We all know we could be doing more to help our planet thrive and probably feel guilty when we don’t make the right choices purely in the interests of convenience but, this July, LifestyleGarden® wants to make it easier than ever to reduce your plastic consumption. Celebrate Plastic-free July with us and make a few quick and easy changes that could make a huge difference.
Clean up your act
If you’re a ‘wishcycler’ – someone who puts things in the recycling bin and hopes for the best – you may not know that pump dispensers commonly found on things like hand soap, shampoo, cleaning products and sun cream, aren’t recyclable. Don’t put them in for the recycling because they just end up in landfill! Not great news when you think about how many you use in a month.
For Plastic-free July, why not give refillable or plastic-free options a try? They can be far more cost effective too, so it will save you a penny, whilst saving the environment. Take your pick from the wealth of brands out there now, including Ecover, Raindrop, Smol, and Ocean Saver, to name but a few. You can even find an array of solid shampoo bars and sun creams in recyclable aluminum tins. There is so much choice out there and many are now available in supermarkets or online, so you can make the change now!
Don’t sweat it
In this heat, we all need a little help to stay fresh but that doesn’t have to come in the form of a plastic roll-on or polluting spray deodorants. There has been a huge surge in eco-friendly and plastic-free deodorants coming to market – many of which are also natural, helping you to avoid further nasties in chemical alternatives. Again, these are widely available and some are subscription based, so refills or replacements arrive on your doorstep just when you need them, saving a trip to the shops. We did say we’d make this easy for you!
Another plus with these eco-friendly, natural options is that they are often more more effective at combatting body odor because they neutralize the bacteria that cause bad smells, rather than masking them with chemical fragrances, and keep the good bacteria working. You can’t really go wrong. Just a few examples include Wild, Akt, Fussy, and Ethique that are all plastic free but do your research to find one that suits your lifestyle.
Bring your own
One of the most obvious switches and a message that has been hammered in over the years is to ditch single-use plastic bottles and opt for more sustainable solutions. We know how bad single-use plastic is, and re-usable water bottles are available everywhere now but, for some reason, a staggering 500 billion plastic bottles are still used every year! A tiny percentage of these bottles are recycled, meaning they end up in landfill or in the ocean. Considering that bottles last up to 450 years and break down to leave microplastics in our waterways, this is bad news for our health and that of the planet.
If you do nothing else this month, please refuse single-use plastic bottles and opt for aluminum or glass alternatives. Carry a stainless steel re-usable water bottle with you and top it up for free to avoid the temptation to buy water when you’re out and about. This is great for the environment and saves you money at the same time, not to mention providing a healthier option to sugary bottled beverages. Re-usable water bottles and travel mugs are widely available, so there’s no excuse. If you’re a sucker for fizzy drinks juices, smoothies or sports drinks, just consider that Coca-Cola – which owns more than 500 brands – recently admitted to producing 3million tons of plastic packaging, which equates to 200,000 plastic bottles a minute.
Make smarter decisions when shopping and just take time to stop and ask yourself three simple questions: ‘is there a better alternative?’, ‘do I need this?’, ‘do I need this much?’. It’s all about the low waste or no-waste options and, although we’re all in a rush, it really is quicker and easier than you think. Start with the packaging and opt for the product with the least packaging or paper packaging as opposed to plastic.
The next step is working out whether you really need that item at all. Do you have something similar that could serve the same purpose or could you borrow from someone you know rather than buying new. Buy nothing groups are springing up on social media, providing a great resource for swapping items, whilst shopping secondhand is another great way to reduce waste and save money at the same time. We are in a cost-of-living crisis after all! Avoid fast fashion and fast furniture at all costs and, instead, buy quality items that will last and make a difference.
LifestyleGarden® feels passionately about this topic, which is why our sustainable and stylish Nassau collection of furniture is not only built to last for years to come but is recyclable at the end of its life, meaning zero waste. Made from unique recycled plastic Social Plastic® and endorsed by Eden Project, this collection actively helps to reduce the plastic waste polluting the world’s oceans and waterways, whilst supporting a circular economy.
We’ve touched on just a few suggestions here but Plastic-Free July has a fantastic list of quick and easy changes you can make to avoid or reduce single-use plastic in your home, at work, at school, and even when hosting events.