Plastic Free July
2 CommentsThursday, 19 July 2018 | Admin
My Instagram feed has been full of swaps being made for Plastic Free July. I have loved reading all about them and discovering plastic free products I didn't know about!
Plastic Free July is an annual event campaigning to raise awareness of the growing problem of plastic waste and supports behaviour change by helping people avoid single use plastics throughout July and beyond.
Plastic pollution spiralled into the public eye with the shocking scenes of Blue Planet II showing footage of how plastic waste in our oceans is killing marine animals and choking our planet. For many viewers it was the first time learning the true extent of the damage.
Our growing population and throw away culture means plastic consumption is at an all time high. With 330 million tonnes of plastic produced each year. Unfortunately only a small percent is recycled so the majority is filling up our landfill or discarded into our oceans, waterways and land. Single use plastics are the largest problem. These are plastic coffee cups, bottles, straws, bags and packaging which are used for its purpose (often just minutes) and thrown away.
I knew I wanted to change our behaviour towards plastic and try to reduce our consumption somehow and educate our children.
In my ideal world I would be a 100% plastic free goddess. Buying only unpackaged fruit and veg, plastic free essentials, make-up and clothing. I would be baking my own bread and snacks and making my own cleaning products. How perfect does that sound! I just wish it was that easy and I am in awe of those that do.
Its not until I started looking at our plastic consumption I realised the extent of the problem. Especially with two small children adding to the mix. It is was quite overwhelming. Everything is boxed, packed or wrapped in plastic!
This wasn't going to be easy nor was it something I could change over night. How could we ever be a plastic free family? Would we ever be? I wanted to give it a go even if it was just one change at a time.
So this year I pledged to reduce our plastic consumption by finding plastic free alternatives and being more aware. Trying to make monthly swaps along the way.
Top 10 plastic free switches.
Reusable Nappies – We made the switch to reusable nappies when Teddie was 6 months. It was the best decision I made. It was at this point I became more aware of what we were throwing away. I did my research and there were so many positives to cloth nappies. No added nasties, greener on the environment, saves money in the long run (If you don't need every new print!) and they look so cute!
Reusable Bottles – A good quality reusable bottle is a must have for anyone considering going plastic free. We are huge Klean Kanteen fans and each have our own reusable bottle which come with us everywhere. They are built to last. Coming in a variety of sizes and colours there is something for everyone.
Reusable Cup – 2.5 billion coffee cups are used in Britain each year. That is a mountain of plastic waste! The most effective way to give up takeaway cups is to get yourself a reusable cup. The added bonus to bringing your own cup is that most coffee shops will now give you a discount off your purchase. I love my Klean Kanteen insulated tumbler. I just pop it in my bag if I know I am going past a coffee shop.
Wet wipes – This swap just made sense seeing as we already cloth bummed. I wish I had made the change sooner as they are so much more effective than disposable wipes. Not only can you use them for nappy changes but also on mucky hands and faces. I also have my own for taking off my make-up.
Shampoo and Soap Bars – Our bathroom was the room with the most single use plastics. Copious plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, scrub, bubble bath, tooth paste, hand wash. I am slowly using up our bathroom essentials and replacing them with bars. It has certainly de cluttered the bathroom! I was slightly unsure of using shampoo bars at first. Frightened my hair would turn into a frizzy ball however the transition has been fine. My hair feels great and I even wash it less now! Click on the images below to shop!
Reusable Sanitary products – This ones for the ladies! I started using Cloth Sanitary Pads (CSP) this year. Its just felt like the right transition, as already using cloth nappies you can throw them all in the wash together. They are easy to use and wash, and come in a variety of shapes, designs and can even be customised! My favourites are from Red Rags. Click on the image below to shop!
My next purchase on my list is a moon cup. A Moon cup is a reusable menstrual cup worn internally like a tampon but has no chemicals or environmental issues. Like me if you are unsure on which brand to get there is a online questionnaire to discover which brand is best suited for you. Find it at www.putacupinit.com
Toothbrushes – Our bamboo toothbrushes are our most recent change. The thought of how many plastic toothbrushes we throw away is crazy! Now we each have our own bamboo toothbrush ready to replace our existing one.
I've found wet bags are a great alternative to a plastic bag especially for Tily and Teddies belongings. They are handy for separating dirty nappies, wipes, clothes, swimming gear or even muddy boots.
Bees Wax Food Wraps – These are another new swap we made recently to reduce the amount of cling film we use. Having children we were often using cling film to wrap left overs or wrap snacks.
I have only been using them for two weeks and so far so good. I love they are made from natural products, environmentally friendly and make my fridge look pretty!
I will be purchasing more and looking at purchasing reusable food bags for when Tily starts having packed lunches in September.
Reusable Straws – These are one of my favourite switches and are always in use. Tily and Teddie love them!
Our Klean Kanteen stainless steel straws have a flexible removable silicone tip which make them great for children and come with a stainless steel brush with palm fibre bristles so are easy to keep clean.
It was hard choosing just 10 of our plastic free swaps we made. The list could go on!
We still have a long way to go but I am proud of what we have achieved so far. I have enjoyed our journey so much (even if my husband thinks i've gone crazy sometimes!) and have been inspired by so many like minded people.
There seems to be a growing plastic free movement which is fantastic. It would impact our environment in such a positive way if we all made changes to limit our plastic use. Even small steps could make huge improvements for future generations.
Comment below if you have tried to go 100% plastic free this month, made some plastic free swaps or even if Plastic Free July has got you considering your plastic usage. Even if one person has been inspired from reading this I will be happy :)