This month, rather than focusing on saving money, I am focusing on saving the planet! To do this I am taking part in Plastic Free July. This means that I have to avoid using single-use plastic, helping to reduce plastic waste. Single-use plastic includes things like plastic bottles, drinking straws and food packaging.
Plastic pollution is a big problem for our planet. Most of the plastic we come across everyday will only be used once and then it is thrown away. A lot of it ends up in our countryside and in the sea, which is really dangerous for animals. They may get trapped in the rubbish or mistake it for food.
I have seen all about it on the tv and it makes me very sad. I decided that I wanted to do my bit to help! Mum and Dad had read about Plastic Free July in the news, so we decided to take part. As a family we are going to try really hard to find environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic.
Here are some examples of how we are reducing our plastic usage this month.
Packing my lunchbox
Mum used to wrap my sandwich for school in clingfilm, this month we bought some beeswax paper to use instead. The beeswax paper can be used over and over again and keeps my sandwiches just as fresh and delicious! Plus, they come in fun colours and patterns, so having my sandwich at lunch time is like opening a present!
We are also buying the snacks that go in my lunchbox in a way that uses a smaller amount of plastic. Before I would have individual packets of dried fruit each day. This week we bought a large pack of raisins and a large pack of nuts and seed which I then mixed together and popped in a reusable container for my lunch.
Doing the shopping
When we go to the shop, we remember to take our own re-usable bags with us. We have bought loose fruit and vegetables rather than ones packaged in plastic like we would normally do.
We have also been able to switch some of the products we buy to avoid single-use plastic. For example, we have bought bars of soap instead of liquid soap and body wash, which come in plastic containers.
When we are out and about, we used to buy bottles of drink on the go. We now take reusable water bottles out with us. This one has been especially useful as it has been so hot lately! Did you know there are loads of places, like shops and cafes, where you can fill your bottles with water for free?
Mum and Dad have even bought reusable coffee cups which they get filled up at the coffee shop, rather than taking a cardboard cup with a plastic lid away with them.
It’s also a good idea to pack a lunch to take with you. Pre-packed sandwiches from shops often come in plastic. Having a set of cutlery in your bag is always a good idea too. It could be a wooden or bamboo travel set or even your cutlery from home!
Keep a careful eye out so you don’t miss anything!
Avoiding single-use plastic was tricky at first. There are so many places it is used that you don’t even think about! I like to buy magazines to read, but they are often wrapped in plastic if there is a free gift. Cutting out single use plastic means I haven’t been able to buy my favourite magazine, but I bought a book instead which is actually a much better idea. It will keep me entertained for longer.
I am very pleased with how well I have done during the first week of July! I hope I can keep up the good work and find lots more ways to cut out plastic before the month is over.
If you are keen to reduce your impact on the planet as well, how about trying to cut down on your single-use plastic use too?
Here are some handy tips to get you started:
- Start small, begin by avoiding buying single use bottles and straws. A small amount of change is much more manageable to begin with.
- Make sure you always have a reusable bag with you, everywhere you go. You never know when you might need to pop to the shop, having a bag with you will stop you having to use a plastic one from the shop. There are loads of handy bags which fold away and can be put in your backpack until you need it.
- Ask your family to buy products without plastic packaging where you can. Try buying loose fruit and vegetables, if there isn’t a big selection in the supermarket you can always try your local market!
Do you have any more tips on how I can get even better at avoiding single use plastic? I would love to hear them!
Lots of love,