Guest Blog Post By Rachael Walsh

When I knew Plastic Free July was right around the corner, I thought of how cool it would be to challenge myself and see how much plastic I consume in a month so I could evaluate and make a few changes. So, I planned to collect every piece of plastic that I had used and attempt to fit it in a glass jar during July. This idea was inspired by seeing it done on social media a handful of times, so I had thought it was doable. 

As each day went by, I began to realize that this was going to be much more difficult than I had expected, especially during a pandemic. So, by about the eighth day into the month, I decided to call it quits. From the initial efforts, it had opened my eyes to areas that I might struggle in or, in other words, areas for improvement. I decided to think of a few areas that I noticed I could put more effort into being better about and make that change starting this month. 

Here are some tips that I wanted to share and focus on more closely in the hope of developing them into a habit.

Tip 1: Buying in Bulk

Plastic Cleaner bottle with 3 lemons next to it

Buying in bulk allows you to use your packaging, which helps eliminate SUP (single-use plastic). When it comes to this tip, I feel like you must use resources to find where to purchase in bulk. During this strange time in our life, buying bulk food from bins is impossible. However, there is still such a huge opportunity when it comes to household items. These household items could be items such as shampoo and conditioner, dish soap, lotion, liquid cleaner, and so much more!

Tip 2: Use What You Can

5 reusable jars

When it comes to reusable eco-friendly products, there is beginning to be so many companies that offer them. So, when you are making the switch to become more eco-friendly, it could add up fast and become very costly. Not everyone can afford to make the switch while also making it look “Pinterest worthy.” Using what you have and make it trendy or slowly make the switch to buying these eco-friendly products could be a plan of action. Either way, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you cut out plastic; it matters that some efforts are being taken!

Tip 3: Think Twice Before You Buy

blueberries in paper packaging

When it comes to buying items that you cannot buy in bulk, it is essential to look at the used packaging. Understanding what packaging is not as harmful to the environment can be a significant step to becoming more eco-friendly. Take, for example, food packaged in plastic and the same food wrapped in paper. When it comes down to it, paper packaging is much better for the environment over plastic packaging. Paper packaging can not only be recycled but can also be composted. The best type of packaging of all would be your reusable packaging, but when that is not an option, go for paper packaging.

All in all, when it comes to making the switch to being eco-friendly slowly, it is essential to know your resources. Doing your part in eliminating more and more plastic out of your daily routine is the ultimate goal!

Rachel Walsh picking up plastic and trash at Oceanside, CA. Rachael Walsh