What is Plastic Free July and how can you take the challenge?
Most people have heard of dry July, (or dry January for those in the northern hemisphere). It's a month-long challenge to refrain from alcohol for the sake of your health and your wallet. Plastic Free July is in the same vein, but instead of only benefitting your body, it benefits the health of the planet. As soon as you start going as plastic-free as possible, you'll realise how doable it is and all the new habits you pick up during your Plastic Free July mission can be adopted long term.
What's the challenge?
The aim is simple: don't use any single use plastic for the whole month of July.
The execution takes a bit more creativity, but alternatives are readily available if we just make that extra effort. Check out plasticfreejuly.org for loads of tips and to sign up to the challenge.
Here are 3 ideas to get you started on your plastic-free mission:
1. Boycott cling wrap - There are so many options that are just as convenient, if not more so, than cling wrap. Aluminium foil is recyclable and easier to reuse than cling wrap, and taking your sandwich in a reusable lunch box instead of cling wrap will ensure it doesn't get squashed.
2. Drink takeaway coffee from a keep cup - Reusable coffee cups are available everywhere. Most of your favourite coffee shops probably sell them, and offer 1 free coffee included in the price of the keep cup. If you buy 7 takeaway coffees per week, imagine a pile of 365 coffee lids then multiply that by the number of people in your office and the number of years you've been drinking coffee. In coffee-obsessed Australia it's not uncommon to have 2 or 3 coffees per day. This isn't sustainable but is easily fixed with a simple keep cup.
3. Reusable drink bottles - Australia's use of bottled water creates over 60,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year, which is equal to the emissions of 13,000 cars in a year. Considering we have the luxury of drinkable tap water in Australia, it seems ridiculous that we spend so much money and waste so much energy on bottled water.
If you forget your keep cup one day, ask for your takeaway coffee without the lid to reduce the plastic waste.
Check out these articles for more 1 Million Women tips to reduce waste: