As Plastic Free July draws to a close, we wanted to put together a list of ways that you can continue going plastic free all year long.
If you already have plastic items in your home, there’s no need to replace them right away- the plastic was already produced and throwing it away in place of a plastic-free version is just creating more waste and production. Continue using what you have, and when it’s time to replace your item, then you can switch to a plastic-free alternative.
Do an inventory of your plastic use
A great way to start on your plastic free journey is to consider the main culprits in your lifestyle- this count be coffee cups, take-out containers, water bottles, plastic bags, etc. Whichever you find takes up the bulk of your plastic consumption, start by making a switch there and then add in other swaps as you go.
Make plastic free swaps
Once you’ve pinpointed your main plastic consumption items, start switching for reusable, plastic-free alternatives.
Some of the most commonly used plastic items and their swaps are as follows: plastic water bottles for reusable ones, kitchen plastic wrap for wax food wraps, plastic shopping bags for reusable cloth bags, and take out containers for your own containers.
Shop in bulk
Shopping in bulk not only saves you money, but it’s also a great way to reduce plastic packaging, particularly if you bring your own containers to shop with, rather than using the plastic bags typically provided. More and more stores are offering pay-by-the weight bulk options, and it’s a great way to save on plastic and food waste because you can get exactly the amount you want.
Get a reusable coffee cup
We already discussed some plastic-free swaps early, but we’re giving this one its own section because it’s so common. If grabbing a coffee to go is part of your daily routine, the cups alone can create a lot of waste really quickly! Many of us get at least one coffee during the workday, and the waste really adds up. If you’re an iced coffee drinker, a reusable straw is also a great substitute for plastic ones. There are many different types available including glass, metal, and bamboo. And make sure to skip the plastic stir sticks too!
Getting a reusable to-go mug will really help to cut down on your waste and plastic use, and (bonus) there are tons of cute styles to choose from these days!
Choose companies that use plastic-free packaging
There is so much unnecessary plastic used for packaging products, but luckily, many companies are starting to reduce or completely eliminate their use of plastic.
At A1, we have been working our way to complete plastic free packaging. Currently our white bedding, comforters, pillows, and throw blankets all come packaged in reusable organic cotton bags, and we are working hard towards our goal of eliminating all plastic in our packaging.
Host a park clean up
Unfortunately, we can do our very best to ensure that we reduce our plastic use, but we can’t control what others do. Even with our own best efforts, many others will continue to use, and litter, plastic. One way to help clean up our environment is to host a clean-up! Gather your family and friends to your local park or waterfront and pick up the plastic and litter lying around. While this won’t eliminate plastic consumption, it will help to keep plastics away from your local environment and wildlife.