Did you know that every single piece of plastic ever produced still remains somewhere on earth today? I mean, if I thought about it logically I would recognise that fact, but there’s such a disconnect between the things we use every day and where they end up, that we simply don’t think about it at all.
Before Ben and I decided to walk the slow living walk and take some time away from our Slow Home Experiments, we had considered making July our month of living plastic free, to coincide with Plastic Free July. And while we’re not running an official experiment this month, in today’s episode we decide to take the Plastic Free July challenge anyway. After all, it’s an area both of us can afford to improve on, and there’s nothing like an outside challenge to motivate.
We talk about the challenge itself, as well as the areas we think we’ll do OK in, the areas that will challenge us (cheese: I am looking at you) and some of the changes we’ve already made over the past year.
The crew at Plastic Free July ask that we commit to reducing plastic for a day, a week or the entire month of July, and if going completely plastic free straight up makes you anxious (the reason I’ve not done it before) then all they ask is that we commit to avoiding these four single-use plastic items for a period of time:
- shopping bags
- water bottles
- takeaway coffee cups and lids
- drinking straws
Ben and I have already made a lot of changes over the past year or two, including:
- purchasing reusable fabric produce bags
- using fabric grocery bags
- keeping a canvas bag in my handbag
- using KeepCups when we buy takeaway coffee
- paper straws at home
- stainless steel water bottles for the family
- reusable food wraps instead of plastic wrap, waxed paper and aluminium foil
- heavy duty glass containers and jars for leftovers, bulk cooking, freezing and food storage
But there are some additional changes we’re going to make this month to see how much we can reduce our plastic load:
- buy some stainless steel straws to use both at home and while we’re out
- buy a KeepCup or similar for both the kids
- talk to the butcher and deli owner about using our own glass containers when purchasing meat, cheese etc
- get our bread from the local bakehouse and use our own fabric bags instead of plastic or paper
- investigate nearby bulk food stores, or the option of buying online
Maybe it’s because the pressure to Do It All and Do It Right has been removed, but I don’t feel as overwhelmed by the prospect of Plastic Free July now. Granted, I am sure there will be failures and obstacles, but a big part of slow living is doing away with the idea of ‘perfect’ anyway, so this is a good opportunity for growth!
Do you want to join us in our efforts to go Plastic Free? Feel free to use the official #plasticfreejuly as well as our #slowhomeexperiment and we can help keep each other motivated.
- Zero Waste Living with Bea Johnson
- Plastic Free July on Facebook
- Bee Eco Wraps
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