• Emma Ellis

Looking past #PlasticFreeJuly

Hi Friends!

Let’s chat about #plasticfreejuly! It’s been a tough challenge, especially in the time of COVID! I found myself struggling with the disappointment of noticing how much unnecessary plastic is truly used. Here’s an example, I have been bringing my reusable grocery bags to the store, but the cashier would start bagging my groceries before I could tell them that I brought my own bags. Lesson learned: say “hello” and let the cashier know I have my own bags!

I also found it frustrating that so many restaurants are now using single use menus and cutlery. I’ve been choosing to eat at the restaurants that have QR codes on the table and ask that you look at the menu on your phone. I’ve found those same restaurants also offer stainless steel cutlery that they wash in their commercial dishwasher (just like our cups!)

Though the month of July is coming to a close, my plastic free journey will not be coming to an end, really it’s just beginning. Here are a few things I’m keeping in mind as I continue my journey:

1. Bans on reusable bags are now lifted in Massachusetts! Bringing your own bag is a great way to save the use of plastic bags.

Check out one of my favorites here:

2. Keep on signing petitions

Signing petitions takes as little as five minutes but can make the biggest difference.

Check out these petitions to sign today!

3. Switch to bar soap instead of liquid soap

This little change can make a huge difference in single use plastic waste.

Here are some great products:

Tip: check the ingredients of the soap to ensure they don’t contain palm oil as palm oil’s production plays a role in deforestation.

4. Bring cotton produce bags with you to the grocery store or your local farmer’s market to get fresh produce with zero waste!

5. Decline plastic straws

Use these plastic straw alternatives instead, or no straw at all!

6. Ditch ziploc bags and try using these alternatives:

Beeswax wrap for storing food or snacks:

Silicone snack bags:

7. Store food in glass jars rather than plastic tupperware

8. Support upcycling products

Have a used peanut butter jar? Turn that into a flower vase or bird feeder.

Check out some other ideas here:

Bathing suits made from recycled plastic bottles

Eco friendly sunglass options

9. Shop thrift stores

Break up with fast fashion and try shopping at your local thrift or consignment store.

Check out some sustainable brands here:

10. Buy a recycled phone case

We all love the feeling of a brand new phone case. Well, you can feel even better knowing your case is 100% compostable.

11. And of course...use a reusable water bottle

Check out my favorites here:

Be sure to post and tag @USEFULL if you choose to try any of these tips out!