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Plastic Free July is quickly approaching and I wanted to share some easy eco-friendly swaps you could make! Last year I went big and was fortunate enough to work with a few brands, but this year I’m on placement so I haven’t managed to organise anything in time. But, I recently wrote a post on The Grumpy Olive on How to have a successful Plastic Free July! Anyway, the best way to think about what swaps you can make is by splitting it into sections. But first, you might be wondering what Plastic Free July is.
Featured photo by von Vix on Unsplash
What is Plastic Free July?
Plastic Free July was first held in 2011, launched as a non-profit foundation in 2017 and is now a global movement. From just reading the name, Plastic Free July sounds a bit daunting, but it’s mainly about reducing your single-use plastic consumption. From using plastic every day to not at all would be extremely hard, so to have a successful Plastic Free July, don’t try everything at once. It can be easy to get carried away, but habits stick best when they are made gradually.
Last July, I changed a few of my habits to sustainable ones, but my favourite eco-friendly swap is Wild deodorant! I have shared on here and on Instagram why I love Wild so much. In short, all ingredients are natural and vegan, plastic-free product + packaging and amazing scents. Plus, the non-sensitive version doesn’t irritate my skin which is pretty cool because most things do! You can get a FREE case (normally worth £7) if you use this link* – my mum and my friend both recently switched and they are loving it too.
Why is plastic so bad?
Plastic is made from fossil fuels which are produce a large amount of carbon dioxide. The life cycle of plastic is generally quite short because it is made to only be used once. Therefore, we need to try and minimise the amount of plastic we buy, and reuse what we already have! Plastic is extremely bad for animals because it is often seen as food – we’ve all seen that classic image of a sea turtle mistaking a plastic bag for a jellyfish. It is absolutely heartbreaking and unfortunately something that is far too common. By animals consuming plastic, it then ends up in the food web which spreads to humans when seafood is consumed. Not only this, but plastic also entraps and injurs animals.
A lot of the plastic in our oceans is fishing equipment which is used to acquire the extradorinate amount of fish humans consume. Fishing ropes or nets are the main things I see when I’m at the beach. Ghost fishing is constantly harming sealife due to the discarded fishing equipment. Obviously in Plastic Free July, we can’t stop fishing but we can help by picking up any litter seen and putting it in the correct bin.
Related post: 8 ways to help coral reefs
Another big plastic polluter is microplastics because they are invisible to the naked eye. This means that they are extremely hard to get rid of and are in more places than we realise. Clothing contains plastic which breaks down into microplastics which often occurs during a laundry cycle. This is why sustainable clothing is so important and why it is necessary to choose second hand so that more plastic isn’t produced.
Eco-friendly swaps to make for Plastic Free July
- Beeswax wraps
- Reusable cloths
- Reusable baking sheet
- Bamboo washing up brush
- Compostable sponge
- Laundry powder in a box
- Recycled toilet paper, Who Gives A Crap* (Get £5 off using the link), The Cheeky Panda
- Bar of soap
- Reusable make up remover pads
- Metal razor
- Shampoo/conditioner bar
- Sustainable pads/tampons, period pants, reusable pads
- Toothpaste tablets
- Mouthwash tablets in a glass jar
- Natural deodorant (e.g. Wild)
- Toilet bombs (instead of toilet cleaner)
- Metal, paper, sillicone straws
- Reusable water bottle
- Travel mug/thermos
- Produce bags
- Make your own lunch instead of buying a meal deal
- Carry cutlery with you
- Reusable face mask
Related post: How to have an eco-friendly picnic
- Start going to refill stores
- Bamboo make up (e.g. Zao)
- Pencil highlighters
- Paper tape
- Loose veg
- Hang washing outside/on a clothes horse
- Loose leaf tea in a teapot, cloth bag or strainer
- Buy less
And there we have it, 30+ eco-friendly swaps you could make for Plastic Free July! Which swap are you going to make?
Best wishes, Cx
Miriam Jones says
So many good ideas here – I’m happy to report I use most of them already. Recycled toilet paper is one I need to look into though! Thank you for raising awareness and helping others on a plastic-free journey
I’m so glad to hear! x
Great tips. I don’t think I can use all of them, but I will try to use a bunch of them
These are some many great ways you can reduce your plastic and help save the environment. Thank you for sharing your suggestions Caroline.
Sabina (from www.rosegoldreports.com ) says
Great ideas here Caroline, I love how you’ve grouped the swaps by theme too (makes it so much easier to get organised). It’s so helpful that more and more plastic-free alternatives are becoming available.
Thank you Sabina! x
Mind Beauty Simplicity says
great ideas here – caroline! i love this challenge & I think I just might try and do this myself. thanks for sharing & promoting the idea.
Amazing 🙂 x
Ooh I love this so much! You’ve got some really great suggestions here – I’d love to make some more sustainable swaps in time for July. I didn’t no bamboo makeup was a thing (I’m definitely going to be looking into it), and I’d love to get some reusable makeup pads and recycled toilet paper too. Thank you so much for sharing x
Thank you! x
Wow, so many of these I’d never heard of – including the reusable TP. Not sure I’d be comfortable trying it, but I’m definitely curious now.
I think I put recycled toilet paper! But reusable is an option too, I wouldn’t be comfortable either though x
I love the idea of Plastic Free July – I never knew it existed before! I’ve made a few swaps so far but I haven’t heard of some such as bees wax wraps, so thank you for making me aware of them – I will definitely try swapping them xx
So happy to hear xx
I’m absolutely loving these tips you’ve been sharing recently on how to become more eco-friendly! I’ve only recently heard about plastic free July and it’s something I’m defiantly going to be working on myself. I’ve changed a fair few things around the house to become more eco friendly and it’s such a great feeling. I’m defiantly going to continue working on it and I really appreciate your suggestions and tips! Thank you so much for sharing lovely Xo
Elle – ellegracedeveson.com
Aw thank you Elle! x
Allie Mackin says
It is truly over whelming how the situation is with the environment and all the things that contribute to it. Thanks for all this useful information. And Who Gives A Crap! I love it!! Don’t think they have this here in the States.
I agree 🙁 Thank you x
I love reading all your tips, especially when it comes to sustainability Caroline! Might jump on the plastic-free July this time round!
So many great eco-friendly swaps. Thank you for sharing.
Lisa | Mind and Body Intertwined says
This list gives me so much inspiration! I should start with using tablets more, especially for toothpaste, but I’m still a little hesitant about it’s user experience. Should dive into it though, otherwise I’ll never know!
I feel you, I’m starting with mouthwash tablets and see how it goes x
Sweety Joshi says
I also don’t like using plastic. I avoid it as much as I can. You have written an amazing post. Great ideas and thoughts.
Elements of Happy says
Taking care of the environment is one of my favourite things to do. This is very much an awareness post and I love it.
Me too x