Plastic Free July is a global movement that challenges people to be an active participant in the solution to plastic pollution. It encourages people to use less single use plastics in their everyday use whether its at home, work, school, or at local shops and cafes.
Here are some easy ways you can participate during July and even ways to change your overall lifestyle to make it plastic free.
- When at a restaurant, café, or anywhere that serves drinks decline the plastic straws provided make a plastic free choice of bringing your own reusable alternative such as metal and silicone straws.
- When shopping, bring your own reusable shopping bag to carry your items instead of using the plastic bags provided. Reusable bags are mainly used for grocery shopping, but they can apply to all shopping trips. There are many different types of reusable bags made from different types of material. Look into the different options to see which would work best for your needs! We have some convenient canvas totes available at shopchesapeakebaytrust.org
Fresh Produce and Meats
- Avoid plastic packaging when buying fresh fruits, veggies, meats, and deli items. The best way to do this is to avoid pre-packaged foods. When opting for the loose produce choose to pack it in a reusable produce bag rather than the plastic bags provided by the store. When shopping for meat, fish and deli products opt to shop at a local butcher that offers unpackaged items and bring your own reusable container along with you to package them yourself.
- Avoid using disposable, single-use, plastic water bottles and instead opt for a reusable one when available. There are many environmentally friendly options such as stainless steel, glass, and safe aluminum. If you forget your bottle at home don’t fret, just refill a plastic bottle as needed and turn it into a multi-use product. Check out some of our stainless steel drinkware HERE!
The Four R’s
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Refuse. Start by reducing what you buy. Before you buy something be sure you really need it or consider if there is a more sustainable alternative such as repurposing a similar item or shopping secondhand. If there is no other alternative to buying a new plastic container or item, try and make the most out of it and use it as many times as possible before properly disposing of it. Learn more about recycling in your area and to be sure to recycle correctly. When the option arises try to purchase products made from recycled materials. Lastly, but certainly not least, REFUSE. If offered, refuse single-use plastic by asking if they have an eco-friendlier option (and if not, that’s why you BYO!).
Going plastic free can seem tough at first but by learning simple ways to get started and finding what works best for you being plastic free can become a lifestyle and not just a yearly month-long challenge.
Read more about what you can do to be plastic free at plasticfreejuly.org
Read about how our own President, Jana Davis, went plastic free in this article from the Capital Gazette.
See what our grantees and friends are doing to go plastic free this July!