Wanting to start your zero-waste lifestyle but don't know where and how to start? Well, now is the perfect timing! It's Plastic-Free July! It is a movement by Plastic Free Foundation that initiates in living a zero-waste lifestyle to keep our Earth free from plastic pollution.
Did you know that the production of plastic increased aggressively from 1960 to 2015? This single-use plastic is like an epidemic that spreads worldwide. We all know that plastic takes up a vast space in the landfill and our ocean. From coffee cups, plastic straws, water bottles, and other single-use plastic – all of this waste pollutes our environment and a hazard to the animals living alongside with us on this Earth.
Because of the things mentioned above, we are encouraging you to join Plastic-Free July. Our goal is to have as much as possible, a zero-waste July. I know this is hard especially for those who are starting their journey. Don't be too hard on yourself and let your worries stop you from trying. You don't have to be perfect. Little steps come a long way.
How to start Plastic-Free July? You just have to promise to avoid single-use plastic for a month as much as YOU CAN (or maybe beyond when you fell in love with this lifestyle). Challenge yourself in these three levels.
Pick one disposable item that you use every day that you will avoid. Usually, these are single-use plastics, plastic straws, coffee cups, and plastic bottles. If avoiding one disposable item is too easy for you, you can pick two things to avoid. Finding the beginner challenge to easy peasy lemon squeezy? Then move on to the intermediate level.
Easy swaps to make for beginners
- Swap from single-use plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles to refillable shampoo options (you can usually find these at your local health store, co-op, or if you prefer online – Plaine products offers wonderful options).
- Swap from a plastic toothbrush to a bamboo toothbrush (you will need to swap your toothbrush every three months for hygiene purposes anyway – may as well make an eco-friendly switch!)
- Once you have run out of ziplock bags, make the swap to stasher bags!
When you are dedicated to the things that you do, you find it easy and enjoyable. This is the same when you are aiming for a zero-waste lifestyle. For the intermediate level, avoid the four main disposable items that we use every day – plastic straws, coffee cups, plastic bottles, and single-use plastics.
Here's a helpful tip:
- Refuse plastic straws at all times and bring your own reusable straw (normalize carrying your items).
- Bring a reusable mug when getting coffee/tea from your favorite cafe (or make it at home and take it out!)
- Carry a reusable water bottle (water filter bottles are great too!) for your water.
- Always have a reusable tote bag on the go (can be a pillowcase, an old plastic bag, or whatever you have on hand)!
This is your lifestyle! Your target is to avoid all disposable plastic items. Including takeout containers and utensils that contribute to the pile of trash in our landfill.
Zero-Waste Expert Goals
- Start a compost in your backyard, on the balcony, with a kitchen compost bin, or through a community garden.
- Keep note of the packaged food goods you consistently purchase and try to make your own from scratch (it may just shock you how easy this can be).
- Shop through co-ops and/or bulk stores to reduce food waste and support your local community.
- Join beach/street clean-ups in your area!
- Educate others (kindly) on how to reduce their own waste and how wonderful the journey has been for you.
Go for zero-waste this July!
Your kindness to our environment will create a huge impact! This Earth is not ours – we are just borrowing it from the future generation. We all want a better and safer Earth for our children, so we better start and act now! Try this challenge and maybe after a month of doing this, it will become a habit!