Plastic Free July is an initiative started in 2011 with the purpose of shining a light on the problem with plastics in the world – especially single-use disposable plastics, and what we can do in our personal lives to cut down on the amount of plastic we use. The challenge is pretty straightforward – cut out a portion or all plastics for the month of July.
People across the planet, from ocean scientists to everyday citizens who live near petroleum production facilities,have heaps of data and horrifying images that clearly document the problem with plastic. We are not going there today. However, reducing and eliminating plastic from everyday use is not so clear cut. Plastic sneaks into our lives every day and from every corner of our world. Reducing your household consumption of plastic is a lot like your daily meditation practice: it is going to take time and practice to build your habits, and you can only control what you can control! But with a little fore-thought and commitment, remembering your reusable bags, water bottle, and coffee cup will be as easy as your morning mantra, and just as impactful.
No matter where you are at, there are steps you can take this July to reduce or even eliminate your plastic use. Why are we talking about this now when July is a month away? Because, as any toddler will tell you, change is not easy and is more successful when some time is put into preparing for it.
The point of the challenge is progress, not perfection. The folks at Plastic Free July provide this amazingly handy guide with a list of common sources of plastic, their impact, and alternatives to help you avoid them. Then your next step is to decide where and how to start cutting plastic out of your life.
For those of you who have a lot of those alternatives already dialed, the folks at Global Citizen have put together a helpful guide to avoid microplastics (we’ll call it advanced-intermediate plastics reduction). Microplastics have a devastating effect on everything living on the planet, from algae to animals to us. They have been found in the most remote areas of the Arctic to inside human organs (Go there if you want… you don’t have to click the link).
When we reduce our plastic use and help and encourage others to do so, we not only reduce the impact of these toxins, we reduce the demand and help generate demand for alternatives and build a cleaner, healthier future for all. Thanks for being a part of it.
Commit to taking the Plastic Free July challenge. What are you going to focus on? Take some time to research helpful tips and possible alternatives to things you can’t live without. Then let us know what you are working on and follow along on our social media in July as our staff show us their favorite, plastic-free solutions.