I’m writing this blog post to outline what I did for each day of July 2019 for the Plastic Free July Challenge. Globally people have been taking part in the hashtag #PlasticFreeJuly in a bid to reduce the amounts of Plastic being used and then ending up in landfill. Lots of people are being educated about the issues that Plastic causes and how it’s our job as human beings to help save our planet.
I’m going to begin with why you should cut down on both Plastics AND Paper waste in order to help the environment. And then I will be outlining the 31 other things I have done this July, ways that you too can reduce your carbon footprint this year…
Reducing Your Plastic Usage
Use glass jars and dishes to store leftover food inside, instead of plastic tubs.
Consider purchasing food items that are packaged in recyclable trays.
Choose not to purchase items that come in non-recyclable packaging.
Reducing Your Paper Usage
Consider using Old Tea Towels to clean with instead of Paper Towels.
Buy A Set of Handkerchiefs to use at home instead of disposable Tissues.
Other Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Walk More and Use Your Car Less
Walk More Instead Of Using The Bus
Grow Your Own Fruit And/Or Vegetables
Choose Packaging Free Fruit And Veg At The Supermarket
Recycle As Much As You Can And Do It Properly E.g Wash It Out
Reuse Your Tupperware, Glass Jars, Plastic, Cotton and Hemp Bags
I’m making some positive changes for #PlasticFreeJuly
But I, like so many other people, cannot afford to make tons of expensive changes. I certainly don’t have the money to make any investments in Solar Power Panels, buy an Electric Car or buy Organic Plastic Free Produce at a Farm in the middle of nowhere…
… But What I Can Do, Is Do Things Like What Is On My List Below…
Here is one example… we all need to use something in our kitchen bins, we have a counter top bin and nothing more because we recycle as much as we can. Usually 85% of our rubbish goes into recycling. For the things that are currently not recyclable I use bags in the bin that are made from already recycled materials.
Choosing to buy something made out of 100% recycled paper and plastic when necessary is just one of the ways I’m reducing my carbon footprint.
I have even considered using items to make things and reuse them and re-purpose them for something new. I saw this photo ages ago on a parenting website, where a Dad had collected the family’s toilet rolls and created this awesome car garage for his son. It is made out of an old crate and toilet rolls with some glue and paint, genius!
Plastic Free July – How I Reduced My Plastics This Month
1 Reusing A Specific Tupperware As A Lunchbox – No More Plastic Sandwich Bags. Did you know most sandwich bags and freezer bags cannot yet be recycled? If they can then they need to be clean with no food bits, that’s really hard to do if they’ve been screwed up in a lunch bag after use.
2 Using Cotton and/or Hemp Bags for going Shopping. Retail or Food Shopping I don’t purchase Plastic Bags and always bring my own. I have done this for several years now, and always have two bags folded up inside the main bag I take with me everywhere, so even if I forget my main bags I always have one or more available.
3 Reusing one specific Tupperware for Red Leftovers like Baked Beans or Pasta Sauce so as not to stain and ruin many different tubs. It’s really annoying when food stains something like plastic. If you don’t want to ruin lots of plastic tubs, when you buy a set, allocate ones for specific reasons.
4 Going through all the Plastic in the Kitchen Cupboard, Cleaning and then Recycling everything with the Recyclable Logo that I no longer need or use. Keep what you do use but only if its clean, has a lid and has a purpose, otherwise recycle it.
5 Make Your Own Lunches and Picnics, buy less prepackaged foods, if they are in material that can be recycled then no problem, but if it’s single use plastic then don’t support this type of food packaging. This month I have tried to make choices that include packaging that I can recycle.
6 Decline Plastic Straws when out for a drink, only accept paper ones that can be recycled after use, or use metal ones that you can buy and carry with you.
7 Re-purposing Glass Jars and use them instead of plastic around the home in order to store food and / or items inside.
8 Don’t replenish your Cling Film when it Runs Out – Change to Foil or reuse Tupperware boxes instead.
9 Reusing Tupperware for Bulk Freezing when bulk cooking, I do a lot of bulk cooking and I reuse old takeaway tubs when I freeze food. They are create for portion control and also for stacking up in the freezer.
