The month of July is now Plastic Free July. It's a time to choose to give up single use plastic. Give up one item, like plastic straws, or give up all single use plastic for the month. Either way, the main thing is to think about how we use plastic and if we need to use it as much as we do.
Ever since we moved to the beach, I've been more aware of how much waste we generate as a family and where that waste ends up. I've started reading a lot about the zero waste movement. I would love to become zero waste one day. But sometimes thinking about how to effect the changes necessary makes me feel like my head might explode. Or at least, that the goal seems impossible.
But the thing I'm trying to remember is that zero waste is the goal, thoughtful purchases and practices is the action.
This July I wasn't able to give up any single use plastic entirely. But just knowing about Plastic Free July helped me be more thoughtful. I tried to opt out of using plastic bags, plastic straws, buying items packed in plastic, or only buy plastics that can be recycled. I've tried harder to look at all packaging and recycle more carefully.
I try to buy items packaged in cardboard, or glass, or better yet, not packaged. In all items I try to buy organic, non gmo, sustainable, or manufactured by "good" companies. This early in my zero waste journey, I'm still figuring out what that means. I try to research, read labels, and find a balance between what my family likes, what's healthy for them, and what's healthy for the planet and my local community.
I'm trying to find ways to use plastics less, like finally committing to a reusable thermal mug. By choosing one that keeps drinks hot or cold and has a standard volume, I hope to make it easier for me to use it in many situations. For July, I've diligently tried to bring my new mug with me and use it as much as possible.
Although I wasn't able to give up plastic this July, I feel I've made a good start and hopefully next July, I'll be ready to give up some sort of single use plastic for good! Or even if I'm not, Im confident that I'll be steps further on my journey.
Is anyone out there working towards zero waste? What steps are you taking?