (which are always plastic) and with a pencil you are left with nearly zero waste at the end of its life!
Holly Potvin @hollypot7
Make oats or breakfast in the morning in a reusable coffee cup then you have a cup ready for any coffee snacks during the day
Deborah Ann Dickson @debpics5
Never buy bottled water and pack lunches in reusable containers without plastic wrap.
Nikki Croft @thefamilycroft
I love fabric wax wraps, no cling film and how pretty for all my bowls and parcels in the fridge
Lauren Fleming @laurenfleming
Getting in the habit of taking a water bottle everywhere I go so I don’t have to buy bottled water.