I’ve taken my family on a plastic-free journey. Going plastic-free was the inspiration for this blog in fact. I recently came across Plastic-Free July. Plastic-free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution. Since it’s now July, I thought I could share some of the changes we’ve adopted as a family to help reduce our impact on this planet.
1. Refuse plastic shopping bags
Refusing plastic bags at stores is probably the easiest first step in reducing your plastic consumption. You can bring your own reusable bags or boxes to carry your groceries in. In fact, one of my favourite local grocery store “Farm Boy” has recently stopped providing plastic bags. They encourage you to bring your own, or they can provide paper bags.
2. Find alternatives to plastic wrap and baggies
I stopped buying plastic wrap and plastic baggies well over 2 years ago. Once you find the right alternatives for you, it’s an easy switch to do. Instead of plastic wrap, we’ve made our beeswax wraps. They are so easy to make (no sewing skills needed), just follow my DIY beeswax wrap recipe.
To replace plastic baggies, we now use reusable silicone bags or glass containers with tightly sealed lids. Both work well in my opinion.
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied with caffeine. It’s a win for everyone, really.
3. Choose glass over plastic containers
When shopping for any kind of goods, not just groceries, think about the packaging and look for alternatives to regular plastic containers. When doing your groceries choose foods that are stored in glass containers, like salad dressings for example, over plastic containers. In the example above, I chose beauty products stored in glass containers.
If you do choose to drink soft drinks and other bottled drinks, aluminum cans are the better alternative to plastic bottles.
4. Rethink your laundry detergent
I’ve been testing all kinds of products with alternate packaging. I came across this laundry detergent that comes in strips instead of the traditional liquid or powder. This creative, out-of-the-box thinking allows for less packaging and also the use of cardboard instead of plastic.
I loved these detergent strips. They did a good job cleaning. Since the strips are pre-measured, I feel I wasted less product. I found these in the “natural” section of the local grocery store. I will definitely buy it again.
If you want more eco-friendly laundry tips, read: 5 Eco-Friendly Changes to Clean up Your Laundry Room
5. Replace that toothbrush for a plastic-free July
Switching from a plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one is pretty easy, it’s the cost of a bamboo toothbrush that makes the change a wee bit more difficult. You can easily source them out online in stores like Etsy, or Amazon. My favourite eco store here in Niagara “Garden City Essentials” luckily keeps them in stock.
6. Refill your empty cleaning bottles
Instead of throwing out or recycling your spray bottles when the product runs out, consider refilling them. There are 2 ways you can do this. If you are lucky enough to have a refillery close by, that’s a great option. You just need to bring your clean and dry container to the refillery and top it up.
On the other hand, if you want to save a few dollars, making your own household cleaners is easy. You can find my recipes for DIY Cleaners.
7. Rethink your use of K-Cups
K-cups! I hate them. I never took on the habit of using K-cups. Luckily, my preference for coffee is to brew a few cups in my percolator. Even though many workplaces use K-Cup style coffee machines, you can still use them, just bring your own reusable filter that fits a k-cup machine (as seen above).
If you are interested in more ways to enjoy your coffee in an eco-friendlier way, read: 6 Ways To Make Your Coffee Addiction Eco-friendly
8. Plastic Free Options for iPhone
And finally, even your smartphone can get a plastic-free makeover. Pela cases are Canadian made and it’s the first compostable phone case. I’ve had mine for well over a year and it’s still in great condition, and most importantly, so is my phone!
If you are interested in a Pela case of your own, here’s my -> affiliate link, <- (It won’t cost you anything to use this link, but in return, I might earn a small commission if you decide to buy something). I also wanted to let you know they also make compostable sunglasses and smartwatch bands! Check out Pela Vision (<- also an affiliate link).
So there you have it, 8 easy things you can do for plastic-free July. What will you be doing? Leave a comment below with your answer!