Plastic Free - Doesn't have to be scary...
According to Plastic Oceans UK, around 50% of the world's plastic produced in one year is used and thrown away in just minutes... it is single-use, but will stay on this planet for centuries.
It's stating the obvious, that our addiction to throw-away plastic needs to change otherwise the damage to our environment and the ocean biodiversity will be irreversible.
Plastic Free July isn't about giving up ALL plastic for a month, that's pretty scary and probably impossible to do in just a month. It's more about starting small and choosing to refuse one single-use plastic item for the month. If you then build on this then great!
In the words of Anne Marie Bonneau,
"we don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly"
I like to think of it as a journey, as slow as you need it to be, but the fact that you've decided to join the millions on this path to reduce, reuse and recycle is something amazing.
As a mum of two, the terms global warming, climate change or climate crisis didn't even feature in my day to day vocabulary until I was a teenager. Of course we learnt about looking after our planet, but it saddens me when my 5 year old daughter asks me what these scary words mean. I don't want this burden to be on their shoulders at such a young age, that's why I decided to make a few lifestyle changes. We are still early days on our journey to living more sustainably, but happy with our progress so far, and best of all, our kids are growing up knowing more about how to look after our planet and making more mindful decision about what we buy and consume.
If you are stuck for ideas of what you choose to refuse, take a look at some of these...
Get yourself a reusable coffee cup - It requires an initial investment, but if you are a coffee lover like me (then once we are out of this pandemic) many coffee chains will offer you a discount on a brew if you bring your own re-usable coffee cup! Tick
Make sustainable takeaway options - Order takeaway from the many restaurants who are dedicated in making a change to their takeaway packaging, most offer recyclable packaging but not all. If this proves tricky in your area you could politely decline any plastic cutlery at the very least. Tick
Say no to plastic straws - This is one the easiest and inexpensive changes to make... it requires you to just say no to a plastic straw if you are offered one at a bar or restaurant. If you feel you need a straw, you could purchase some stainless steel reusable straws that you can keep in a handy pouch in your handbag. Tick
Say no to plastic drinks bottles - According to Recycle Now everyday we use an average of 35.8 million plastic bottles in the UK alone, and it is estimated that only half of these find their way in to recycle bins. The rest must sadly end up spending a few centuries in a landfill or find their way in to the ocean or our surrounding environment. Simply put, one person in a household using a reusable stainless steel water bottle can avoid approximately 365 plastic bottles being purchased per year (based on 1 bottle per day), saving you around £500 a year. The initial spend of approximately £25 for a stainless steel bottle is far outweighed by the savings to be made here, and it's so much better for the planet and addressing the growing issue of microplastics. Tick
Buy loose fruit & veg - We as consumers have the power to change how supermarkets supply their produce. If we are wiser with what we buy the supermarkets will eventually make more changes to suit our growing needs. Taking your own cotton bags to weigh loose produce becomes second nature after a few visits. Tick
Buy from bulk food stores - This is an easy way to say no to the packaging used on household staples such as rice, pasta, lentils, cereals, shampoo and shower gel etc. Many also stock some amazing local zero waste deli items too so I always find it a real treat when I need a restock! Tick
Choose less packaging in your purchases - So many of our day to day items are packaged in unnecessary packaging, just taking a few moments to choose items which are more sustainably packaged can make a world of difference. Tick
Your voice can also make a difference and it doesn't cost a penny. You could sign petitions asking governments, supermarkets and the fishing industry to take more action.
Check out Plastic Oceans for more ideas on how to get involved.
In the meantime if you are keen to support eco-minded small businesses in your area why not browse our plastic-free gift box collections. Entirely free from single-use plastic and all conventional plastics. You will only find the occasional biodegradable plastic in some of our collections.
This July we will also be donating £1 for every box purchased to Surfers Against Sewage.
Click the image to browse our range.
We are proud of the steps we have taken, and thank you for your support in helping us grow by gifting consciously.
Find out more about us and how we help the planet.