Plastic Free July Challenge...
Plastic Free July is here! Just another friendly reminder that the year is still in fast forward…like, where the heck did June go?!
So, will you be taking part in the plastic free challenge? To be honest, this is my first year taking part as a family. As a small business, it’s always been our goal to reduce, re-use and recycle and I’m very happy to report that since we began, nearly 4 years ago, we have made some real progress in how we operate in order to reduce our plastic waste. For eg. we have worked closely with several of our manufacturers and requested that they replace any plastic packaging with bio-degradable or recyclable alternatives instead. We have sourced bio-degradable packaging for packing our orders and re-use any packaging materials that come our way including boxes, bubble wrap etc. We have also recently started donating any cardboard boxes that we can’t use, to Leo’s pre-school so they can use them for arts and crafts projects.
Vojta (my husband) also manages a local restaurant on weekends and he has managed to initiate a ‘Green Mission’ there as well so now all of their 7 restaurants are using bio-degradable take away packaging, have said no to plastic straws and are separating and recycling everything they can.
Unfortunately, despite all of this positive action and change, we have fallen a little short as a family when it comes to reducing single use plastic packaging and our day to day habits.
There is always room for improvement but I think it’s really important to remember that every little bit helps. You don’t need to completely remove every single piece of plastic from your home to make an impact. Let’s face it, it’s not that easy!
I’m very happy to report that we have signed up to the challenge and will be making some really positive changes to how we do our grocery shop. We’re lucky enough to live above a shopping centre so I usually shop every second or third day rather than doing one big shop once a week. This is mostly because our schedule changes everyday so we often aren’t at home when we planned to be and end up eating out more often than I’d like to. Doing regular shops during the week means we eat what’s there and don’t waste huge amounts of food due to it not being eaten before it goes off.
Unfortunately the convenience of living above a shopping centre means that nearly everything we buy is wrapped in plastic so this is definitely an area that we as a family need to focus on. The key for me is making small, achievable changes to slowly break those habits. Making big, drastic changes usually sets me up for failure as I become too overwhelmed which makes me feel like I’ll never reach the set goal.
So, what changes will we be making as a family?
I’ve put together a small list of changes that we’ll be implementing for the month of July, with the goal obviously being that we will continue with these changes once the challenge is completed.
- We already use re-usable bags for our shopping so we will also be adding re-usable produce bags to our collection.
- We will be focusing on purchasing loose produce wherever we can to cut out as much plastic packaging from our shop as we can.
- We will be taking our keep cups to get our morning coffee from now on…hubby may need some gentle reminding with this one!
- My husband normally only drinks mineral water because he hates the taste of normal water (I think it’s a European thing?!) which means we go through alottttt of plastic bottles, so he will be taking his own bottle of normal (flavoured) water with him from now on so he won’t need to purchase bottled water when we’re out during the day.
- We take regular day trips to the National Park and local beaches and we’re always spotting rubbish along the way and I always forget to take a bag and gloves to collect it with! So I’ve put some bags and gloves in the boot of our car AND our backpack so we’re always prepared and can collect any rubbish we find while we’re out and about. I love that Leo can really get involved with this one too and it will help him to understand the importance of disposing of rubbish correctly.
So that’s our list! It’s not a huge list, but it is very achievable for us which is what my main focus is with this challenge. I want to make small, realistic changes that we will be able to stick with which will hopefully lead to even more positive changes as we go.
I found some very helpful information and tips on the www.plasticfreejuly.org website as well as the www.floraandfauna.com.au blog page, so if you’re looking for inspiration and ideas, they’re full of them!
I’ll be sharing little bits and pieces of our journey in our Instagram stories if you’d like to follow along and see how we’re tracking!
In the meantime, leave us a comment below and let us know what changes you’ve made.
Thank you for reading and supporting our little store.
Amy, Vojta & Leo xx