July 2017 saw us joining the global Plastic Free July campaign with over a million people from 159 countries. The #PlasticFreeJuly challenge is simple: refuse all single use plastic for the month of July. But actually doing it? Not so simple.
When you try to live without single use plastic you quickly realize how deeply the material has become embedded in our daily lives. It is everywhere!
Which is exactly why it’s called the Plastic Free July Challenge. Plastic is hard to avoid.
Throwing things in the trash has become something we hardly think about – but the trash we create has big impacts, both on our health and on the health of our natural ecosystems. Plastic Free July is an opportunity to think about these impacts, find solutions and create better habits.
So how did the GREEN HOME team fare with the challenge?
Well, we loved it. Living low waste is healthy and feels good. But it wasn’t easy! Some of our crew were taking the challenge for the first time (a daunting task) and others were low-waste nerds already, already practices with their cotton shoppers and re-usable water bottles. But during those 31 days each of us had eye-opening experiences. And we all came away with some cunning new tricks up our waste-reducing sleeves. We also got together to compare notes and pass on our best plastic-free tips and tricks to you:
The Perks – your body will thank you, it’s healthier – for you and the planet!
Where to find cucumbers NOT wrapped in plastic? Try some of the farmers markets listed below…
Reuse. In our disposable culture this is something of a forgotten art.
Fabric, reusable (and washable) bags are a brilliant tool!
Be quick to say ‘No thank you!’ – especially when it comes to straws in restaurants and plastic bags in shops. Far too often the assumption is that you want them.
Don’t be shy – ask for what you need, plastic free food… When butter comes in wrapping, simply request unwrapped butter.
Bring Your Own = Bag, Water Bottle
Outlets that have compostable packaging are life savers. Sometimes it’s really hard to avoid packaging all together, especially when eating on the go. Compostable packaging saves the planet from having to deal with our waste, absorbing the materials back into the earth to further enrich your food!
Compost. Where ever possible, avoid adding to landfills!
While we were living plastic free we found some amazing places to shop with your own brought-in containers, avoiding single use plastics!
Food Lovers Markets (Nationally) – proud supporters of GREEN HOME.
Farmers Markets such as: Oranjezicht City Farm Market(Cape Town), Hout Bay Market (Cape Town), Fourways Market (Jozi), Fruit and Veg wholesalers (these can be found in most suburbs across South Africa).
And for the meat lovers, remember the days when mom popped out to the butcher? Well, they’re still around – and the best place to get your meat plastic free. Just take your own container for them to fill up.