Is it just me or does it seem like there's been a marked increase in the number of themed "days" in the last few years. I'd like to know: how long has National Donut Day really existed? I'm all for free donuts and can endure a glut of pictures of other people's fried confections no problem. But this month, I'm excited to get behind a movement that means so much more than sweet treats — Plastic-Free July, an awareness campaign that started in Australia, but has gained traction throughout the world.
As stated on their site, Plastic-Free July aims to "raise awareness of the problems with single-use disposable plastic and challenges people to do something about it."
Here are some changes you can make to shift your habits from depending on plastic to making use of more Earth-friendly alternatives:
1. Pass on plastic straws
Don't use plastic straws (or lids) when you eat out. Just drink from the glass.
2. Choose smart when you celebrate
Mark special occasions with decorations other than balloons.
3. Say no to plastic wrap
Use glass tupperware with lids rather than cling wrap to store food.
4. Bring your own bags
Use re-usable shopping bags every time you shop.
5. Smarten up with plastic-free produce bags
Take your re-usable shopping bag collection a step further by taking your own produce bags to the store, too.
6. Try alternatives to tampons.
Check out Diva Cups and banish plastic tampon applicators forever.
7. Carry your own carry-out
Bring your own containers for take-out or leftovers from a restaurant.
8. Tote your own water bottle
Refuse plastic water bottles, and instead make it a habit to bring your own water bottle and re-fill it throughout the day. These are my favorite.
9. Travel with your own cup
Bring your own travel mug for coffee or tea on the go.
10. Skip trash bags
Line your trash cans and recycling bins with newspaper or paper bags.
11. Keep packaging in mind when you shop
Opt for household supplies that come packaged in cardboard (or unwrapped!) rather than wrapped in plastic.
12. Opt for homemade, when you can
For those things you can only buy in plastic, consider making your own at home. For instance, try your hand at whipping together some hummus.
For more information and to join over a million people in 130 countries practicing Plastic-Free July, register here.