Gardening

A July Free of Plastic (I hope)

The danger of plastic is everywhere right now; National Geographic had a whole issue on it, experts left and right are warning us that we are strangling the oceans, and most stores have some sort of a program rewarding you for bringing in your own bags.  But wow, in the last few weeks, as I have been more aware of this issue than ever before, I am flabbergasted by how much plastic is used on, well, everything.

The toilet paper I buy at Costco has 4 packs wrapped in plastic, then the whole case of it wrapped in more plastic.  Trying to find dishwasher detergent that isn’t in plastic is very difficult.  The best is when I ask the cashier to not use plastic bags, but she still wraps my meat and frozen items in plastic bags (I was too polite to ask her to stop, she was only being kind, and now I am filled with guilt).

Let’s not even talk about getting your husband onboard (ok, maybe your husband is an environmental warrior.  Mine typically rolls his eyes at my obsessions and tries to follow along, but when he isn’t feeling it as passionately as you, what can you do?) and kids, too.

I guess you can say, this is the attitude I have going into my first ever plastic free July.  This specific campaign seems to have started in Australia and they seem to be further ahead than us Americans, as in I think they have more options for things that aren’t encased in plastic.  I am going to try really hard to find and use alternatives for plastic, and I am willing to go out of my way (shopping at different stores, buying more reusable bags, etc) to do that, but my main focus is what they refer to as “The Big 4”

  • drinking straws
  • disposable coffee cups
  • plastic water bottles (I am lumping soda bottles into this group)
  • plastic shopping bags

But as I said, ever since I signed up for this challenge, I have been ever so more aware of the excessive plastic everywhere!!  So, yes, I am going to try really hard to go plastic free, but my main goal is to kill it with these big 4.

This is what I have done in preparation for the challenge:

  • bought more reusable bags – I have a lot of totes already (my challenge is remembering to bring them in!!) but I only had a few for produce, so I bought a bunch more of those.  Another suggestion was to use canning jars for bulk items (instead of buying it bagged) and I will do that as well.
  • biodegradable straws – I really love drinking out of straws and hate paper ones that melt after a few minutes in liquids.  I bought this jumbo pack and oh my gosh they are great!  I didn’t want individually wrapped because hello waste, so these were perfect.  Very happy.
  • reusable bee wrap – personally, we use a lot of plastic wrap, so I bought some of these.  They worked great, and except for one of the kids throwing one away (not realizing it was reusable ack!), I am really happy and think I might get more.

Has anyone else heard of going plastic free in July?  Anyone else want to take the challenge with us??

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