001. This month I am taking on the challenge of 'Plastic Free July,' to try to avoid all single use plastic! I had planned to do lots of blog posts about this theme during July... but clearly that didn't happen, so I'm just going to keep posting all year round on this topic because I don't plan on using plastic intentionally on a regular basis again!
002. The Big Four are the four single use plastic items that produce the most plastic waste and are also happen to be the easiest to avoid! These four single use plastic items alone contribute to 60% of the total plastic waste in the developed world. Plastic bags (shopping bags or produce bags from your fruit/veg run), plastic water bottles, plastic straws and disposable coffee cups are the four big offenders.
003. Let's start with the most obvious one for everyday consumers: plastic bags. Switching to reusable bags eliminates plastic bags completely- any type of tote bag will do! Produce bags for all your little fruit and veg bits are also an essential and I'm selling them super cheap over at Shop Frockled. The other day I was at the supermarket and saw someone with ONE singular apple in a plastic produce bag - we are so conditioned that most people don't even question the use of this! If you forget your reusable produce bags, the paper mushroom bags are always handy too. Another tip is to always keep a couple of bags in your car or your bag to be prepared for any unexpected purchases.
004. Plastic water bottles are so damn easy to avoid- simply just carry around your own and fill it up. Who wants to pay for water anyway?! Replace plastic straws with a reusable one and carry it around with you- there are glass, bamboo or stainless steel ones readily available everywhere. Or better yet just ask for NO straw when dining out. I honestly think straws are a bit of a luxury item, something that kinda just makes drinking a more "comfortable" experience, not necessarily something we NEED.
005. Finally, the disposable coffee cup. The humble disposable coffee cup isn't actually recyclable within most systems, so they NEVER break down completely. There are SO many options for reusable coffee cups on the market, you would be crazy not to have one. Perks of having a reusable coffee cup are that your drink stays warmer for longer (in my opinion) and some cafes give you discounts- win for being an eco babe! If I forget my cup I just choose to have a dine-in coffee or just go without (helps me save money and makes me remember my cup next time).
003. I could go on and on all day about plastic free living and reducing my waste. I hope these swaps are useful and inspire you to cut down on the big four plastic items in your own life. Can't wait to share more eco living goodness with y'all- there's plenty more to come!