A guest post by educator Leslie Rogers
As July wraps up, we want to check in on your progress of the Plastic Free July challenge and encourage you to continue the habit beyond just one month. One of the first things to do is understand why this challenge is even a thing. Don’t just do something because it’s trending. Back your actions with some research. Here are a couple of interesting articles to get you started:
Completely giving up plastic and single-use items seems pretty daunting and is pretty much asking yourself to overhaul your entire lifestyle. If you’re anything like me, you will become so overwhelmed that you stop altogether and end up where you started. (It’s just so easy to stop at the coffee shop drive-thru on the way to work or grab a quick fast food snack on the way home!) The key is to not go all in right off the cuff. Pick the easiest thing you think you could eliminate from your life and do that for two weeks, or even a month. Then pick something else.
As with all goals, the best way to success is small steps. I can’t remember when my journey began to reduce my plastic waste, but it has definitely been a work in progress. My two longest lasting habits, however, would be homemade deodorant and my reusable water/coffee canteens. My little jar of deodorant has lasted me over a year, and that’s even with daily use! I don’t go anywhere without my water, and I prepare my coffee maker every night (using reusable cloth filters) so all I have to do is turn it on when I wake up. No more oh-my-goodness-I’m-going-to-be-late-but-I-can’t-survive-without-my-coffee-that-comes-in-a-cup-that-I’m-going-to-throw-away-in-30-minutes stops.
How will you maintain the Plastic Free July challenge? If you’re feeling stuck, choose 1-2 items from the list below to incorporate into your daily life. After a month or so, choose something else.
Possible Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste
For more, PlasticFreeJuly.org has a wealth of great tips and resources as you continue this new, earth-sustaining adventure!