4 Easy Ways To Ditch Plastic & Prepare for Plastic Free July
At this point, you've hopefully already taken inventory of your home and determined the type of commitment you'd like to make next month for Plastic Free July. Now it's time to throw some money at the situation and get creative to build your very own Plastic Free Kits.
If you're like me, the idea of building a plastic-free kit feels a little stressful. Not only am I a minimalist, but I'm a babe on a budget who's paycheck to paycheck in Los Angeles. So the idea of investing in a kit felt intimidating at first, which it probably does for most. It wasn't until I spoke with other individuals making the same lifestyle changes, and read dozens on dozens of articles, that I realized I would actually be saving money in the long run.
Additionally, it's important to note that you do not, and should not, do it all at once. The golden rule, in my opinion, of switching to a more eco-friendly, low-waste lifestyle is to use what you have first! Don't go buying floss in glass containers or stacking up on shampoo bars when you've got 4 containers from your dentist in your medicine cabinet and half a bottle in the shower. Use what you have, and then invest once it's time to replenish.
For those who are ready to swipe the ole credit card, here is a list of my favorite eco-friendly products that are preparing me for Plastic Free July.
Make A Reusable Waterbottle Your Best Friend
Reusable water bottles are often the first step individuals make, and it's a damn good one as eateries, establishments, museums and more are picking up on the trend with water fountains and refill stations easily accessible. Not only are you showing a little love to mother earth by ditching your Fiji and Dasani bottles, but you're saving a good chunk of change by refilling a bottle you already have.
Reusable Cups, Mugs, Utensils and Straws Are A Close Second
Outside of purchasing a reusable water bottle, the next step is to invest in reusable cutlery, whether it's bamboo or stainless steel, reusable straws (glass or stainless steel) and a reusable reciprocal for your coffee. While it seems small, these changes greatly reduce the amount of waste over time, and even more so when practiced by multiple individuals around the globe.
To those who need a little added push, cafes and coffee shops generally offer a discount to individuals who bring their own reusable drinkware. Cha-Ching!
Grocery Shop Smart
Everyone's got to eat! Whether you're eating takeout or going to the grocery store on a daily to weekly basis, there are plenty of ways in which you can reduce your waste footprint.
Don’t forget your reusable shopping bags at home! In fact, do yourself a solid and store them in your trunk.
Use reusable produce or canvas bags for your nuts, fruits, veggies and grains. If you don’t have one at the moment, feel free to shamelessly place a handful of mushrooms on the conveyor belt – I know I do – or use a mason jar.
Go to the butcher to get your meat, and ask them to bag it in paper only.
Go to the deli for your lunch meat and bring your own reusable container – I’ve had no issues with this, just make sure your container is clean.
Seek out products packaged in aluminum or glass, as both substrates are easily recycled.
Skip the grocery store altogether, and go to your local farmers market – you can usually use your own containers or return the ones you’ve purchased in the past.
Create Your Own Beauty Products
Here is where things can get a little more creative as the fabulous individuals of the interwebs have done the work to create recipes for your favorite and necessary health and beauty products. From shaving cream and deodorant to lotion and even mascara, you could post up in your kitchen with your homies and deck out your bathroom.
If you simply don't have the time to do so, which most of us don't, there are a handful of great companies that have got your back. Read my article on 6 Eco-Friendly & Zero-Waste Products You Need In Your Bathroom HERE.