This month is Plastic Free July, and we’ve joined the Take 3 movement to reduce single use plastics. Our commitment as a family is to reduce our plastic consumption in the kitchen, but there are many ways we can all contribute to reducing plastics.
By now, many of us are aware of how to tackle the ‘Big 4’ : plastic bags, drink bottles, coffee cups and plastic straws. So now that bringing our reusable bags to do our groceries has become a habit, we’re taking a few extra steps towards a plastic free environment.
It’s so important for us to eliminate the amount of plastics entering our environment! Plastic straws are lightweight and are easily blown down drains, allowing them to enter our waterways, rivers and oceans; and bags break up into tiny micro plastics that remain in the environment indefinitely. A big concern is that this same plastic is fatal for animals who mistake it for food or become entangled in it.
Plastic Free July provides an opportunity to introduce new habits and help to reduce single-use plastic waste every day at home, work, school and even your local café. Each of us making a small change will collectively make a massive difference to our communities, and to our environment! Here are a few ideas to help each other create habits within our homes that are good for the environment:
1 Use glass jars in your pantry
Glass jars and containers look great in your kitchen or pantry, and make it very easy to see what you have available, and what you need to stock up on. It also provides an opportunity to recycle glass jars.
2 Shop at bulk food stores
Take your recycled glass jars to your local bulk food store, rather than purchasing pre-packaged options available in supermarkets.
3 Use a fresh produce delivery service
Having your fresh produce delivered is super convenient, and most services bring beautiful organic produce loose, using only one box which you return and to be re-used.
4 Remember your fresh produce bags
When you need to top up during the week, take lightweight fresh produce bags to the supermarket to avoid the need for single-use plastic bags offered.
5 Avoid cling wraps
Whilst we are all so used to reaching for the quick and easy option of cling wrap, there are actually so many easy to use alternatives available! Try wax wraps, reusable silicone bowl toppers, or even an upside down plate!
6 Compost your dog waste
Instead of using a plastic bag for your dog waste, pick it up with a shovel and add it to a compost set up separately to the one you use on your vegetable garden.
7 Switch to loose leaf tea
Surprisingly, many tea bag brands use plastic. Switch to loose leaf tea which you can then add to your compost!
8 Use your own cutlery
When planning a day out and you know you’ll pick up takeaway, pack your own cutlery so you can say no to the plastic cutlery available.
9 Use bunting to decorate
Next time you set up for a party or get together, use bunting instead of balloons. They are more environmentally-friendly and you can use them again and again.
10 Ditch single-use soda water bottles
We are lucky enough to have sparkling water on tap at our house, but a soda stream is a cost effective and simple way to avoid purchasing single-use plastic bottles of sparkling water.
These are just 10 ideas to help start the conversation about where we can make a change. Don’t underestimate the power of making a small change – together we can make big changes.
And remember, if you’re down at the beach or at the park, Take 3 for the Sea!