For July I am going plastic free, as I mentioned in my 7 Things. I find it incredible that every single bit of plastic ever made still exists. How crazy is that? People use plastic and carelessly throw it away without a second thought. But too much of it can’t be recycled and far too much of it ends up in the sea. It’s being eaten by the fish, polluting our seas, and ending up on beaches as disgusting litter. I don’t really care about future generations deserving a clean ocean – we deserve a clean ocean right now. The oceans deserve to be clean.
So I am doing something about it!
I love the sea. I didn’t grow up near a beach but almost every holiday I have been on has involved the sea. From Florida to Santorini to Thailand to Sri Lanka, the beach and the sea play an integral part of my childhood. I have loved jumping into it, swimming in it, and just admiring it. It was always clean until I went to Sri Lanka last year. The beach and the sea there were littered with bits of plastic everywhere. I went running on that beach and was horrified with what I was seeing.
This is the reality now.
I watch programmes on TV about the beaches in the United Kingdom and hear about all those amazing volunteers cleaning up our beaches and it makes me angry. They shouldn’t have to do that because the beaches shouldn’t be dirty in the first place. Usually my anger festers and I do nothing about it. However this month I am taking action and going plastic free for July and hopefully the rest of my life.
Four ways everyone can help to create change are by saying no to:
- Plastic bottles;
- Plastic bags
- Takeaway coffee cups.
Before I started this journey I was very good at saying no to plastic bottles and plastic bags. I always carry spare fabric totes with me and always use lifelong bags when shopping. I believe whole heartedly that bottled water is exactly the same as tap water. And frankly, bottled water is a massive con (as is buying ice).
However I bought fancy drinks and used straws all the time. I may have quit coffee but not all fancy drinks and I always get them to takeaway. Whenever I go out and have the option, I use a straw. No more. No more at all. However I don’t just want to stop consuming these four things, I want to stop using as much plastic as possible. It’s like going cold turkey on an addiction. I am going cold turkey on plastic. So this is what it means:
- No more online shopping unless I can be assured that no plastic packaging is used for delivery;
- No leftovers at restaurants unless I know the takeaway package isn’t plastic;
- Extra care when food shopping – for some reason all fruit is wrapped in plastic bags;
- No more buying ice cream in those little takeaway pots and eating it with a plastic spoon;
- No cling film to wrap food for my lunch;
- No Pret Acai bowls that I love so much.
And this is just the tip of the ice berg. I bet there is so much that will become apparent to me as the month passes. And I know for certain that it is going to be much harder than it has been right now. As I can’t do a lot of stuff I normally think about I am going to either have to find alternatives or just stop doing that particular thing.
I do think that along with using less plastic and producing less waste, I am also going to be saving money. If I can’t online shop or buy coffee to takeaway, then I won’t be doing those things. My bank balance will be very happy with me!
I don’t want to be the person who talks about doing something and never actually does the thing any more. Plastic Free July is going to be amazing – I can just tell. And if you want to also join in, then let me know! I am documenting everything on Instagram.