Plastic Free July: how to stop being so ignorant about your plastic consumption.

Plastic Free July posts are popping up all over the place, which makes me so happy!  Recently, a friend and fellow blogger notified me she had signed up for the challenge to see how well she could do; I was thrilled for her, as she has been very involved with mindfulness, as well as practicing kind habits for the environment.

Plastic Free July is an awesome incentive to get people thinking about the amount of plastic waste they produce, and start thinking about ways they can reduce this harmful product.  However, it still upsets me greatly that a lot of people, quite frankly, do not give a shit.  They would rather continue to live in ignorance and not accept their environmental responsibility.  This is shocking to me because they do not understand how easy it really is; how one little change can have such a positive impact on the planet if you just forego a tiny piece of convenience in your life.  And really, it’s not that inconvenient – you’re just lazy.

Now, Plastic Free July comes with CHOICES!  Is that not wonderful?  We all love choices; they are everywhere all the time!  Smart move, PFJ.  Here are your choices:

  1. Avoid ALL plastic waste for one whole month (daaaaaayuuumm!)
  2. Avoid the 4 main plastic culprits: straws, to-go cups, bottles, and bags.

Choice #1 is for the H-core plastic avoiders (power to ya!).  I signed up for this one, but I know it will be a challenge even for me because I am going on two holidays, involving both a road trip and plane travel, so there will be obstacles.  But by golly I will try.

Choice #2 is for those who have recently become conscious of plastic waste, and want to try and challenge themselves to see how well they do.

Really, you should all be signing up for Choice #2 because it is SO easy!  Want to know how easy it is?  No?  Well, I’m going to tell you anyway because it’s just that important.

  1. Plastic straws – when frequenting restaurants, practice saying, “No straw, please.”  Miraculously, your drink will be served sans le straw!  If you are really into blended drinks and simply cannot live through summer without them, you may want to invest in a reusable straw option, as I did when I broke my jaw.  There are paper options, bamboo, stainless steel… or heaven forbid… you could, like, use your mouth?!
  2. To-Go cups – Are you one of those people that purchases a daily coffee at a drive-thru?  Are you one of those people that tosses them out the window as soon as you’re finished because you just cannot be bothered?  Well, dear friends, there is a marvelous invention called the REUSABLE TRAVEL MUG!  Keep it in your vehicle and get your java fix.  Garbage avoided.  You can make them super fancy nowadays, like with pictures of your loved ones, or a golden zipper (no, seriously).
  3. Plastic water/other bottles – You need to read “Blue Covenant” and you will probably never buy bottled water again.  Did you know that water flows freely from our taps at home?  Did you know that said water is more regulated and tested than bottled water?  Did you know that most water bottles just contain said tap water that has been a little filtered and then you get charged $2-$3 for it?  Did you know that a lot of these private water companies buy out springs from poor villages/cities/countries, and then forbid locals to drink from the clean spring or charge them a crazy amount for the water they can no longer afford?  Do you really want to support such companies?  In comes – the reusable water bottle!
  4. Plastic bags – Buy a cloth bag and bring it to the store.  Wow!  Mind is blown.

There.  You’re all set!  Have a really great Plastic Free July!  Please share your successes!

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Reusables: straw, cup, bag, bottle.  Simples!

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31 thoughts on “Plastic Free July: how to stop being so ignorant about your plastic consumption.

  1. Very entertaining as well as informative. I hadn’t actually realised there were different options to sign up for . I guess I am already beyond option 1 but nowhere near option 2. My extras to tackle for July are to give up plastic wrapped snacks such as crisps and to find a glass milk delivery which is proving more difficult than expected.

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  2. Very interesting post. I can understand your frustration and appreciate the suggestions. I think the lack of care comes from the detachment from the processes involved in manufacturing and the impact of our actions. We don’t realize how much waste we create because we are so concerned with our own convenience and focusing on our immediate needs that we disregard communal responsibilities. I remember being shocked after seeing images of young children on boats amongst the plastic garbage of the garbage patches in the pacific. I can’t believe we are so disrespectful to our environment and the welfare of other beings. I’m working on not using plastic baggies for veggies and fruits, as well as avoiding food with plastic packaging.

