A low waste/ zero waste lifestyle is something I discovered last year, and since then I’ve been working towards minimizing my waste in order to create a better future for my little one.
I’ve always been passionate about protecting the environment and spreading a message about sustainability and conscious living. I know I’ve talked about ways you can minimizing your waste in the past, but I figured there was no better time to revisit the topic.
Plastic free July is a challenge that “aims to raise awareness of the problems with single-use disposable plastic and challenges people to do something about it.” For the rest of the month, I’ll be doing everything I can to lower the amount of single use plastic, and I encourage you to do the same!
Here are a few tips to help.
- Say NO to water bottles
Instead of buying a bottle of water while you’re out, bring a reusable bottle with you. Americans use about 50 billion single use plastic bottles a year. Protect our planet by using a reusable water bottle.
- Ditch the straws
Whenever you go out ask for your drink without a straw, or bring a stainless steel or glass one with you. Around 175 billion straws are used every year! Those tiny plastic straws eventually end up polluting our waterways and oceans.
- Bring a reusable bag
Reusable bags can be a lifesaver! You never know when you’ll be out and need to buy something. Having a bag with you means you can refuse a store’s plastic bags.
- Bring a reusable coffee cup
In their last annual reporting period, Starbucks likely used somewhere between 2.916 and 2.946 billion cups. Using a reusable coffee cup cuts down on waste, and also gets you a discount on your drink.
If you’re looking for other ways to challenge yourself this month, try focusing on all your waste, instead of just plastic. Below are a few more ways you can reducing your impact on the environment.
BUY IN BULK
Purchase unpackaged products whenever possible. Try switching to bar soap instead of a plastic bottle of body wash, make your own toothpaste, and stop using plastic produce bags at the grocery store. This will save you a ton of money as well as dramatically reduce the amount of waste you send to landfill.
If you’re like most people, the majority of your waste probably comes from food waste. In order to reduce the amount of food wastage in your home, try composting your food scraps instead of throwing them in the trash.
NO FAST FASHION
Cheap, disposable clothes are becoming more of a problem each year. We’ve become accustomed to buying things as cheap as possible so when they are worn out or just no longer useful to us we don’t feel bad throwing them away. The problem with this is we don’t put much thought into where the clothes are actually going. We toss them out and think they’re no longer our problem. However, our old clothes are quickly filling up landfills. Today the majority of our clothing is made from man made materials, meaning they don’t biodegrade. Instead of buying brand new clothes, shop second hand. If you want to take it a step further, only buy clothes made from natural materials.
EAT PLANT BASED
It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef, while producing 1 pound of tofu only requires 244 gallons of water. By going plant based, one person can save approximately 219,000 gallons of water a year. According to the United Nations, a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change.
Reducing your waste can seem overwhelming at first. Try not to change too much all at once. Taking small steps towards your goal is better than taking none at all. I’d love to hear about your plans for plastic free July. Make sure you leave a comment or shoot me an email.
If You’d like to see what I’m up to during Plastic Free July make sure you follow me on Instagram. I’ll be making posts daily. Make sure you check in at the end of this month to see how things went. I’ll be making a follow up blog post recapping my entire experience!