7 Tips for Reducing Plastic for Plastic-Free July and Beyond
Canada produced 777 kilograms of garbage per citizen last year. Most of this is plastic-waste that can take up to 1000 years to decompose in landfills!
If it's not in our landfills, it ends up in our oceans or washed up along shorelines where it wreaks havoc on wildlife.
For the month of July, Kitty Gang committed to the Plastic Free July challenge along with over 2 million people from 159 countries!
It’s not about reducing the use of plastic for one month—It’s about raising awareness, and changing our everyday choices when it comes to our consumerism and waste production.
We refused the use of single-use plastics this month, but choosing to reduce doesn’t need to be limited to one single month out of the year.
We’ve compiled some of our favourite plastic-free tips to help you reduce plastic waste for a reasonably sustainable lifestyle.
Say “no, thank you” to single-use plastic bags— Bring Your Own Bags when you shop!
Reusable bags tend to hold more items, are stronger than the single-use plastic bags, and are easier to carry.
PLUS reusable totes are much more stylish than lugging around plastic bags.
If you’re forgetful, keep some reusable bags in your car, your closet, or keep a foldable bag in your purse or backpack.
2. Use a Water Bottle
Are you buying bottled water like a chump?
A lot of the popular bottled water brands are just bottling filtered tap water, so what’s the point? Bottled water isn’t any healthier than tap water, and most people can’t tell the difference.
If you are among the few that don’t like the taste of tap water, look into one of these sustainable water filters for your home.
I hate the taste of plastic-y water bottles—Which is why I prefer glass water bottles.
3. Buy Your Dry Foods in Bulk
This tip also saves you money because packaging adds to the cost of the retail price of those goods. Refill your glass jars or bring cloth bags to stock up on your dry foods, spices, and candy.
4. Reusable Beeswax Wraps
We’ve completely ditched plastic wrap in our kitchen. It was super easy to do it too with reusable beeswax wraps.
You can purchase these wraps at sustainable living stores, but you can easily make them at home with a list of 5 supplies!
5. Use Bar Soap
Opt for bar soap for your bathroom instead of liquid soap that comes in a disposable plastic dispenser.
Bonus points for shopping local! Shopping local cuts on transportation-related emissions. Local boutiques and farmers markets will usually have a section of bar soaps made with high-quality ingredients, and it doesn’t cost a fortune.
No Straws, Please
According to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, people have come to expect plastic straws in every drink for the past twenty years—it’s a lot of waste for the minimal convenience.
A lot of restaurants and bars are getting creative about solving the straw problem from paper straws, pasta straws, to completely ditching them all together.
If you’re at a bar or a restaurant that hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, just let the server know you don’t want a straw in your drink.
At home, purchase reusable straws made from stainless steel, glass, or bamboo. Bam! Easy solutions to eliminating your plastic straw use.
Bring Your Own Coffee Mug
I am a coffee fiend. If I don’t bring my own reusable coffee mug when I’m out, I would have tossed two (sometimes three) paper cups with their plastic lining and plastic lids in the bin by the end of the day, seven days a week.
It’s just plain wasteful for no other good reason. To reduce my spending on coffee, I make a cup of coffee or tea at home in my Frank Green Cup or Keep Cup before I head out the door and will refill it when I need an extra caffeine boost.
The Frank Green cups are pretty cool because they’re the first Smart Cup. Simply register your Frank Cup or water bottle online with Visa payWave, and you can pay for anything under $50! Neato-burrito.