Plastic Free July Wrap Up: Plastic Audit

In 2017 I started my zero waste journey. Zero Waste is the goal, mindful practice is the action. When I use the term Zero Waste, that is my ultimate goal, but Less Waste would be a more  accurate description of my evolving lifestyle.

Now that I have gone all the way through my second Plastic Free July, let's take a look back at what my goals were and how I carried them out!

- Audit my trash for the month of July. I have done this before while I was starting out along my ZW journey, and I do it every once in a while to see where I'm at. This month, I plan to mostly audit our recycling. 
I kept all my plastic trash separate this month, even items that can be recycled. I also brought plastic waste that was generated outside the house, home with me. It came out to one full paper grocery bag for the whole month. 
The biggest plastic waste I had this month were items that I already had but cleaned up and had to throw away or recycle. This contained several recyclable plastic containers, like berry boxes and a flax milk box. There were also a few reusable containers that cracked or broke and I could recycle. We ate out in July and even if we asked we sometimes got condiment containers. We also had a food in a paper boat, but it had a plastic lining. We choose to get milkshake from a place with paper cups, but they changed from waxed to plastic lined so those were waste. 
The items I had the most of when I went back through the bag were plastic bags!! Not grocery bags, of course, but some berry bags, cat litter bags, chip bags, bird seed bags, cheese plastic, etc ... These will all get recycled at a local drop off point. 

I HATE fruit stickers.

I HATE fruit stickers.

We also had a few pens, we are working through allllll the pens we have so we don't buy new. And we went through a weedwacker wire. Is there a none plastic alternative for this?

We also had a few pens, we are working through allllll the pens we have so we don't buy new. And we went through a weedwacker wire. Is there a none plastic alternative for this?

- Take the time to recycle the items that are difficult to recycle. We are donating clothes, dropping off our electronics, bringing our plastic bags to drop off centers, and other annoying tasks this month. We still accumulate some of these items, so disposing of them properly is super important. 
We did so well with this goal! We recycled plastic bags, electronics, dropped off clothes for donation and books to the library! It felt great to send these items to their proper places and get them out of our house!

- Focus on building our garden for this year and years to come! We recently (finally) planted our front bed and now we are hooked! We cannot wait to create more avenues for us to grow our own food and rely less on conventional, and often plastic packed, fruit and veg. 
Our garden is going nuts! One of our favorite things to eat in the summer is cherry and grape tomatoes but we don't eat them often bc they are hard to find without plastic. This Summer, bc or our garden, we are tomato rich!! It's felt amazing to grow our own food this July and we can't wait to garden more and more! 


- Utilize local farmer's markets! Summer is the best time for fresh fruits and veggies and I want to eat them all! The farmer's market is a great to get them, plastic free!
Partly bc we have grown our own food, we didn't got to the farmers markets too much in July. But we did have a few great visit to get corn and other Summer goodies. 

- Continue to refuse disposable plastics like straws, plastic bags, plastic cups and coffee cups, single use plastic containers, etc... and get better at it!! The more you practice, the easier it becomes!
We did a great job with this in July! Re refused like crazy and made strides to not accept plastic that sometimes slips thru the cracks. We also went out of our comfort zone and got many items in our own containers!


- Preach! Mostly, I try not to be too preachy about my Zero Waste journey, but PFJ is the perfect time to let people know about the horrors of disposable plastics, give them some insight into my lifestyle and ideals, and to hopefully spark them to think to these ideas!
I think I did more of this this month. And it was good!! We have a few restaurants who know us and ask us questions and help us out. I also talked about my drive for a plastic free lifestyle with family and friends. I posted stories and instas and talked to a lot of people on social media!

Overall, I'm sure happy with Plastic Free July. It wasn't entirely plastic free, but it was a great eye opener and a great step forward!

How was your Plastic Free July? Share your triumphs and fails in the comments!