Today is the Start of Plastic Free July. Yes, another month to give up something! However, with the effects that plastic is having on our oceans, it’s a really good reason to start using reusable alternatives instead of throw away one-time use plastic items.
Did you know?
‘Every minute, the equivalent of a rubbish truckload of plastic goes into our oceans, it never decomposes and will remain there forever. If nothing changes, by 2050 all the plastic in the ocean could weigh more than all the fish. Plastic impacts on an entire ecosystem, marine life get caught up in it, eat it and live in it. It also has a direct impact on our health, acting as a sponge for toxins which can end up in our food.’ Quote – Ocean Rescue
Next time you are out walking in a park or the beach just take note and see how much rubbish and plastic is just left on the ground or has blown there in the wind. It really is quite phenomenal. Now that my children are a little bit older, I made the decision that if I want my grandchildren to enjoy a beautiful planet to explore and have adventures, I really need to start taking some action and reducing my plastic footprint and while I am doing this, hopefully, my children will learn by watching and doing, and it will become normal to them to not use throw away plastic items.
My personal challenge started a month ago when I took on the challenge to stop using plastic bags as part of a competition through a Facebook Page I follow, I thought it would be a good start on Plastic Free July too. My goal was to start changing the way I shop, thinking about my purchases and making sure I always take my reusable bags.
With a few hiccups along the way I can honestly say my month has gone fairly well, I never set out to be perfect, but to change the way I do things so that it becomes a normal way of life and not something I just did for a few weeks or months. We really have to change our thinking and that is a process, not something that just happens overnight.
A Few Points To Think About When Going Plastic Bag Free:
- Get a good stash of reusable bags, the best bags are the ones that can be thrown in the wash when they need a bit of a scrub. Put them back in the car when you have put away your groceries.
- Always carry a small reusable bag in your handbag. Then you will never be short of a bag
- Get some courage, you will be tested. Plastic Bags are so part of our everyday culture that you have to stand up and say “No Plastic Bag thanks”. Generally, retailers will pop your items in a bag, even if you just have one item!
- Ask for meat to be wrapped in newspaper. Even when using reusable bags, check out staff will still bag your items up in plastic. You need to ask!
- Produce Bags – I don’t often buy vegetables and fruit at the supermarket but when I did, I needed produce bags. I bought some from both Onatah and Rethink Produce Bags online, perfect for potatoes and Kumara, right through to Apples or a Cabbage.
- Find other ways to reduce your plastic consumption.
In my opinion, I think the only way we are going to combat this problem is governments and councils need to push going plastic bag free or putting a plastic bag tax on retailers, this would then will be passed on to consumers, this should be made more expensive every year. Sounds tough, but it needs to be made costly because many people will just keep blindly using plastic bags.
My next challenge is to tackle my coffee addiction and to not use take away coffee cups. Last week I made a purchase of a Keep Cup – Brew Glass Coffee Cup. I thought if I was going to use a reusable cup I needed something that I was going to enjoy drinking out of, so a little bit more expensive than your average reusable cup, but well worth it because it is really nice to drink from. So over the next month, I will be taking on the Coffee Cup Challenge and hopefully, over time it will become normal and just part of my everyday life.
There are plenty of ways you can reduce plastic in your everyday life, it’s just thinking about what you can do differently. Over the next month, I thought I will post some different ideas for making changes and showing you how easy it is to make the switch. If I can make the switch I know plenty of others can as well.
What do you do to help reduce your plastic footprint, I would love to know your hints, tricks, and ideas. Thanks for reading and if you want to see more of our adventures check out Facebook or Instagram.