The following post is from the Let's Do Something BIG. Plastic Free July Support Group on Facebook. Check it out and join in on the conversation of how we can each reduce our single-use plastic consumption.
A Brief Introduction
When I first started cutting plastic out of my life, there were LOADS of things I learned and struggled with initially, as each of you will find in the next month or so of implementation. You can read more about that experience here, but this page will provide you with several need-to-know things to help to reduce your waste. Just a few things to note before those tips...No matter whether you are doing the challenge for the whole month or just a week, use this group to post updates and photos from your efforts to complete the no-plastic challenge and share the things you have done to cut it out. Feel free to share tips, ask questions and post a TON because the more content we have, the more education that can be done. For the month/week during which you complete this challenge, please collect every bit of plastic that you intentionally/unintentionally use that would otherwise be thrown away or recycled in a glass jar with a lid. At the end of the challenge, I plan to get a photo of everyone's jar/each person with their jar and a brief tip/post about your experience. Photos of tips and experiences of ambassadors will be shared on LDSB’s instagram. The idea here is not to throw out every single bit of plastic in our lives right away if it is still functional (doing so would be really wasteful), but to use these things to the extent of their lifetime and then replace them with more sustainable materials once they are tossed away. (i.e. if you use tupperware/plastic containers to take your lunch around in, you would ideally replace those once they are no longer usable with some sort of metal or glass container) The overall point in this challenge is to become more aware of how much plastic is everywhere in our lives, and what we can do to reduce our use of it--as it is really quite terrible for the environment (SEE BELOW). RIGHT! Let’s get started!
Tips and Tricks for Avoiding Plastic
Single-use plastics are everywhere, here are some tips to avoiding them:
Resources, Videos and Information
There is SO MUCH information online! Learn more about zero-waste living and plastic-free alternatives, and how people have worked these things into their lifestyles.
This is a good list to get you started.
WHERE TO BUY
This is a list, by state, of shops with package free shopping options around the United States. Similar maps exist for the UK and other countries around the world. Have a search and share with us what you find!
Lauren Singer also recently started the Package Free Shop, which has free shipping all over the US for orders over $50. They ship plastic-free, and have loads of plastic free products available online.
Sure, you’ve agreed to my pleas of getting involved with the challenge, but WHY? Why does it matter? As plastic can only be down-cycled it can never, ever be gotten rid of once it is produced. Every. single. piece. of plastic that is produced will either end up in a landfill or the oceans. Yes, recycling is better than not, however keep that fact in mind. Right. Okay. But how does the fact that it ends up in the oceans affect me? Out of sight, out of mind, right? I beg to differ. Plastic has detrimental effects on life that subsists in and off of the oceans (including us!). Aside from the fact that the ocean faces mass extinctions due to other environmental issues, plastic contributes to putting this life in danger. Watch these videos for more information:support group page updated with such materials, so check back from time to time for further guidance and resources. Also keep in mind that this process will inevitably be quite challenging, and at times all of us will fail, but what matters at the end of the day is that 1) we all learn something and 2) in at least some small way we are reducing the overall amount of single-use plastics consumed. Thank you so much for getting involved with this project, about which I am very excited. Cut out that plastic, stay optimistic and always remember that together we can do something BIG. Good luck!