The Quick and Easy 10-Step Guide to Mastering Plastic Free July

Reusable bamboo utensils and brushes

You’re sitting in your favorite coffee shop. You know the one. It has plenty of natural light and cozy seats and there’s always the smell of freshly-baked pastries wafting through the air. You love coming here and treating yourself to a hot cup of coffee every morning. But after you finish your coffee and throw the cup away, you’re left with a twinge of guilt. Deep down, you know that your cup will likely end up in a landfill or the ocean. And you start to wonder if there’s any way you can enjoy your coffee without all the plastic waste.

The good news is, there is a way.

There are plenty of sustainable replacements for single-use plastics, like coffee cups, online. And now that it’s Plastic Free July, you have even more resources available to help you get started with reducing your plastic waste. Plastic Free July is all about refusing single-use plastics as much as possible—which we at Passion Lilie know can be easier said than done. 

To make reducing plastic waste easier for you, we’ve compiled ten simple swaps for single-use plastics, from kitchen products to your clothes. 

So you can enjoy your favorite coffee without the eco guilt.

But first, we’d like to briefly share more information about Plastic Free July…

What Is Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July is an Australian-based initiative founded with the goal to reduce plastic waste worldwide. From humble beginnings, the program has now grown into a global movement with millions of people committing to refuse single-use plastics during the month of July and year-round.

Whether you’re new to the zero waste game or you’ve been practicing for a while, Plastic Free July provides easy starting points and inspiration for everyone to create less plastic waste and live more sustainably. 

We at Passion Lilie also wanted to add a few of our own suggestions for how you can participate in this year’s Plastic Free July. Read on to learn more about how the small individual changes you make this month can have a lasting positive impact on the environment.

What Is the Impact of Single-Use Plastics?

It’s true that only a small percentage of plastics actually get recycled, while the majority are sent to landfills where they become microplastics that pollute our oceans and harm wildlife. As plastic never biodegrades, it’s clear that the negative effects of single-use plastics far outweigh any benefits we get from their convenience.

You don’t want your coffee cup to become a part of the almost 200 million tons of plastic waste that ends up in the ocean every year. You can prevent this by acting now.

With major changes happening at the global level, we as individuals can also create positive change to combat the plastic pollution crisis. In fact, most people around the world agree that they’d like to use products containing as few plastics as possible but many simply aren’t sure where to start.

If you’re one of these people, here are ten useful product swaps for single-use plastics that you can incorporate into your lifestyle today.

10 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Waste During Plastic Free July and Beyond

Reusable coffee cup

1. Order Coffee in a Reusable Cup

    Did you know that using disposable cups is not inherently safer than using reusable cups? By practicing basic hygiene, you can safely use your reusables in coffee shops even during a pandemic and ditch the plastic waste.

    Our favorite is Stojo’s collapsible cup that comes in 24 fun colors and can hold both hot and cold beverages.

    How to Use

    Before ordering, make sure your reusable coffee cup is washed and clean. Ask your barista if they accept reusable coffee cups or if they could pour straight into your cup for a contact-less order. Another option is to order a drink-in coffee in a mug and then pour the coffee into your reusable cup for a plastic-free drink when you’re on the go.

    2. Shop With Reusable Shopping Bags

    We know plastic bags are damaging to the environment. Single-use bags release toxins into the soil and air and harm marine animals when ingested. You can do your part to prevent this by remembering to bring your reusable bags with you and refusing plastic bags at the store.

    Check out our handwoven and hand-dyed Octavia bag which is perfect for running errands. Or shop our Anchors Away tote for a stylish reusable bag that can double as a fashion accessory.

    How to Use

    These reusable shopping bags are a must-have and perfect for bagging produce or holding larger items like clothes and books.

    3. Drink Using a Reusable Straw

      Say goodbye to plastic straws and say hello to the last straw you’ll ever need. Final’s all-purpose, silicone straw is collapsible and comes in a nifty case small enough to fit in your pocket.

      How to Use

      This large straw is great for any beverage, even thick milkshakes and bubble tea. You can sip on your favorite drinks and never have to worry about your straw harming the environment.

      4. Get Organized With a Reusable Carry All Bag

        The next time you go on a trip, don’t reach for a plastic bag to store your toiletries. Try a reusable cotton bag instead. We recommend our zero waste Dylan bag which is handwoven, hand-dyed, and made sustainably from scrap fabrics.

        How to Use

        This bag is versatile and compact yet spacious enough to hold cosmetics or serve as an everyday organizer. Throw it in a larger handbag to carry all of your essentials.

        5. Waste Less With Reusable Cloth Napkins

          Single-use paper towels are wasteful and often come wrapped in a ton of plastic. Make dinner more eco-friendly with our zero waste and hand loomed reusable cloth napkins.

          How to Use

          These napkins are perfect for when you’re hosting dinner parties or when you want to make dinner feel more special and waste-free.

          6. Reduce Food Waste With Beeswax Wraps

            You can kill two birds with one stone, reducing both food and plastic waste, when you use beeswax wraps. We like Abeego’s variety packs that include different sizes for different purposes. Or, you can easily make your own reusable wraps at home with some beeswax and old fabric.

            How to Use

            Use these wraps to cover fruit halves, bread, leftovers, etc. Now you can keep food fresh for longer without relying on plastic wrap.

            7. Say No to Plastic With Toothpaste Tabs

              Keep your teeth healthy and the planet clean with plastic-free toothpaste tabs. Try Bite’s sustainable toothpaste bits that come in a refillable glass jar and four refreshing flavors.

              How to Use

              Bite down on your toothpaste tab and brush with a wet toothbrush for a healthy smile and an even happier ocean.

              Reusable bamboo toothbrush

              8. Brush Using Plastic Free Toothbrushes

                If you’re following your dentist’s recommendations, you’re probably throwing out your toothbrush every few months. Traditional toothbrushes never biodegrade and only add to the increasing plastic waste problem. Choose a compostable bamboo toothbrush instead.

                How to Use

                Bite on a zero waste toothpaste tab or apply toothpaste and brush as normal with your bamboo toothbrush. After three months, you can compost the toothbrush handle and dispose of the bristles responsibly.

                9. Wash With Plastic Free Shampoo and Conditioner Bars

                  Ready to complete your sustainable bathroom collection? Explore HiBAR’s plastic free and salon-quality shampoo and conditioner bars now.

                  How to Use

                  These bars are teardrop shaped so that they’re easy to hold in the palm of your hand. Wet your hair and gently lather up for a luxurious and zero waste hair washing experience.

                  10. Keep Your Wardrobe Plastic Free

                    Plastic Free July may only be one month long, but we know that going plastic-free is a lifelong commitment. Sometimes reducing your plastic waste can be as simple as switching out a product. While other times, it requires more of a conscious effort like actively choosing not to buy clothes made out of plastic-based fabrics.

                    We at Passion Lilie know that natural materials are significantly more gentle on the environment than plastic fabrics—that’s why we craft our garments using biodegradable fibers like cotton. So when you’re shopping, you can always trust that our pieces are sustainable and plastic-free.

                    Explore our collections for comfortable garments minus the plastic waste.

                    Invest in your new Passion Lilie piece today.

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