Plastic-Free July wrap-up

Ah!  It’s over!  Well, not for me, but I love participating in Plastic Free July to be re-inspired and get some new ideas of what I could change next, or an even better alternative to something I am already doing.  The best part is seeing friends or family participate, and sharing their journey on social media or with me personally.  So, if that was you – THANK YOU for taking part!  It would be awesome if next year perhaps the City of Cranbrook could challenge all residents to a Plastic-Free July?!  Let’s do it!

For every day of PFJ I posted a tip on my IG page.  Here they are in short:

  1. Do not trash all existing plastic in your house to go plastic-free.  Use it up, and then switch to a sustainable alternative
  2. Ditch single-use plastic bottles.  Drink water from the tap or make your own lemonades, teas, etc, in a reusable water bottle.
  3. Take a cloth bag everywhere in anticipation of a purchase.  You can get these at thrift stores, or get your mom to sew you some (my favourite).
  4. Ditch tea bags because they contain plastic.  Switch to loose-leaf teas to avoid steeping your tea in a sack of plastic.
  5. Try alternatives to painkillers, like hot/cold compresses, massage, teas, essential oils, or preventative measures like proper nutrition, exercise, and fresh air.
  6. Target one food item you buy in plastic and make it yourself.  For example, yogurt is very easy to make, and you can then skip the plastic container and lid.
  7. Switch to wooden or stainless steel cooking utensils.  Plastic utensils can break easily.  Wood can be composted, and steel is durable.
  8. Frequent farmers markets where you can buy SO MANY FOODS without packaging; ask your vendors to go plastic-free wherever they can.
  9. Bring your own containers for take-out, and restaurant leftovers.  Some local restaurants offer discounts, like Soulfood and Hot Shots.
  10. Bring snacks from home, as these are more often than not wrapped in plastic.  Take fruit, veg, sandwich, or leftovers with you in a container.
  11. Get your snacks from the bulk aisle in cloth bags or jars.  Places like Fullfill or Bulk Barn minus the weight of your container and let you fill up.
  12. Take a reusable bag to buy your bread.  Save-On has a bakery with loose loaves, and at farmers markets you can get bread in paper bags (compostable) from Niwas or Bread & Butter.  Store it in a bread box, beeswax wrap, or reusable container.
  13. Take a napkin and reusable cutlery with you to avoid single-use plastic cutlery if you need to eat on-the-go.  Buy a tiny spork, it won’t take up room in your purse.
  14. Eat with the seasons, as in-season fruits and vegetables are often sold without packaging.  Strawberries in winter?  Plastic guaranteed.
  15. Take a reusable water bottle with you EVERYWHERE.
  16. Ditch the produce bags because fruit and veg have protective peels, and you can use a reusable cloth bag for things like peas.
  17. Ditch plastic drink containers for kids (juice boxes, etc).  Kids can learn to just drink water from a reusable bottle; mine also enjoy tea and homemade bevvies.
  19. Switch to soap nuts, laundry strips, or refillable laundry soap to avoid the plastic bottles.
  20. Switch up your oral routine: use a bamboo toothbrush, tooth tabs, DIY toothpaste, or refill NelsonNaturals mineral toothpaste at Fullfill.
  21. SAVE ALL THE JARS.  Saving jars from things like pickles, mustard, olives, etc, is great for food storage, DIY products, or even “gift bags” (air ’em out first 😉 ).
  22. Support local sustainable fashion makers; i.e. We are Stories in Nelson or Lily of the Mountains in Kimberley feature natural fabrics like linen and hemp.  Microplastics from synthetic fibers (plastic) heavily pollute our water, etc.
  23. Buy second-hand clothing.  These textiles are already in rotation and deserve to be worn until they can no longer be worn and get turned into rags!
  24. Get involved in community initiatives or start your own.  Contact your mayor, council members, MPs, anyone, and demand action on plastic.
  25. Choose wooden or fabric toys for children, purchase second-hand, or use a toy-lending library.
  26. Go plastic-free with skincare and make-up by wearing no make-up, making your own (i.e. cocoa powder as bronzer), or finding companies that use refillable or non-plastic packaging.
  27. Support and promote businesses who have gone plastic-free.
  28. Plastic-free shower swaps: shampoo bar, bar of soap, followed by DIY lotion.
  29. Participate in a Plastic-Free Challenge!  Share and invite others to join.
  30. Ditch single-use diapers and go cloth!  I’d never go back.
  31. Simplify needs for baby and don’t go gaga for plastics.  Each parent and baby are different, but for example: breastfeed to skip bottles or formula packaging, forego the pacifier, second-hand items like carriers or strollers.

My big new thing this month was attempting a zero-waste camping trip.  We did well for our first go!  How was your PFJ?  What changes did you make?


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