Plastic Free July: A Crash Course in Sustainability

If you’re at the point in your sustainability journey where you own a reusable bag or mug but you don’t always carry it, or you’re not sure what to do next, you’re in the right place.

It’s plastic free July, the perfect time of year to jump-start sustainable living! I’ve put together a list of suggestions on new sustainability initiatives to tackle every day for the whole month. Some of these you may already be doing, and some may not be possible for you to complete. That’s okay! This isn’t meant to be a laundry list of to-do items. This is meant to be a starting point for you to get into the habit of sustainability. Science says that it takes approximately two months for a habit to form. The goal of this exercise is to get you thinking of new ways to incorporate sustainability into your life every day for a month. It will be your jump-start to your new eco-conscious mentality.

Let's get into it:

  1. Stay hydrated! Carry a refillable water bottle with you.
  2. Keep your reusable bags handy. Your car or backpack are great places!
  3. Carry a reusable mug for to-go beverages.
  4. Ditch the plastic cling wrap! Try bees wrap instead. Even better if you DIY!
  5. Next time you need to upgrade, get yourself a bamboo toothbrush.
  6. Bring your own containers with you when you get takeout.
  7. Carry utensils so you aren’t stuck needing disposable cutlery.
  8. Line or hang dry your clothes instead of using the machine.
  9. Freeze your vegetable scraps to save to make vegetable broth.
  10. Invest in a plastic-free and reef-safe sunscreen.
  11. Try out bar soap, shampoo, and conditioner.
  12. Next time you run out of a cleaning product, look for a green alternative.
  13. If you’re a makeup-wearer, investigate cruelty-free and ethical brands. Even better if they have environmentally friendly packaging!
  14. Turn off the lights when you leave the house, and if you’re even more committed, investigate whether it’s possible for you to switch to a renewable energy source.
  15. Ditch disposables. Get yourself a metal safety razor.
  16. Make something from scratch. Yogurt, bread, and nut milks are great places to start.
  17. We don’t like deforestation! Check out sustainable toilet paper, or try a bidet.
  18. Set up a compost bin.
  19. Do an audit of your pets. See if there is any way of reducing their waste without compromising on their care.
  20. Replace your tube lotion with bar lotion.
  21. Go for sustainability when stocking your desk with school or office supplies. There are lots of eco-friendly pen and paper options out there!
  22. On a nice day, turn off the heat or air conditioning and open up your windows.
  23. Go for plastic-free produce. Even better if it’s local!
  24. Next time you need a phone case, keep a compostable option in mind. 
  25. Replace your synthetic kitchen sponge with a natural loofah.
  26. Fill up on dry goods at a bulk store.
  27. Berries are hard to find plastic-free. If you do find them, stock up and freeze some for the year!
  28. Keep your house smelling fresh with soy or beeswax candles. Avoid those aerosol cans!
  29. Do an audit of your work waste. See if there’s something you can do to improve when you’re not at home. Try getting coworkers on board!
  30. Grow something yourself – start a small jar of micro greens or herb garden.
  31. You probably ended up with plastic somewhere along the way – try to reuse or repurpose it!

Bonus: If you celebrate a birthday during this month, don’t include balloons in your party! Decorate in a more environmentally mindful way.

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