I am doing Plastic Free July

PlasticFreeJuly-org logo banner 300ppi.png

After watching a documentary on the ABC called War on Waste it made me think about how we live our lives. How we have become a throw away society. My family needs to change its behaviours so we can protect our environment for my children and future generations.

If you haven’t seen the documentary I highly recommend watching it on iview.  War on Waste’s mission is to see if as a nation we can reduce our waste. It discusses lots of topics but the main things that stuck with me are:

  • Australia is one of the most wasteful countries in the developed world
  • Australians use 10 million plastic bags a day
  • The average family throws out over $3,500 worth of food every year
  • Farmers have to dispose of huge volumes of fruit as it’s shape doesn’t not meet supermarket standards.
  • Take away coffee cups are not recyclable

I am guilty of being wasteful. My laundry is overflowing with plastic bags. I have a coffee addiction and usually get my coffee in a takeaway cup. Oh and don’t get me started about the food we waste, especially with young children.

Now that I have owned up to being wasteful it is time to make a change. I decided to sign up to the challenge and go plastic free . When I really started to think about it and look around the supermarkets I discovered it is actually very hard to avoid. So I am taking baby steps and avoiding as much plastic as possible.

This is what I will be doing to help out our environment.

Refuse Single Use Plastics

Plastic bags, straws, takeaway containers and bottles break up, not break down. This means that are becoming a permanent pollution. Lots of plastic ends up in the ocean and scientists predict there will be more tonnes of plastic than tonnes of fish by 2050.

chicobag-reusable-produce-bag-kit-set-of-3-apple

I am refusing single use plastics. Taking my own shopping bags and fresh produce bags.

BYO Coffee Cup

No more coffee in takeaway cups! I am happy to discover that there are some awesome cafes in Perth who are also doing their bit for the environment. Offering discounts on coffee when you bring your own coffee cup. Click here for a list of cafes where you can BYO your own cup.

I encourage you to reuse a cup rather than a single use paper cup which can’t be recycled. If you need to purchase a reusable cup yourself click here for a great range.

Make my own cleaning products

I usually make my own cleaning products but I will be making more of an effort to always do this. This way I will avoid the plastic containers they come in and I can reuse my own spray bottles. I even knit my own cleaning cloths which avoids buying dish cloths wrapped in plastic.

Knitting

Down to Earth is a fabulous blog for tips on making your own cleaning products plus there is also a book which you can find here.

Keep Australia Beautiful

As a child I remember there were lots of campaigns to Keep Australia Beautiful. We would spend a day picking up rubbish on the side of the road. I like to think that doing this in my childhood has instilled good behaviors.

Now when we camp or we are out enjoying nature we always leave the place better than we found it. We will pick up rubbish and put it in the bin or take it out with us if there are no bins around.

I am starting with these four things and hopefully I can change our bad habits for good.  I am sure that I will learn lots of other tips and tricks along the way.

If you want to join millions of people around the world and participate in Plastic Free July then click here for more information.

Have you watched War on Waste? Are you doing plastic Free July?

** Some of the links in this post are affiliated links. If you click to buy an item, I make a little commission but you don’t pay any extra. **

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29 thoughts on “I am doing Plastic Free July

  1. Good on you!! I love the idea of going plastic free. I also believe that if you can find a way to reuse the single use plastics then you are a little bit of recycling- for example if I use a plastic veggie bag, I then reuse it at home as a nappy disposal bag (when I don’t use cloth nappies), or I use it to store food or something else in, and I use plastic shopping bags as bin liners. I can’t wait to see how you go with the challenge, the War on Waste series has definitely had a huge impact- it would be extremely interesting to see if there is a lasting change from it! 🙂 PS have you seen the gorgeous KeepCups!? I love the Starwars versions, but have a plain blue on I use constantly!

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  2. There is a simple solution to the shopping bag problem. If the supermarkets replaced plastic bags with brown paper bags. Instead they put the blame on the consumer and continue to provide plastic.
    To my mind this is how the little supermarket in Coles Bay succeeded in its Eco efforts it provided cute brown paper bags.
    I’m sure it comes down to supermarket costs and it is easier and cheaper for them (the big two in particular) to just pass the guilt on to us.

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  3. What a challenge it will be to be plastic free for a month – even when you don’t use the plastic bags at the supermarket, so much of their meat and fruit etc comes with plastic wrap etc. I try to keep my plastic to a minimum and don’t do take away coffee so I can tick that box too.

