22 Top Tips for this Plastic Free July05 Jul 2018
This Plastic Free July, we're on the Peloton Against Plastic, a bike ride from Hanoi to Bangkok meeting people and groups trying to change the situation on plastic pollution in this part of the world. While we travel using as little single-use plastic as possible. This article is very comprehensive on how you can get started on your plastic free journey, come back to it when you need help or just dabble with a few little techniques here and there.
You still don’t know where to start? Okay, so some things are going to be easier than others when you first start walking this walk. It’s all doable though, and in the coming weeks we will take a deeper look at things to help.
Why are we doing this?
Only if you've been hiding under a rock on Mars for the past decade could you have missed either witnessing or hearing about the single-use plastic chaos - about its impact on marine life, seabirds and even seafood-eating humans. Though the tide is turning as millions around the world are beginning to take action.
So - plastic free is the way to go. Here's some inspiration to get you started...
1. Accessorise your shopping bag
We all walk around wearing our favorite clothing brands, shoes, mobile phones and handbags, wallets and watches, so why are you being seen carrying that drab throwaway boring plastic bag? Start looking good! Carry a beautifully made, naturally crafted, durable, reusable shopping bag. Make a real statement and become your own brand with something home made. Totes are totally in right now.
2. Real athletes don’t drink bottled water
While we're talking about fashion, ditch the bottled water, it’s a hoax. Start carrying your reusable sports bottle everywhere. Save money and look after your health with beautiful tap water. Everyone who's anyone is doing it.
3. Relax and ask for ceramic
Many types of disposable coffee cups are not recyclable or compostable. Are you really in such a hurry that you can’t sit down, watch the world or meet up with some friends and make your daily coffee a social event? It's early! Big meeting! No time to sit! I get it, just make sure you have a reusable option in your bag or in the car. Good chance that you could save a few cents on your cuppa as well. Options are endless; Earth Bottles, Onya, Keepcups
4. Relax and ask for glass
Juices and smoothies are all the rage where I come from. Detox juice is so hot right now. Check me out, drinking my healthy juice... I really care about my health. But wait! Why am I drinking it out of something made from oil? But it's biodegradable! Oh sure, it might break down in a commercial compost facility but who has one of those? Sit down and drink from one made of sand. Everyone loves the beach.
5. Give plastic partyware the fork
Picnics, parties or a family get together are great aren’t they? Until you get to the clean-up that is. Sure you can do the dishes. Better still - show your guests how ‘now' you are and serve up on banana leaves. Or you could simply line your dishes with them then compost all the leaves.
The thing about single use plastic is - It's completely unnecessary.
6. The last straw
This July break up with single-use straws for good. Do it by text message if it’s easier. They're really no good, dragging you down with all of their silly colours and bendy ways. They can’t be trusted! Swipe right on bamboo, stainless steel, glass or even dare to say, “No thanks. I can lift this glass all the way up to my mouth ,thanks. I’m straw-independent.”
7. There’s nothing nutty about bulk
Nuts, rice, beans, dried fruit, muesli, cocoa, legumes, olives, chocolate, cheese, honey, cous cous, quinoa, seeds etc - they can all be purchased in bulk reusing your old peanut butter and jam jars. This is a great way to solve the problem of items that in most places are over-packed in oil based raincoats (known to most of us as 'plastic'!)
Beautiful fruit and soap with some bulk foods. Self service with Erin of The Rogue Ginger
8. Go nude
Stand up for skin and show your appreciation for naked fruit and vegetables. They come in their own wrapping, it’s called peel or skin. They've survived the sun, wind and rain, skinny dipping through life. Are you telling me they can’t handle the gentle cool air of a supermarket without a Styrofoam bed and cling wrap blanket? Ditch the extra layers and only buy carrots rolling around in their birthday suits.
9. Wax Better
As if they weren't already legends enough, bees make wrapping for cheese. Beeswax wrappers are easily made or purchased and can cover leftovers, cheese, tofu etc etc.
10. Balloons Blow
They really do. Showing you as the lazy party decorator. The first latex coloured balloons were sold in the 1930’s and they still look pretty dated. Go to some real trouble and show your love by using paper pom poms or make your own bunting out of old colourful clothes. There are a multitude of ways to create a party people will remember.
11. Go bar
Find beautiful smelling, ethically made bar soap, or you can find or make vegan soap wrapped in paper. Really, if you are going to put it all over your skin shouldn't you be able to eat it as well?
12. Light a match
Don't put anything in your toilet bowl to make it coloured or smelly. Just open the window or light a match. Those little plastic toilet bowl decorations somehow visit the beach as well. Trust me I've seen them there.
13. Clean the cleaning cupboard
No more nasty heavy duty poisons to clean the floor, tiles, kitchen or windows. Bi carb, vinegar, lemon juice and eucalyptus oil can handle just about everything. Tea tree oil is also brilliant. Isn't nature wonderful!?
14. Go on a diet
No more chocolate and chips for you. Ha! Just kidding... but on a serious note, you can find and make lots of sweet treats without the petrochemical volatiles... you know, those layers and layers of plastic keeping the individual portions in check... it's a little excessive don't you think?
15. Who Gives a Crap?
You do! Order your toilet paper from the good guys; in bulk, plastic free and made from environmentally friendly sources. Plus these guys donate 50% of their profits to help build loos for those in need.
16. Forgetti spaghetti
Make your own alternatives like vereniki. A classic Ukrainian recipe, made at home without the packaging. You'll never look back.
17. Onya onya
If you're adventurous, take your stockings into the supermarket and fill them with grapes. Or simply purchase a lovely bunch of Onya bags and go plastic free all the way.
18. Waste-less Holidays
Stay tuned next week for our tips on how to travel in the developing world without using a million plastic water bottles, and you can read some other tips here. Plastic free holidays are the only way to go.
19. Brush up on alternatives
Somehow, millions of tooth brushes find their way to the ocean. Stop this uninvited beach goer by switching to a bamboo alternative.
20. Share economy
Try not buying anything new for the month and test the share economy. Talk to friends, family and neighbours. Who has something you need? Research shows that of all the millions of cordless drills purchased, the average one is used for less than 10 hours in its entire life. Even 10 people sharing something like this means it will get used for approximately 100 hours, which saves 9 of them from being made. That's 9 lots of packaging and 9 lots of transport. Winner!
21. Say Hello
Reach out to a politician, the local shop keeper or a big company if you think they could reduce waste. Think of #banthebag. Best to suggest cost effective solutions over pointing out silliness. Say hello and offer your assistance. Chances are you might actually start a conversation or trigger a thought. That's change in the making!
22. Be happy
Talk about your Plastic Free July experience with joy! Set an example and invite others to join in on your challenge. Share your effort on social media #choosetorefuse , #plasticfreejuly, #plasticpollutes Tell them how much money you saved or how great it is having empty rubbish bins. Positive good vibes change the world.
Use our app and look for the "reduced plastic" icon or suggest venues that you know are reducing plastic and help others waste less. Find refill stations with the Refill my Bottle icon and also find Surfriders - Ocean Friendly venues. We're proud of our app. It shows other businesses that we mean to support less plastic with the food we eat.
Almost something new for everyday of July here, give it a whirl why don't you?
Have a little technique to save plastic that you would like to share? Do tell.
Please help us make the Peloton Against Plastic Documentary by donating to our gofundme campaign.
Paul Hellier - Founder
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