Did you know that more than 14,000 people won’t use plastic in July? It’s all apart of Plastic-Free July, an initiative in which people all over the world pledge to limit plastic use.
There are great environmental benefits to switching to plastic alternatives. Here are some simple tips to say goodbye to unnecessary plastic over the summer!
Carry a reusable cloth or recycled plastic grocery bag when you shop.
Using plastic bags when shopping is terrible for the environment, which is why you should B.Y.O.B. (bring your own bag) when you shop. Every year plastic bags and excess packaging end up in ocean ecosystems, killing fish, turtles, birds, and other marine life. If you forget your own bag, many grocery stores sell them at check out and will ask if you’d like to purchase them when bagging your groceries.
Cities across The United States have taken action to limit the use of lightweight plastic baggies. Cities such as Long Beach, CA, Santa Monica, CA, and even Washington, D.C charges at the checkout for using plastic grocery bags and other states like Hawaii took even further action by banning plastic bags across the entire state. Hawaii is the first country in the nation to vote on a statewide ban.
If you don’t like the bags offered at your grocery store, opt to make your own or buy some online. There are so many cute reusable grocery bags that you can choose from. Online shops like EleventyFive on Etsy offer fun, designed grocery totes to make your shopping eco-friendly and fashionable.
Bringing your own bags to the store is a simple, but useful way to ditch plastic.
Use a stainless steel water bottle like S’well
It’s hot outside and hydration is a must, but don’t load up on cases of plastic water bottles. They are tempting and easy to turn to but, it takes 1.5 million barrels of oil to produce the 30 billion water bottles that are thrown away each year. Plastic is not biodegradable and ends up sitting in landfills for hundreds of years.
Instead of constantly buying disposable plastic water bottles, why not try a reusable one? Even better, opt for a reusable water bottle not made from plastic, like the Sip by S’well bottle that can be found at Target stores. These creatively designed bottles keep cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 12!
Using a reusable water bottle will not only save you time, but you’ll never have to go to the store to buy packs of water again. You’ll also put less of a strain on the environment. Stainless steel water bottles are the best option for an active lifestyle because they are more resistant than glass and do not require the amount of oil in production that plastic does.
Take a reusable coffee cup to the coffee shop and to work.
Some coffee shops like Starbucks even offer rewards if you bring your own cup. At Starbucks you can save 10¢ if you bring your own tumbler or cup. When you use reusable coffee cups you lessen the amount of plastic waste that is accumulated each year. Not only that, but you also save trees since many coffee cups are made of paper with a plastic lid.
You can get creative when it comes to reusable coffee cups. This double-glass coffee tumbler has a minimalist design and is just one of dozens of cute coffee cups sold online that won’t hurt the environment.
Use silverware instead of plastic forks, spoons, and knives.
The summer will be filled with outdoors brunches, picnics, and bonfires. Plasticware is usually the go-to utensils for these get-togethers, however, If bring along silverware instead of plastic forks, spoons, and knives, you’ll do the earth a huge favor.
If you just can’t break away from disposable utensils, try looking into biodegradable and compostable knives, forks, and spoons online and at grocery stores.
Use glass pitchers and glass cups instead of plastic and styrofoam.
Homemade drinks and lemonade will be on the rise this summer, but if you’re doing some backyard party hosting this year, choose to serve your drinks from a glass pitcher instead of a plastic one. And when it comes to styrofoam cups, just say no! Styrofoam takes even more time to decompose as compared to plastic and is not biodegradable.
Use glass cups and bottles to be kinder to our ecosystem. Companies like Voss is environmentally responsible and sell their water in glass bottles instead of plastic ones.
This online store sells customizable glass water bottles which is great if you have a big family and don’t want to get your bottles mixed up!
This July be conscious of your environment and do your best to stay away from single-use plastic. After all, this is your home.
To learn more about Plastic-Free July, visit their web site.