Plastic Free July
Sustainable Living

Getting Prepped and Ready for Plastic Free July

It’s hard to believe July is upon us again and that it is time for Plastic Free July! It feels like just yesterday we were sharing our 50 thoughts on plastic to start off last year’s Plastic Free July. We are excited to jump into our second ever Plastic Free July this year!

What is Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July is a month long event that encourages people to examine their plastic use and to minimize plastic in everyday life. Plastic Free July started with a small group of people in Western Australia and has since become a part of the Plastic Free Foundation. Events are held worldwide with millions of people participating.

In July 2020 alone, an estimated 326 million people across the globe took part in the challenge from 177 countries.

PlasticFreeJuly.org

The great thing about Plastic Free July is that anyone can participate and that you can join in at your own pace. You don’t have to ditch 100% of your plastic right from July 1st. If you do, that’s great! We’re impressed! But we’ve said it a number of times on the blog: small, continuous changes over a period of time make a huge difference. What one change can you make today?

Plastic Free July - Choose to refuse single-use plastic badge

How to Participate in Plastic Free July

The great thing about Plastic Free July is that it can be done at your own pace, focusing on areas you need to make changes. There is no right or wrong way to participate. The main idea is to gain greater awareness of your plastic useage and to use less plastic.

There are a number of ways to take part in Plastic Free July. Here are some ideas:

  • You can take Plastic Free July as an individual challenge
  • Gather your family or a group of friends and take the challenge together
  • Follow along on Instagram with the #PlasticFreeJuly2021 hashtag
  • Sign up on the Plastic Free July website for the challenge
  • Look up local events in your area
  • Check out our Pinterest Idea Pin for 5 weeks of daily Plastic Free July Challenges

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Cork Yoga Mat

Going Plastic Free Room by Room

For our first Plastic Free July last year, Krista and I went room by room to look at our plastic useage. And it was a lot! Plastic weaves its way into so many areas of our lives.

Take a look at our posts from last year and see what changes we made throughout our homes:

Going Plastic Free in the Bathroom

Once we started looking for plastic in our homes, we couldn’t stop seeing it! And the bathroom is one of the worst places for plastic to accumulate. The upside to that is there are some great, easy swaps you can make in the bathroom to reduce your plastic. Last year we looked at everything from toothbrushes to shampoo to deodorant and shared some ideas on plastic alternatives.

Read the post here: Plastic Free Bathroom

A Plastic Free Period

We discovered shocking statistics when it came to plastic last year. This included the fact that it takes 500 – 800 years for one sanitary pad to decompose. One woman can use almost 11,000 pads on average in her lifetime which is a lot of plastic waste sitting in our landfills.

This motivated us to try out some cotton reusable pads and to share our experience with them. (Spoiler alert: we LOVE them!)

Read the post here: Plastic Free Period

Going Plastic Free in the Laundry Room

Have you ever thought about the plastic in your laundry room? We confess to being on auto-pilot with our laundry routine, so we pressed pause and took a look at where the plastic was sneaking in. From the tubs of laundry detergent to the microplastics in our clothes, we took a look at ways to cut down on all of this waste.

Read the post here: Plastic Free Laundry

Going Plastic Free with Food

It can be so challenging to find food without plastic. It can feel inconvenient since plastic wrapped food is so easily accessible and fast to make. Last year, Krista looked at the plastic packaging in her house and some solutions she was trying.

She’s also shared some super easy recipes and ideas for going plastic free with your food.

Read the post here: Plastic Free Food

Going Plastic Free in the Kitchen

In addition to food packaging, there are a number of ways plastic appears in our kitchens. We started tackling this by looking at how we stored our food and found alternatives to single use products. We also looked at how plastic appears in our dish cleaning routine and what can be done about it.

Read the post here: Plastic Free Kitchen

Plastic Free July 2021

We’re really excited to be participating for our second year in Plastic Free July! This year we will be focusing on some more niche areas of our lives that plastic sneaks into. We’re looking forward to sharing those things and some solutions with you.

Have you participated before? Will you be joining in this year?

We’d love to hear about your experience or thoughts in the comments!

20 Comments

  • Jordanne || Ofaglasgowgirl

    Thsnk you for bringing this up! I’ve been trying to live more sustainable, especially the past year and I love finding new challenges and such to get involved in. I’m definitely going to try take part. It’s amazing this is your second year.

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      I found food really difficult too. Then once I’d make the obvious changes, like you say, I’d realize there were other small bits of plastic sneaking their way in other places! πŸ™‚

  • Baby Boomer Super Saver

    I was so excited to read your post! Although I’ve heard of Plastic Free July, I’ve never tried it. Looking forward to checking out your posts from last year. I’ve slowly been replacing plastic with more sustainable options, but it’s challenging since plastic is ubiquitous. A couple of years ago I gave up plastic for Lent and discovered it was almost impossible to avoid plastic at the grocery store! I’ve found a few alternatives that I stuck with, like purchasing toilet paper in bulk that comes wrapped in paper instead of plastic. Getting produce delivery to my home has also helped, since it comes unwrapped. Looking forward to following your efforts all month!

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      I think what you did is such an important first step. We noticed that too last year–once we started looking for plastic it was everywhere and hard to avoid. Sounds like you’ve made some great changes though!

  • GWT

    Well I really have no reason not to get onboard with this. This is brilliant and more of us should be aware of this! I’ll be sharing!

  • Jaya Avendel

    I love the idea of doing a plastic free room challenge! Once I started looking, I started seeing it everywhere in small and often completely overlooked places. Increasing our awareness of just how much plastic we use is so important to decreasing our use of it.

    I have been using handmade flannel and cotton reusable pads all my life. I honestly cannot imagine ever switching to commercial ones and am glad of it! I also try to buy only fully cotton or linen clothing. This can be a bit tough, but it is one more thing that has my conscious levels increasing.
    Thanks so much for sharing!

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      I really agree with that. Raising our awareness really does show how much plastic we use and depend on. I really wish I had been raised on cotton reusable pads. They are so much better in so many ways! That’s amazing that you’ve used them all your life! I find clothes a challenging area too and love that you’ve been trying to make those natural choices in that area too.

  • glowsteady

    Gosh, I started reading this thinking about how great this sounded but after reading your room by room it dawned on me just how hard it would be. Food and bathroom especially! I’ve been working on reducing my single use plastics like water bottles and shopping bags etc but this just reminded me how much more work I still have to do. Good luck with the challenge!

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      I totally get that! It can be overwhelming, for sure. That’s why I like making those small, sustainable changes instead of the overwhelming “all” at once. Sounds like you’re off to a good start with getting rid of plastic πŸ™‚

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      Thanks Lynn! So great to hear you’re already trying to reduce plastic in your life too πŸ™‚

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

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