How to Minimize Your Waste: Plastic Free July Goals

It's Plastic Free July and time to start thinking about sustainable swaps, zero waste goals, and reducing waste!  What steps will you be taking this month to minimize plastics?  Find out all about this mission and how you can take part in today's post!

light blue reusable water bottle with a red dragon fly on the edge

What is Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July is a challenge that lasts all month long - the goal is to not support single use plastics!  This is a global movement that aims to reduce plastic pollution by fighting for improved recycling, less waste, and more responsible consumer habits.  The campaign's slogan "choose to refuse" asks people to take an active role in sustainability by saying no to businesses that contribute to plastic waste.

Plastic waste has been a silent killer since it was created back in the 1800s, and this month is all about drawing attention to this everyday polluter and trying to take a step back from disposables.  Rather than picking products wrapped in single use packaging or selecting temporary solutions, the campaign urges consumers to pause and consider alternatives.

With 326 million participants in 177 countries, Plastic Free July has certainly grown into a powerful force.  They provide resources for educating about synthetic materials as well as super helpful tips for zero or low waste alternatives for business, events, home, school, and more!  Plus, they have a pledge you can sign to take part in the annual challenge.  Will you join in??

plastic free mouthwash, deodorant, and toothpaste on organic cotton fabric

How to Minimize Plastic Waste

Becoming more sustainable doesn't have to be hard, and it does not have to happen all at once.  In fact, I regularly teach that greener living is all about going slow and steady.  Think of it this way - if you were wanting to run a marathon would you show up on the day and just go for it?  Probably not because you would struggle to finish.  Taking small steps and working towards your end goal is much more likely to lead to success.  It's the same thing with going plastic free!

Minimizing plastic waste in your daily life can start with a single goal.  What is one habit you have that you are interested in changing?  Is there one area that you know there is room for improvement?  Give it some thought and choose one thing to target at the start.  It all starts with a small ripple.

For Plastic Free July, don't overload yourself with trying to go fully zero waste all in one go.  This can be expensive, overwhelming, and often leads to frustration.  It's much better to set an achievable goal, turn it into a habit over time so it feels like second nature, and create a lifelong change.  Then, once your first target has been met you can move on to the next goal!

a selection of plastic free products laid out on an earthy multi-colour carpet

Plastic Free Living Ideas

There are so many ways to reduce plastic use, and they have varying levels of effort required.  If you are just starting out, it may be worth choosing a simple sustainable swap for Plastic Free July.  It's a great way to ease yourself into the lifestyle, and makes your pledge more likely to see success.  But where to begin?? 

  • On the go
    From disposable coffee cups and plastic water bottles to single use cutlery and shopping bags, there are a load of wasteful products in day to day life.  Why not choose just one to swap with a more sustainable alternative this Plastic Free July?  Dedicate yourself to always bringing your reusable thermos with you, or promise to only use a washable lunch set.  

  • Beauty
    Did you know that the beauty industry contributes around 120 BILLION units of packaging each year?  That's a whole lot of waste!  One way to fight against this sea of plastic is to opt for zero or low waste alternatives.  Whether you go for refills or paper wrappers, slowly switching out the products on the shelf for more eco friendly options can make a difference.  This goes for makeup, hair treatments, and skincare!

  • Grocery shopping
    Ever notice how much plastic ends up in the trolley during a weekly shop?  This doesn't have to be reality, especially with so many refill shops popping up around the world.  Find a zero waste store near you, or bring reusable pouches for loose fruits and veggies to the supermarket to cut down on unnecessary packaging.  Local markets are another great place to check for low waste options.

  • Home essentials
    There are so many sustainable swaps for home essentials, and plastic free alternatives can be pretty easy to adopt in this setting.  For example, consider ditching the synthetic handle toothbrush for a bamboo one instead, or go for an eco friendly laundry detergent like powders, soap nuts, or bars.  Bedding, garbage bags, toilet paper, homemade hummus...  The opportunities for change are endless!

  • Pets
    For those with pets, another simple swap to make for going plastic free this July would be to change out single use packaging for food and treats or to start looking for more eco friendly accessories and toys.  Paper bag dry food and tins of wet food are a good place to start, or look into compostable poo bags, bamboo litter scoops, natural rope toys, or homemade treats.

  • Fashion
    Fast fashion is poisoning the planet, and synthetic fibers are causing a huge amount of worry as they make their way into water, soil, and air.  Time to start buying natural fibers instead!  Sustainable fashion that is plastic free can be expensive, but with some luck you can grab deals during sales or find pre-loved pieces that cost a fraction of the original price.  Another perk is that this clothing is often much longer wearing so it will last for many years!

rainbow pattern reusable produce bag and plastic free haircare laid out on a table

When it comes to going plastic free, there is always a new goal to be set and it can be so rewarding when you finally form a new habit!  But what do you think?  Do any of these ideas strike your fancy?  I would love to know!

Want even more food for thought?  Find a list of plastic free ideas and what items you can switch or ditch here and decide what your next goal will be.  Or if you want to chat about any questions you have, ideas you are considering, or want info on what brands to check out do let me know!  And of course feel free to share what your first goal will be xx

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