Plastic Free July Activities
Top 10 Plastic Free July Tips from The Plastic Free Shop
Plastic Free July - It’s here again!
While we love Plastic Free July (we are, after all, The Plastic Free Shop, and reducing plastic runs through our veins) we don’t want to add to the pressure of somehow using no plastic for a whole month when you probably already have enough going on with at the moment. That said, plastic pollution, especially from single use plastics, is a serious issue and reducing the amount of plastic waste in the world really is a key way to make a difference.
Rather than make you feel as if you have to completely and utterly avoid plastic for a whole month as the name Plastic Free July implies, we’d like to inspire you to think about the plastic that is already in your life and how to use it better. We shan’t tell you how to go plastic free for the month because that’s pretty full on, but we’d love for you to try reducing the amount of plastic you get through this month. Think of it as more of a plastic free July eco challenge rather than as an absolute No Plastic July.
Plastic Free July Activities: Our (slightly different) Top 10 Tips
1. 'Match the lids'
Play a jolly game of ‘Match the lids’. It’s quite simple, just sort out your tubs and tins cupboard/drawer and match up lids with containers. If there is one thing that stops us from reusing is the simple fact that we can never find the right lid. Why not do it now, maybe even make a game of it, and then taking lunch to work will be a breeze because you won’t spend half an hour searching for a lid.
2. Make space in the cupboard
Do the same with your plastic bottles and lids. I know it might not seem exciting, but creating some space in the cupboard by getting rid of old bottles and lids can be very satisfying. You can either recycle the unmatched bottle that you find, or you can try making a bird feeder like this one which will be great for the garden.
3. Spend time outside
Sit in the garden and just relax. You don't need anything to do this - not even your phone, but if you enjoy a hot beverage, why not try swapping your tea bags for a nice cuppa made from loose leaf tea. You don’t need a fancy strainer to make your tea in – something nice and simple like this one made from recycled steel would do the trick… ! Watching the clouds float by as you take a minute will help you to relax, feel happy and also give you the chance to come up with some additional lovely ways to reduce your plastic usage.
4. Reuse again
Keep a hold of any plastic container trays from soft fruits and mushrooms that you might have, and put them away ready for next spring. Why? Well, they make brilliant miniature propagators so if you fancy turning your hand to growing some seeds, but don’t have a whole greenhouse at your disposal, a couple of these placed upside down on top of your newly sown seeds will help give them a great start.
5. Careful unwrapping
Become a good un-tier. Yes, we invented a new word, but it’s a good one. Being a good un-tier means that rather than just ripping open plastic bags, you decide to spend an extra five seconds carefully untie-ing the knotted handles so that the bag stays intact and reusable for next time you go shopping. Same goes for boxes and envelopes: if you take a couple of seconds to open them carefully, you might just be able to reuse them again which is the ultimate in environmental activism!
6. Produce Bags
Take some produce bags with you when you go shopping. They can be nice cotton ones like these, super pretty ones like these, or you can make your own, or you can just reuse the bag that your broccoli came in last time which you now un-tie in a very careful fashion…
7. Shop with small businesses
Shop with small businesses, even if their products are a smidge more expensive or if postage isn’t free. Small business, especially ones which make a point of using plastic free and recycled packaging, are always a better choice when it comes to the environment. We know that free postage is a huge draw, but of course, postage isn’t actually ever free. Packaging costs money and postal workers need paying. Free postage just means that the company you are buying from is paying the postage in order to incentivize you to shop with them. When you shop with a small business, you are voting for better business practices and you are encouraging a better, fairer world, even if you don’t realise it. We’d love you to shop with us, but shopping with any small independent business is a great way to do something major for the environment.
8. Plan to plant a tree
As the saying goes: ‘The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The next best time is now.’ We’d like to add to that with ‘and the best way to do it is to start saving your toilet roll tubes so that you can grow native trees from seed this coming Autumn. We planted these oak trees last Autumn and are super excited about getting them planted in the 2 Minute Forest which the amazing folk from #2MinuteBeachClean have got planned. It’s too late for this year, but as the saying goes, start saving your toilet rolls now!
9. Have a chat with your colleagues
Whether you are currently in the office, or working from home, encouraging plastic free July in the workplace is a great way to spread the word, share the love and to increase the good effects of reducing plastic. If you are in a team of 6, just getting everyone to buy less plastic over the course of the month will make a big difference to the amount of plastic. If you are in a team of 100, well, the effect could be really major.
10. Pick up some litter
Go for a walk and if you can, pick up some litter. Yes, it’s a simple concept, but litter is often plastic which will stay in the environment forever, breaking down into little pieces and causing all sorts of havoc. For every piece that you take out of the environment, a tree or wild animal is grateful. And what could be better than a thank you from a wild oak?
So there you go – our top 10 plastic free July activities which will hopefully help you to feel a tad more inspired, and a bit more capable of ditching at least some plastic this for Plastic Free July 2021!