Plastic, a novel invention a little over a century ago, has quickly turned into one of the most invasive materials for our planet’s ecosystems. It’s putting our oceans’ health and thus, fellow species’ health, at risk. Our oceans produce 50% of the world’s oxygen and absorb as much as 30% of the CO2 we release. Plastic Free July is a global movement to stop plastic from further degrading our oceans health.
What is #PlasticFreeJuly exactly?
A movement that started with a simple desire – I want cleaner streets, oceans and beautiful communities. Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, founder of the Plastic Free Foundation, started a humble campaign with her friends and family over a decade ago. In 2020, over 326 million people joined the movement from across 177 countries. Plastic Free July is one of many examples of how individual actions can encourage an entire community to take action, and even encourage systemic change.
But why do clean oceans matter?
8.3 billion metric tons of plastic. That’s the amount of plastic we’ve produced since the 1950s. Yes, that’s a number even we found difficult to wrap our heads around. What caught our attention was that more than half of it was produced in the last 10 years.
And in a year, we use and throw 500 trillion plastic bags that float around for over 900 years. And within a minute, we buy nearly a million bottles of plastic.
There are over 5.25 trillion pieces of macro and microplastic floating around, harming marine life and turning our oceans more acidic and incapable of absorbing CO2 or heat.
It’s not just the amount of plastic, but the toxic nature of it, that has caused dead zones (areas with little oxygen to support life underwater) across seas and oceans.
Okay, sold! How do I participate in Plastic Free July?
We understand that it’s not easy to get out of a toxic relationship but you and I both know it’s necessary. Breaking up with plastic is much like breaking up with your toxic ex. Yes, it may have invaded every part of your life and it seems damn near impossible to envision a life without it. But, wouldn’t you want to let go of all the toxicity and be the best version of yourself possible? Wouldn’t you want to move on to something less toxic for you? We’re here to support you. We’re here to cheer you on as you take back control over your life. Just follow these 3 steps:
- Get rid of the memories: We have to go through the remnants of this toxic relationship and get rid of them. Go through your everyday necessities and identify all the things that can be plastic-free. Shampoos, toothbrushes, clothes, everything that’s made of plastic and can be replaced with a sustainable alternative. Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of things, they’re all opportunities to live more sustainably. You can be kind to yourself and start with the easiest replacements. Maybe replacing a shampoo bottle seems easier to you than replacing all the different outfits you have. If yes, you can browse our plastic-free and plant-based shampoo bars.
- Trust fellow humans: Sometimes we become so used to a thing that’s toxic, we start to believe that’s the only way this thing can exist. But, we’re here to tell you, there are healthier options out there. When looking for replacements, chances are someone out there already has come up with a solution. All you have to do is search for. To make the search easier, here are a couple of brands working on sustainable options:
- Menstrual Hygiene:
The Woman’s Company
- Skin and Haircare:
The Switch Fix
- Build newer, better habits: We’re pretty confident that you can ace Plastic Free July. And we know once you do, it will be easy peasy lemon squeezy to go beyond July and continue to live plastic-free. Just make sure to give yourself a few weeks to get used to plastic-free alternatives. And a solid tip is to stack sustainable habits with existing habits. For example, when you step out of your home you have a habit of picking up your keys, maybe also pick up a cloth bag everytime you pick up your keys. It’s easier to stick by newer habits if you stack them with existing habits.
That’s all, folks. Happy Plastic Free July! You can start your plastic-free journey here.