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    • I absolutely agree. Detached from nature, detached from where our food comes from, detached from how it is grown. I’ll bet some children can’t even tell you what a pea plant looks like. They are made to believe that food comes in a plastic-wrapped box. There are many issues. As you are doing though – it’s one step at a time! We can all make small changes that will have a big (positive) impact.

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  3. I signed up for the “hardcore” version, but it seems like the devil has his hands on it 😦 Already have some plastic in my recycling bin!

    Love your cloth bag, though ❤ Do you come from Hamburg?

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  4. Great tangible options — I’m glad you gave people some wiggle room, the second choice is a great option for people who are willing to make small switches but not all the way yet. Should definitely share this post with people I know! (:

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    • Thank you! I think it’s important to ease people into this lifestyle, as it could get overwhelming! I just want people to try and realize they can make healthier, more positive choices 🙂

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  5. I completely agree with you! It is frustrating seeing so many people regularly using takeaway cups, plastic bags and coffee capsules/pods. I’ve already managed to avoid the main culprits over the last few years and I don’t think I’ll be able to avoid plastics completely, so I’m aiming to eliminate as much plastic as possible but not all. I found a local Wholefoods store that opened up a few months ago in my area this week, so that’s already one win for me.

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    • That’s awesome! We recently traveled to an island just off Vancouver island and all the tourist information read: there is a ban on plastic bags on this island, so bring your cloth bag to the grocery store. It made me happy!

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  6. Great post – you make it all sound so easy! I have to admit plastic straws are one of my biggest failings. I don’t buy drinks that come with straws very often so when one appears in my glass it’s always a nasty shock. And when I do remember to say “no straw, please” the person serving me frequently pops one in anyway! I’m not sure if they don’t hear when I ask or if they’re just running on autopilot…

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    • I’ve had that too and it is so frustrating. Usually they hear me and comply. I worked in a restaurant many years ago and we had to serve drinks with straws, so it was almost like auto pilot! I wish the norm was that people had to request straws instead of un-request them. Wishful thinking?

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      • Perhaps wishful thinking in the short term, but I feel like it’s inevitable eventually. Maybe places could start charging for straws (like some stores do now for plastic bags) or giving a discount for people who don’t use one (like some cafes do when people being their own cup)? Though if I remove my optimist hat, it may come about due to higher resource costs in the future rather than growing awareness.

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  7. Pingback: Plastic Free July: how to stop being so ignorant about your plastic consumption. — The Zero Journey – Buildings & Baking

  8. I find people around me (family are the ones that actually say it) think I am being alarmist and ridiculous. A tree hugging hippy. No one around me has altered any of their ways. I am unsure if they think the problem is too big and one person changing their habits won’t do a thing or if they don’t really think there is a problem. Either is irritating to me! I think that while the path of least resistance is to accept plastic with everything the majority of people will continue as they are. As Rach said wouldn’t it be great if people had to go out of their way to ask for plastic straws/bags etc. I believe it comes down to laziness and the easiest option. It is way easier to accept plastic than to remember to bring your own reusable things. People need to care more!!

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    • Absolutely. We live in a time of convenience and acting without thinking of consequences. I don’t know why it doesn’t matter more to people. Clean water, air, and earth is the reason we are alive at all, and here we are just throwing our trash all over the place. It’s unhealthy to think this isn’t a problem. My family is the same though. My sister says I’m obsessive and calls me extreme. It’s hard to hear those things when I know I am doing good for the planet. I don’t know the answer, but conversations like these help, so thank you for commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Plastic Free July | waste not want not

  10. Pingback: Plastic Free July: how to stop being so ignorant about your plastic consumption. – The Sustainable Self

  11. Pingback: PFJ: what worked and what didn’t | The Zero Journey

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