Going #plasticfree in July

Hey friends!

Today’s post is on #plasticfreejuly – the trend taking the nation by storm. What’s that, you say? What does that hashtag even mean? Well, I’m so glad you asked!

Plastic shopping bags”/> Cloth shopping bags > Plastic shopping bags

#Plasticfreejuly is a challenge to give up using plastic for the month of July. Sounds pretty basic, right? That’s what I thought until I started making a mental inventory of all the ways I’ve used plastic everyday. It’s in toothbrushes, hairbrushes, garbage bags, lunch bags, produce and grocery bags. We use plastic baggies for snacks, for sandwiches, and for cleaning the cat litter box. Plastic beads are in the bodyscrubs we buy and plastic additives are in microwavable meals for texture and durability. I could go on and on here, but I think you get the point. It’s literally everywhere. 

Photo Cred:  Ars Electronica
Photo Cred:  Ars Electronica

It’s so pervasive, in fact, that it’s clogging up our oceans, our landfills, and is even orbiting the planet as we speak. 

All the plastic in the ocean is particularly bothersome to me. As a kid, I remember my grandfather meticulously and relentlessly cutting up plastic six pack soda pop rings, and thinking it was a little extreme. Now, I know that he was right. Americans have an obsession with plastic. Since the 1950’s, our annual plastic consumption has skyrocketed from 5.5 million tonnes to 110 million tonnes in 2009. And a large portion of that ends up in the ocean. 

Photo Cred: National Geographic
Photo Cred: National Geographic

So, in light of this harsh reality, the movement to go plastic-free really appeals to me. This is something I’ve been working towards for a while and I’m not fully there yet. But every little bit counts. And what I love about this movement is it’s encouraging nature. We all live in a world obsessed with disposability, so at some level, we’re all complicit in the system. But the way to fight the carelessness of the system is not to shame or judge each other, but rather encourage and support each other in the pursuit of cleaner, better living. In that spirit, here are my two biggest accomplishments in plastic-free living:

1. My bamboo toothbrush. I really love this thing. It’s biodegradable, plastic-free, and does a great job cleaning my teeth (cuz good dental health is super important). I found mine here but there are a lot of great options out there. (PS I wrote a little about the awesome-ness of bamboo as used in textiles here.)

Just chillin' with my deodorant stone...
Just chillin’ with my deodorant stone…

2. My bamboo sunglasses. Seriously, love these things. They are durable and chic and really comfortable. Got mine here

Relaxing with brunch. 
Relaxing with brunch. 

3. My cloth shopping bags. These are soo helpful – they’re washable, durable, and have a long, long life ahead of them. Plus I love the patterns :-). I have some of these in my shop, so feel free to check them out. 

We all need some encouragement to do better in this world, so know that wherever you are and whatever your efforts, I think it’s great and you’re great for trying. Have a great weekend, friends!

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