How To Make Plastic-free July Work For You

Last year I took part in a campaign to highlight the volumes of plastic that are in our households.  The below photo featured in both national and local newspapers and magazines and it features my collection of plastic from just a few weeks.  Shocking right? And that’s from someone who is conscious about the amount of single use plastic I am buying!

So come the start of July, I was ready and raring to go for Plastic-Free July, but it was so much harder than I thought and I soon realised there are some areas of my life that living plastic-free is just not achievable.  Whilst, we have so many brilliant UK small businesses that are now bringing us plastic-free cleaning products and personal care goods, the same can not be said for our groceries and this is where I failed epically.  And I still am to be honest.

A quick walk down our supermarket aisles tells us all we need to know.  The supermarkets are bringing us little choice when it comes to plastic-free options.  If small businesses can bring us so many different options when it comes to our toiletries and cleaning products, why can’t the supermarkets do the same?

Whilst I already know I will not achieve a completely plastic-free July, this month of awareness is a brilliant time to start making changes in our lives.  So don’t worry if Plastic-free July looks a bit daunting, instead take a couple of areas in your life and just focus on them. 

If you’re new to all this then I highly recommend starting in one room and taking it one step at a time.  I always think the bathroom is the easiest place to make eco-friendly swaps as there as so many amazing sustainable options now from shampoo bars, metal razors, soap bars, bamboo toothbrushes and even plastic-free dental care.  If you’re looking for inspiration on your swaps, we have a whole range of plastic-free bathroom products on our website here>> Bathroom – TheEcoFriendlyLivingCo

 

If, like me, your groceries is an area you are struggling with then here our a few of my top tips from changes I have made over the last few years.

  • Switch to getting your milk delivered in glass bottles. Our local milk lady also does juices & milkshakes in glass bottles!
  • A lesser known fact, is that most tea bags brands contain plastic to seal the tea bags together. Find a plastic-free tea bag brand and then you can compost the whole tea bag together without having to empty the bag!!  We came across this Cumbrian Tea on a trip to Sedburgh the other week but PG Tips and Co-ops own brand is also plastic-free.
  • Use your local farm shops. Although I can not get all our fruit and veg from our local farm shop, it does still stock most of the essentials so at least I am eliminating some plastic from my shop.
  • We also use the same farm shop for our meat as they allow us to take our own reusable tubs so no single use plastic packaging here!
  • Use a refill store for your dried goods. I have a refill store on my way to work so I stock up on cereals, rice and the occasional spice or herb pot when I need it.  They even stock things like sweets and chocolate!
  • I have also tried growing strawberries, mint, rosemary and tomatoes with limited success. I am not very green fingered but if you are, growing your own veg is the perfect way of avoiding plastic wrapped groceries. Or alternatively, if it’s not your thing, find a local company that deliver local veg boxes.

If you’ve got any plastic-free food tips, I would love to hear them to help me in my own journey.  Just pop a comment below!

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