Tips for Plastic Free July

glass jars for storing cereal

Brought to you by the Sustainability Office.

Plastic Free July challenges people to reduce their impact on the planet by reducing and refusing single-use plastics during the month of July. You can sign up for the challenge at the Plastic Free July website, where you’ll also find great tips on reducing your plastic waste!

Nico and Ashley from Mohawk’s Sustainability Office shared their tips for joining the challenge in a recent webinar:

  1. Focus on what is in your control.

Right now, it’s hard not to feel discouraged by the amount of waste in the world. This has been made worse by the COVID-19 crisis. However, there are still a lot of ways you can alter your lifestyle to use less plastic. Focus only on what you can control and don’t feel guilty for prioritizing safety over waste reduction during this time.

  1. Choose one area to start.

One way to start: learn what’s recyclable and focus your efforts on reducing your use of materials with low recyclability, such as black plastic and Styrofoam. You can also choose one specific item or one area of the house to tackle first.

  1. Reuse and repurpose first.

Don’t go out and buy all new products for your single-use plastic alternatives. This is expensive and can be counter-productive. Use and repurpose what’s in your house first. You should be able to save money and lower your waste at the same time!

  1. Plan ahead.

Planning ahead is key to avoiding single-use items. When you’re out and about, carry what you know you’ll need.

  1. Remember: it’s a marathon, not a sprint!

Do what you can to start and build from there, and be proud of what changes you are able to make. Plastic Free July is a great place to start reducing your plastics or to challenge yourself to take it one step further.

Once you’ve exhausted what you can change in your own life, it could be time to advocate to change the system so it’s easier for people to live plastic-free. Vote with your wallet by buying from sustainable companies. You can also make it known to companies that they are losing sales due to their packaging choices by emailing or posting to social media.

View the entire Plastic Free July webinar here.