Are you suffering from plastic free July overwhelm?
Are you feeling like it’s all a bit much and you’re too stuck in overwhelm to even have a go?
I have received a few questions from you awesome peeps about reducing plastic in your life, thanks heaps for your questions, if you are asking it I’m sure there are other people out there thinking the same thing. I’ve answered these the best I can and I really hope you find it useful and it makes your next step forward on this eco-journey a little bit easier and less overwhelming.
Here we go, the 5 most common questions I get asked about reducing single use plastics.
1. I have small children, how do I reduce their plastic use, what can I use instead?
There is a lot you can do to reduce the amount of plastic you are using with little ones. Some of these suggestions may require a big change and some are small. Just choose one at a time. You don’t need to try and do all these changes at once (though if you want to go all in, go for it!). Aside from the basic things like reusable bags, reusable bottle, reusable straw and reusable cutlery. You could make your own baby wipes, storing them in a reusable container, use cloth nappies where possible, make your own baby food and snacks. Use a wet bag for dirty nappies and clothes (wetbags can be washed and reused). Reusable wraps and sandwich bags are great to have on hand and for food.
2. Plastic is everywhere, I find it really overwhelming. Where should I start?
Yip it sure is everywhere, and there are some amazing things that we can thank plastic for. It’s the single use stuff that is not good and what we want to be avoiding as much as possible. I highly recommend starting with the basics, say no to bottles, straws, bags, coffee cups and lids. Once you have mastered those, move onto plastic cutlery, takeaway containers, plastic packaged food. The fact that you are overwhelmed and still looking at ways that you can start is wonderful. You care so much about our oceans; we need more people like you committing to making our planet a better place!
3. I’m worried I will use plastic during plastic free July and feel like I’ve failed?
Ok lovely, for a start please stop being so hard on yourself. The fact that you are trying to reduce plastic in your life is friggin epic you should be so proud of yourself. No one is perfect, I have been there, green guilt is really shit and a waste of your precious energy. Do the best with what you have. If you forget your reusable bag and need to take the plastic bag, that’s all good. Take it back to supermarket to get recycled, or make a crochet flower with it. Either way you know that you will be more equipped to make a better choice next time. You are not a failure, this is a lifestyle change that takes time, commitment and kindness. Next time you come across single use plastics, please be kind to yourself and keep learning. P.s isn’t it better to have failed than not try at all?? You’ve got this!
4. Do I need to refuse biodegradable plastic as well, or is biodegradable ok?
Fantastic question! I personally do not believe that biodegradable plastic is the answer to our waste issue. Considering that biodegradable plastics still take decades to break down, they are going to be hanging out on earth for a really long time. I would suggest that you refuse all (biodegrabable and non-biodegradable) single use plastics and start looking into other options like glass, paper, stainless steel and reusable wraps and bags.
If you do go for biodegradable look for the word compostable, as this indicates it’s most likely made from plant materials and may break down faster. A great example is Loving earth packaging (don’t mind if I do!)
5.I don’t know what I can and can’t recycle?
Recycling regulations are different in every country and state. So It’s best that you ask your local council for this information. If you live in Victoria Australia, there is a great link to getting it right on bin night. Remember to do the other R’s first, refuse, reduce, reuse and then recycle.
If you are concerned about where it’s going and what happens after it leaves your kerb. Ask your council if you can visit the recycling facility and get a firsthand experience on what’s happening with your waste. It may change the way you think about recycling. I haven’t don’t this yet myself, but it’s on my to-do list.
I hope this has been helpful, I would love to know how you are feeling about taking the challenge this July or just trying to be more mindful about your plastic choices.
Can you relate to any of these questions?
Do you have any other questions you would like me to answer? Post them in the comments!
Or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love to hear from you!
p.s you can still sign up for my 31 days of plastic free lifestyle tips, however it is a scheduled series that started on July 1st. So if you sign up now, you would have missed the first few tips, I will be doing a recap at the end so you wont be missing out.