Plastic Free July is overrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!! I am so relieved, it has been an EFFORT! But to help you on your journey I have some tips to help you on your journey to reduce plastic!
This is a transition – not a transformation (can you tell I’ve been watching Queer Eye?). There are a few simple things to remember if you want to start reducing the plastic in your life to keep it manageable and moving forward!
1. Easy does it
Don’t over extend yourself – start small. When I started, I started with the the four top polluters: water bottles, takeaway coffee cups, straws, and plastic bags. I admit I don’t drink coffee and really straws aren’t very common in Australia compared to overseas buuuut it was a start, and you don’t need anything new.
I have been gifted all may water bottles and I strongly suggest you go for a handbag size, sturdy one that is light so you know you will use it. If you want a takeaway hot beverage barista’s love it when you bring a little home china or your desk mug! Its a good way to ensure no one has the same keep cup and for reducing plastic. By starting small on very obvious items, you’ll start being more aware of plastic and you can start to pick and chose what you want to focus on.
2. Focus on one area
Plastic is literally everywhere, in every room in your house. Focus on one to start with. Mostly I’ve focussed on the kitchen. I’ve stopped using plastic bags, stopped using glad wrap and buy as much as possible naked.
I started with plastic bags (mainly because I moved to Canberra and they are mostly banned), then I stopped using glad wrap – initially subbing it for al-foil (which is recyclable!), then I entered a bulk food store (I actually entered one 2-3 times before I got comfortable), and when I can I shop at markets. This has been a slow process, maybe two to three years. This has changed my relationship with food, I noticed through this that plastic actually makes most food rot super fast and in a very gross way. Did you know if you store canvas it doesn’t go it just dries out!?
For me the next room is the bathroom. Send me your tips!
3. Swap what you can, when you can
When you decide to reduce plastic, don’t just throw anything plastic in your house out! Keep things until they need replacing then look for plastic-free alternatives. If you cannot stand having it around give it away to someone who will use it. It is a transition not a transformation!
I still have some plastic bags around my house, I pull them out to store my swimmers, or lunches that may leak, I rinse and dry them and use them again! I have bought glass Tupperware, but only after I finally sorted through all my chipped plastic ones, and if I had doubles I donated the ones I didn’t need *so righteous*
4. Try, try, try again
Some things won’t necessarily work for your lifestyle. Maybe, you don’t like beeswax wraps (guilty!) but that doesn’t mean there is nothing out there for you. Right now, I’m battling through plastic-free shampoos, I haven’t found one that works for me yet, but I’m still trying.
There are also some things that you probably don’t have to give up. I’m still working out my nonnegotiable items but I have a strong suspicion it’s salt and vinegar chips.
5. Be kind to yourself!
You will not be perfect, it’s literally impossible. Harry always says this thing that really irritates me at the time but is also true.
Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes better.
That is our aim people! We just want to be a little bit better.
Try not to shoulder the guilt yourself – this is something I’m still working on! I get pangs of guilt all the time, but PRACTICE MAKES BETTER.
Let me know if you have any burning questions about swaps or tips to reduce plastic – we can do this together!