10 Up-Cycle something in your home that you’ve not used for a year, gift it to a friend or start using it again at home.
11 Buy something from an Ethical Business or something that is Ethically Sourced and then let people know about it so they can do the same.
12 Choose to have a Takeaway that the containers can be recycled from like Pizza Boxes or Plastic Tubs.
13 Buy / Order / Use A Reusable Water Bottle Today. You can get them at most retailers these days, large Supermarkets or Amazon.
14 Today I Chose Unwrapped Fruit and Vegetables at the Supermarket to reduce my Plastics for the Day.
15 Go Paperless for your Bank Statements and Bills to save on both paper and plastics, you should be able to do this on your banking app or in branch.
16 Decline bottled water when out for a meal and ask for a glass jug of cold tap water with glasses for the table to share instead. No straws remember!
17 Buying Necessary Home Essentials that are made from 100% Recycled Materials such as bin liners or tissues…
18 Use old tea towels and micro fibre cloths you have at home to do some cleaning and home chores instead of using paper towels, then wash them on a eco washing cycle ready for next time.
19 Reuse any Newspaper or Tissue Paper to Wrap Presents for peoples birthdays. If it’s a large gift then once it’s been unwrapped cut off the best parts and re-use them again in the future.
20 When you go out for a drink choose a glass bottle or a glass, a can or a drafted liquid, rather than something provided in Plastic bottles.
21 Buy something that you need this month from a Second Hand Shop rather than buying it brand new and take a bag from home in order to carry it back in.
22 Bring your own container to a Fish & Chip* Shop & ask for them to serve your food into that to save using their packaging. * Some places won’t allow this due to health and safety, but it doesn’t mean you can’t ask.
23 Buy Less Disposable Tissues and Use A Handkerchief instead.
24 Use a Reusable Water Bottle All Day – Aim for 2 Litres (it should be with you by now if you ordered one online).
25 Buy and Use a Reusable Hot Drinks Cup – If you like hot drinks and don’t already have your own cup then invest in one. With the Cup Tax coming into force across stores it’s going to save you money in the long run too.
26 Refuse Plastic Cutlery if you’re eating out & carry your own set of metal ones when out for the day.
27 Buy Supermarket Own Products that come in Cardboard so you know that it’s easily Recyclable.
28 Choose Food Snacks in the Supermarket that aren’t contained in Single Use Plastic. Don’t purchase anything that comes in single use plastic, choose a different item this time around. Compare what is available to you.
29 Consider Purchasing Refill Packages for things such as Coffee In A Bag That Refills your original Jar…
30 Start Composting Your Food Waste – this is one I plan to do in the future once we have finished doing our garden, it’s a work in progress right now!
31 Invest in Beeswax Wraps for Food. If you cannot get some then only use Foil to wrap food or place it inside something made of glass.
Sabrina’s Easy Tips For Recycling
There are some basic things that everyone can do when it comes to recycling, and there should be no excuses nowadays to do just a little bit. Most councils supply the bins, all you need to do is fill them up!
1 Have a designated bin or basket inside the home so that everyone can place recycling inside it. Toilet Rolls are one of the easiest things to recycle yet so many people put them in bathroom bins!
2 Teach young children the importance and ease of recycling now so that they consciously do it as an adult. Recycling doesn’t always mean it goes in a bin it can be used to make craft items for example for school projects.
3 Remember to remove some recyclable materials from one another before using them, such as peel off the label on a tin before you cut it open. That way the paper and the tin can be recycled separately once they’re collected from you.
✩ ✩ ✩
Thank you so much for reading this relatively long post today. I hope I have given you some ideas on recycling that you can put into practice in your own lives.
Even if you do one thing off this list it is helping the environment and your carbon footprint, let’s make the Earth safer and cleaner and better for our children’s children. After all it’s the only planet we have.
Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes.
✩ Sabrina ✩