If you are not already familiar with Plastic Free July®, it is a global movement that helps and encourages people around the world to take a stand against plastic pollution and step away from single-use plastic during the month of July. The movement aims to promote small changes that will create a collective impact and help our environment, all while creating new and sustainable habits that will last beyond July.
Although plastic items are all around us and have often been associated with convenience, about 91% of plastic waste around the world is not recycled. Most of the single use plastic items that we use for a very short time end up having a long-term and harmful impact on the environment. Plastic Free July is a good time to reflect on our plastic consumption and identify ways to reduce our waste. This year’s “small steps, big difference” campaign will help show the world that each of our individual steps, however small they may seem, can make a great impact and inspire others.
How to join the challenge
Plastic Free July® offers daily tips and resources to help reduce one’s plastic consumption. If you are just starting out and need help identifying areas where you can reduce your single use plastic consumption, this challenge will set you up on new habits. If you are already trying to reduce plastic consumption and need help to amplify your impact, Plastic Free July® will bring you resources to support your action. Whether it is at home, at your workplace, at school, while you are shopping or eating and drinking out, there are solutions and alternatives to using plastic.
On the website, you will find a link to submit your participation in the challenge, see what other communities and participants do, and get ideas by category to reduce plastic waste including party supplies, bathroom essentials, grocery shopping, cleaning products, etc. If you would like to take daily actions, this calendar will help you commit to 31 small steps to take every day in July.
Some of our favorite small steps
> Buying more products in plastic-free packaging such as soap, shampoo, sunscreen, laundry detergent, or deodorant. Sunkissed Pantry is a local zero-waste store where you can bring your own containers and refill products and spices.
> Learning about and staying up to date with plastic regulations in our community, and encouraging those around us to take part in proper recycling practices. Learn more about recycling in Santa Barbara in this blog post.
> Recycling textiles and when necessary, buying new items containing more natural fabrics.
> Bringing our own bags when shopping to buy produce in bulk, from the farmer’s market when possible, and composting food waste.
If you are looking to shop for eco-friendly products, check out our Eco-Living Guide. It contains sustainable alternatives to many everyday products for you to make the switch and discover new ways to start an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
All the resources available on Plastic Free July®, and their challenge calendar should help you get started on reducing single use plastic from your daily life. Share your small steps and progress by tagging @plasticfreejuly on social media and with #PlasticFreeJuly. Feel free to share with us some of the actions and habits you are implementing this month. To go further, invite your workplace, co-workers, or your employees to join the challenge with you. Together, let’s make a difference!