Woman Vs Plastic Free July
Plastic Free July. You may be wondering to yourself “what is this phrase I keep seeing?” If you’re anything like me (before I became immersed in finding out about all things green) you might be thinking, “Is it like Dry July? Do I give up using plastic for a month? Must I purge all plastic from my life and live like I’m back in the fifties? That sounds complicated. PASS!” Well plastic free July is none of those things (at least in my humble opinion). You see, I don’t feel that plastic itself is the enemy (say what?!). I myself, have a house filled with plastic items from my pre ‘eco-worrier’ life. If you are a child of the 80’s you may have even grown up being taught that the worst thing was killing trees by using paper and cardboard (Rip Rip Woodchip anyone?). It’s pretty safe to say the vast majority of us have a lifetime of plastic habits to break. That’s because plastic is pretty amazing really. It’s durable, water proof and has the ability to be molded into almost anything. I mean, it’s nice to live in a world where that $20 note I left in my pocket didn’t disintegrate when it went through the wash. The issue with plastic is the way we use it and dispose of it. The attributes that make plastic fantastic, are the same attributes that make it an enormous problem when we use it once, then throw it away. When millions (billions?) of people are dumping single use plastic items into landfill (or even worse, our waterways), AND said items won’t break down for umpteen bazillion years, AND it’s happening EVERY SINGLE DAY….well you don’t have to be great at math to see the problem here.
So here’s my take on Plastic Free July. Plastic is in our lives and that is not going to change over night, but here’s four easy ideas to start you on the path to change:
- Ask yourself “Will I only use this plastic straw/bag/coffee cup/bottle once?” If the answer is yes, choose to refuse.
- Avoid buying anything with excess or unecessary packaging.
- Research plastic free alternatives to products you buy all the time or when you need something new. (The Eco-friendly Mall is an excellent place to start.)
- If you can’t avoid plastic choose biodegradable, compostable or recyclable when you can; be responsible for it’s correct disposal.
The more often we say no to plastic, the more we will see a shift towards a better alternatives.
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“What is happening at Any Green Thing this plastic free July?”
This month’s focus is on the bathroom. I have decided try out some plastic free hair products (specifically an Eco-Castile Shampoo Bar and Certified Organic Coconut Oil for conditioning). I have also joined forces with the local War on Waste team to get a Terracycle Beauty Products Recycling Program running in the local community (This was suprisingly easy to set up; check out Terracycle here).