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  4. Wow there’s some great ideas here that I’d never thought of Anne. Good on you for doing your bit! I had no idea that takeaway coffee cups were not recyclable?!! #TeamLovinLife

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  5. Anne I’m all for cutting down on waste. This year I’m also taking my own bags to do my shopping and normally refuse plastic bags. I very rarely have takeaway coffee as I like to sit at a table and drink mine out of a real cup or mug. As for cleaning products, I have started to try a few things. I used a combination of bi-carb soda and vinegar recently to clean my oven and it worked extremely well. Thanks for bringing all of this to our attention. Every little bit make a difference. 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

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    • I wish I could sit and enjoy my coffee but there is always a little one by my side. It is easier to get a takeaway and go for a walk or hit the playground. You will get hooked on making your own cleaning products!

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  6. Good on you – it’s great you’re cutting down waste. Plastic is a tough one, but I try & avoid shopping bags – & take my own to the farmer’s market. Coffee cups are a tough one – I have my takeaway coffee at the beach at the end of a 5km walk, so carrying my own would be more than annoying. #TeamLovinLife

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  7. I must admit, I hadn’t even heard of plastic free July, though I watched bits and pieces of the TV show. I have started composting and looking at ways of recycling soft plastics. The biggest thing is at least being aware of consumption, and through that, I never get plastic bags from shops, taking the pram or a shopping jeep or cloth bags, but we have a long way to go yet.

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  8. I love that the logo is of a turtle. The children’s book I released last year was about a little girl who became a wildlife advocate for turtles because of plastic bag issues in the ocean. So fitting!
    In the ACT we are already plastic bag free. Well, we don’t get free plastic bags at shops anymore – we have to pay extra for that. I so I am well in the habit of taking my own cloth bags with me.
    Bring back the Keep Australia Beautiful campaign I say!!! It definitely instilled a good ethic in me as a child which has continued on throughout my life.
    #teamlovinlife

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  9. This is fantastic. I can’t wait to see what other tips and tricks you learn over the month, hope you will share here! Plastic is one of those things that I notice more and more and it’s driving me bonkers! Especially with kid toys and stuff. Well done.

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  10. I’m travelling over July but when I get back I plan to make my own beeswax wraps to replace cling wrap in our house. I shop at Aldi so you have to bring your own bags there anyway. I think the number one thing that has helped reduce our waste is getting chooks. Between the chooks and the compost we have only one bag of rubbish a week. But there is always more we can do.

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  11. I can’t go plastic bag free – I need those suckers to line the rubbish bin, and to scoop up waste from the cats’ litter trays!!! But at least they get used for more than just groceries.

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  12. I reuse the plastic bags a bit like Janet – they pretty much all get used in my house. If I got rid of them then I’d only have to buy some. I don’t drink coffee, so that is an easy win for me haha. I do use a lot of zip lock bags but that’s because I tend to buy things like meat in bulk, then portion and freeze. Not sure what else to use for that!

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  13. I must admit I use plastic shopping bags. Like Janet I use them to line my rubbish bin at home – so I do re-use them. I’d actually be happy to pay a fee for them (like 5c or something) which goes into a fund of some sort or to pay for the kind that are biodegradable. I know some places have environmentally friendly plastic bags. #teamlovinlife

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  14. Great effort Anne, let us know how you go. I’ve eliminated plastic shopping bags but still end up taking so much plastic home from the supermarket every time I go shopping – it’s everywhere!

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  15. Hi Anne!
    The War on Waste series was also extremely helpful for me. It made me look at the way that I am so quick take and use plastic bags for such a small use. Plastic, in general, is horrible for the environment. It takes thousands of years to break down and most of it ends up in our oceans. We, as Aussies especially need to take more care with our oceans. The Great Barrier Reef is already taking such a battering with climate change, and the ecosystem can’t take much more! The plastic in our oceans are slowly breaking down and turning into ‘microplastics’. Zooplankton and other small organisms then eat these microplastics which in turn make their way up the food chain. This means that we ourselves are eating plastic whenever we eat seafood! This is not a problem for the next generation its a problem for us now! I’m very passionate about the plastic bag ban in Australia and you can follow my thoughts and discoveries on my blog – dontbeadagbantheplasticbagblog.wordpress.com

    Make sure you also sign the Greenpeace ban the plastic bag petition to let your State MP know you care!

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