Low Waste

Plastic Free July – Let’s Save Our Oceans & World Together!

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I’m sure that you’ve heard by now how harmful plastic is to our world. The fact that it can last on Earth for up to 1,000 years after its creation is why I’m taking the pledge to have a Plastic Free July. You should join me.

As of 2015, approximately 6300 Mt of plastic waste had been generated, around 9% of which had been recycled, 12% was incinerated, and 79% was accumulated in landfills or the natural environment. If current production and waste management trends continue, roughly 12,000 Mt of plastic waste will be in landfills or in the natural environment by 2050.

Science Advances via ScienceMag.Org

When I read this, I thought of how insane it is that 79% of the plastic generated until 2015 was in the natural environment or landfills. Knowing that it can take up to 1,000 years for plastic to break down, this seriously terrifies me.

Take the pledge to refuse single use plastics and help save our one and only world!

The craziest part of these numbers is how low the recycling percentage is. This automatically shows you that recycling is not as effective as we are led to believe. After all, if a recycling container is contaminated, the entire container full of plastics cannot be recycled.

In addition to that, recycling is actually the wrong term. Plastics are downcycled rather than recycled, because they cannot be recreated into the same item. A plastic water bottle will never be a plastic water bottle again. Instead, it will become something like a bench in a park.

If this information disturbs you as much as it has me, then let’s do something about it together!

Before I explain how you can take the pledge for a Plastic Free July, I want to share with you some things I’ve done and what I hope to accomplish during the month of July.

My story is far from perfect, but I hope it encourages and helps you see that any measure taken to reduce your plastic consumption makes a large impact!

Here is one of my favorite reminders to keep going, even if it isn’t perfect:

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale
Join me for Plastic Free July! Take the pledge to refuse single use plastics and help save our one and only world!

My Plastic Free Journey

For the past couple of years, I’ve worked to reduce my plastic consumption and have successfully made a dent within how much I consume. However, there is more I would like to do to double the size of that dent.

The plastic I’ve managed to replace, so far:

  • Plastic tupperware with glass and stainless steel options.
  • Plastic spatulas and other kitchen utensils with wood or stainless steel options.
  • Drinking glasses with mason jars I already had.
  • Plastic straws with reusable straws,
  • Plastic coffee mugs with glass and stainless steel coffee mugs.
  • Single use plastic bags with reusable fabric bags.

As you can see, my progress is pretty much in my kitchen. I have not ventured far into the other areas of my home. I think focusing on a Plastic Free July is the perfect excuse to see how I can further my progress.

My goals for Plastic Free July:

  • Refuse single use plastics, such as plastic straws, to go containers, etc.
  • Only replace things that are no longer useful.
  • If I cannot afford or easily replace something with a plastic free option, then I will try a DIY recipe.
  • Carry my infuser water bottle everywhere with me.
  • Give myself grace for what I cannot help.

My biggest obstacle with this pledge is that my community is not low waste friendly. We don’t have a bulk store option, and a lot of the things I need are wrapped in plastic. Since I cannot help this, I am not going to beat myself up over it.

I’m going to do all I can to reduce my plastic waste, and I hope you will join me in taking this pledge.

P.S. It is my birthday month, and helping our only planet would be the best birthday present you could give!
Join me for Plastic Free July! Take the pledge to refuse single use plastics and help save our one and only world!

Take the Plastic Free July Pledge!

I want you to take the pledge with me, so please visit the Plastic Free July website to submit your participation in this challenge!

There are three different focuses you can choose from as a focus for your pledge. You can choose one of them or all three:

  1. Avoid single-use plastic packaging
  2. Target takeaway-items (The Top 4: bags, bottles, straws, & coffee cups)
  3. Go completely plastic free

I chose to avoid single-use plastic packaging [again, as much as I can] and target takeaway items. While I would love to go completely plastic free, I know that isn’t an options for me. So to set a goal that is unattainable isn’t going to help.

Join me for Plastic Free July! Take the pledge to refuse single use plastics and help save our one and only world!

Once you’ve pledged, check out their ‘Get Involved’ page to see how/what changes you can make to reduce your plastic waste. Also, be sure to join my Facebook Community, so that we can cheer each other on during the month!

I’m excited to take on this challenge with you, and I cannot wait to see how much we can reduce our plastic consumption together!

4 Comments

  • Reply
    Sue
    July 1, 2019 at 11:23 am

    I have removed all plastic containers from my kitchen, only use glass.
    Take my own bags to the grocery, pet food or any other store.
    I have small mesh bags I take for produce, and get commented a lot on this.
    Take my bags to the farmers market.
    Will not buy styrofoam in any form, if I can’t recycle I don’t buy.
    Try and but local and made in the USA or Canada.

    • Reply
      Erin Tannehill
      July 2, 2019 at 7:57 am

      I love to hear all of this, Sue! My favorite part is that you focus on local goods or goods made within North America. I think that is something I need to focus on more. Not that I don’t try, but improvement is always an option. Thank you for taking the time to share and inspire! 🙂

  • Reply
    Gillian
    July 8, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    My first thought is to keep using the plastic items that are already in my home. I do have a set of ugly plastic to-go coffee cups. I guess I thought I was “good” for removing disposable to-go coffee cups from my pantry. Nobody absconds with them because they’re pretty gaudy. But I have filled them up with coffee for house guests when I’m driving them to the airport, etc. I have wooden, stainless, and plastic spatulas and spoons and I’m sure I’ll still have the plastic ones for years to come. I’ve been married for 38 years and I’m only on my second set of very cheap plastic mixing bowls…….I tend to keep things for a very long time. I try to look after all my belongings so they don’t end up in a landfill. We live in a culture where people get rid of furniture and belongings and fill landfills instead of taking care of what they have and making it last as long as possible. I think people should consider keeping their plastic and using it instead of throwing it away or giving it to someone else who may throw it away. I have a plastic stacking bins that are as strong as they were when I bought them 33 years ago, and if plastic can last 1,000 years as some theorize, why not keep using them. The enemy is uncontrolled and now dangerous waste not plastic.

    However, I have discontinued purchasing single use plastic water bottles and will take seriously not introducing new plastic into my home. Thanks for the good read!

    • Reply
      Erin Tannehill
      July 11, 2019 at 11:51 am

      Hi Gillian! Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I don’t think it is necessary to get rid of all plastic things in your home, but I do believe in replacing them with other options when it is time. It is very important to take care of your things, and I love how you stress that importance. It seems that our society has become about the fast food service mentality, which is horrible for the environment. If they can’t have the convenience or if it isn’t social media worthy, they don’t worry with it. With people out there like you helping to spread the importance of caring for your things, it gives me hope that we can change this.

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