The journey can teach you a lot about the destination...

Plastic Free July (PFJ) is in full swing in the 1 Million Women office. It has only been 3 days so far, but we have all learnt a lot about what this month has in store for us.

Holly, 1MW Social Media Manager

I have always thought I lived a pretty low-impact lifestyle: I'm a vegan, I don't own a car and I always remember my keep-cup for coffee on the run.. but no one is perfect. My boyfriend and I leave home early and come back late, so often takeaway is an easy option. This will ususally involve plastic containers, plastic utensils and of course... plastic soft drink bottles/cans. I have found that even after 3 days I am having very strong withdrawals from this kind of food and I am DEFINITELY noticing how much plastic I was consuming.

My plan to avoid takeaway plastics was simple - pack leftovers from dinner for lunch, eat breakfast and dinner at home and remember my keep-cup. But life doesn't aways go according to plan. Running late this morning I ducked into my local corner store for a quick 'on-the-go' breakfast, before I remembered PFJ . I did 3 loops of the isles before realising I would not find anything without plastic. I then decided to sit in a cafe and enjoy a breakfast of toast and coffee, plastic-free. The extra money I spent this morning could have been avoided, had I only been prepared.

What I learnt: My fast-paced lifestyle is being reflected in my plastic consumption habits, I need to slow down and think about what I'm buying.

Shea 365 Ways Coordinator

I decided to give up takeaway coffee cups for Plastic Free July , as coffee in the morning is an imperative for me. Usually, as much as I can, I drink coffee sitting in the cafe, or take a keep-cup. Last week my cute, blue keep-cup was invaded by the most disgusting and evil mould you have ever seen (picture not included). Yes it was my fault for leaving it unwashed, however unfortunately I had to get rid of it.

Monday morning, I arrive at work, no keep-cup, not enough time to sit down and drink my coffee. What did I do? I went without coffee in the morning for the first time in a long time.

What I learnt: I don't need coffee as much as I think I do, in fact maybe I am better off without it.

Bronte, 1MW International Social Media Correspondent

Plastic Free July is going really well for me so far. I haven't been to the supermarket since July started, which was yesterday in Brazil- but today we finished the last of our groceries.

Brazil is a very difficult place to go plastic-free because they wrap literally everything in plastic, even the fruit. It's terrible!

I'm going to try my very, very best and will keep you updated.

Babs, 1MW Office Manager

I love Plastic-free July . I think that overall I live a pretty plastic-free life whenever possible, but I thought that this July I would go the extra mile and get rid of all unnecessary single-use plastic.

I have already made the promise of not using plastic bags when I go shopping, and I always carry a couple of reusable bags in my handbag (you know, the cute ones that come in little colourful pouches, they're so handy to carry around and even cheap ones end up lasting quite a long time, I've had mine for a couple of years now!). The hardest part has been to convince my boyfriend and friends around me to do the same, but I'm slowly getting there.

Another tricky part is avoiding buying food that already comes wrapped in plastic, which forces me to be healthier and to buy more fresh ingredients. When I buy fruit and veg at the supermarket that need to be wrapped (like green beans, I can't just throw them like that in my basket with the rest of the veggies!), I always use the brown paper bags that they normally give you for mushrooms, they're perfect for it. I also am avoiding any takeaways (food and coffee) this month and I have been good so far, I usually like bringing my own food to work anyway, and I don't drink that much coffee, I prefer making myself a nice cup of Rooibos tea in my favourite mug.

Regarding cosmetics, everything seems to be made of plastic nowadays, but I make sure I buy unpackaged products from ethical brands such as Lush, and to only choose bottles made of recycled and recyclable plastics. I also have stopped using any facial scrubs from brands that use microbeads in them, as the beads are made of plastic, end up in our oceans and contribute to marine pollution.

What I leant: With a little bit of planning, plastic is easier to avoid.

Tara, 1MW co-CEO

Here is my report, hot from the southern alps!

I am proudly plastic free so far, though I am in a small village where all the meals are provided. The real challenge will start tomorrow when I head back home to Sydney and have to do the shopping for a family of 5 for the week ahead, plastic-free.

What I learnt: I'm going to be doing some hard research into as many plastic-free alternatives as possible.

Nat, 1MW CEO

Currently located in The States for an International climate justice conference, Nat is happy to say she remains plastic-free and will be looking forward to the zero-waste competition between her and Tara starting upon her return next week.

How are you finding the first week of Plastic Free July? Have you been re-thinking your consumption habits? Starting your research journey? Or maybe you've found somethings you can go without?

Share your journey, tips and inspirations with us in the comments below!

Holly Royce Web and Social Media Expert Suggest an article Send us an email

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