Alas, Plastic Free July 2022 is coming to an end. This has been a terrific month, but we’d like to keep the momentum going! While a lot of focus and eco-friendly efforts get put on the big “holidays” like Earth Day and Plastic Free July, the habits or actions designated for these specific events don’t have to be limited to just these days. There are tons of small, daily changes we can make to slowly integrate plastic free habits and swaps into our everyday routine and significantly help out our planet along the way! Here are 5 actions you can take to maintain the Plastic Free July mentality every month:
1. Donate Your Time
- As the seasons change, there may be more or different opportunities to get active in your community. And a simple way you can extend the sentiment of Plastic Free July to the rest of the year is by donating your time to a good cause! July is a prime time for beach cleanups, but throughout the year there are plenty of chances to get involved in other ways. You could look for river, lake or park cleanups; or you could explore volunteer opportunities with habitat restoration projects; or you could even take the initiative and screen an environmental documentary for your community! There are so many ways to get active, get outside, and help our planet!
2. Refill at a Bulk Store
- We included this in one of our newsletters as a “Plastic Free July How To”, but this is probably one of the easiest habits from this month to continue doing all year long! The concept is super simple: if there are bulk/refill stores in your area, prioritize shopping here and restock on the items you need by refilling containers you already have instead of buying things wrapped up in new (and most of the time plastic) packaging. We are thrilled to see that bulk/refill stores are becoming more popular, which also means that there are now a lot more options for items you can buy in bulk. Most stores of this nature predominantly feature things like household cleaners, toiletries, or body care products, but there are also some stores that carry pantry items in bulk. Some grocery store chains, like Whole Foods and Sprouts Farmers Market, also have bulk sections that allow you to bring in your own jars for refilling. In the interest of full disclosure, shopping at bulk/refill stores can sometimes be more expensive than standard stores. But you can make this a more accessible and affordable option by only shopping at one of these stores once a month, or a certain number of times a year. You could also prioritize buying the less expensive package-free items.
3. Visit Farmers Markets
- While the availability of package-free goods can fluctuate wildly based on where you live, there is one category that can almost always be purchased without any plastic: produce. Although most stores provide plastic produce bags, you can easily avoid these by using reusable, cloth produce bags, or you could skip the bag entirely and just place the produce directly into your cart. The Albatross Designs team tries to purchase our produce at farmers markets whenever possible. Farmers markets are great because everything available there has either no or very little plastic packaging, and it’s also typically more affordable than store bought produce. Not to mention that it’s an opportunity to give back to the community by supporting local growers!
4. Gift Plastic Free Goodies
- Most Plastic Free July swaps make great gifts for birthdays, Christmas, etc. Putting together a custom toolkit of eco-friendly goodies for a friend is a great way to share the joy of plastic free living with others! And the Albatross Designs team has got you covered with some essential eco-friendly products! Help a friend reduce their plastic footprint and save money by transitioning to one of our zero waste safety razors, or encourage them to switch up their entire shower routine by checking out one of our shave + shower kits. Snag them a set of Take Back Ware, our reusable travel utensils, to help them always be prepared while on-the-go.
5. Use Our Guide
- When in doubt, follow the guide! Our 31 Day Plastic Reduction Challenge was designed to help people make the small, gradual changes that will slowly lead to plastic free living. Since going plastic free cold turkey can feel overwhelming, we wanted to break this process down into all of the steps you can take to get there. And the challenge doesn’t have to be relegated to Plastic Free July! You can refer to it at any time for ways you can reduce your plastic consumption and start living a more eco-friendly lifestyle.