07.01.2017 – SHE team
Happy July, SHE sisters! We love July… the fireworks, the warm summer nights, the fresh fruit… we’re glad it’s here and we hope you are too! One newfound thing we love about July is that millions of people around the world are now participating in “Plastic-Free July.” We’ve mentioned some of the dangers of plastic before on the SHE blog and some alternatives to plastic products, so we were excited to discover there was a whole month dedicated to going plastic-free and wanted to talk about it some more!
Plastic-Free July is primarily focused on cutting out single-use plastic. You can eliminate all single-use plastics, or just four of the biggest plastic offenders (and four of the easiest to switch out!): plastic bags, water bottles, straws, and coffee cups. You can sign up here to do it for a day, a week, or the whole month or simply learn more!
There are three things we believe firmly at SHE:
1. PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION: Eventually the goal is to live a completely free plastic lifestyle, but there are lots of baby steps we can all take to get there and there will always be moments in life that make perfection impossible. We’re ok with that! We’ll be cheering you on every step of the way and publishing some blog posts to help you get to wherever your plastic free goals take you!
Saying no to one plastic straw, using one less plastic bag… it all matters and together our impact is massive!
2. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER: We want to empower you in your fight against plastic so we gathered up some key facts to share with you. Honestly, some of them shocked us.
- In 2009, 1 out of every 10 pieces of trash picked up in the ocean was a plastic bag.
- The Ellen MacArthur foundation estimates that there will be more trash in the ocean than fish by 2050 if nothing changes.
- 16% of what you pay for a product goes to the packaging… which usually ends up in a landfill. More packaging-free, bulk stores are popping up! Keep an eye open for these opportunities!
- When plastic enters the ocean, it begins to soak up pollutants dangerous to humans. Marine animals eat the plastic, and the pollutants are passed up the food chain until they’re consumed by humans. Yuck.
- 90% of the plastic we use, we only use a single time.
- Plastic releases 14% of the most toxic chemicals released into the air in landfills.
- Chemical additives used in packaging leak into the food and wind up in your body.
- Plastic accounts for over 10% of household waste.
- Chemicals in plastic mimic the hormone estrogen. These same chemicals have also been linked to birth defects and infertility.
3. WHEN YOU KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER. No use looking back over what you didn’t know about. So… now that you know that plastic is harmful, what can you do about it?
Participate in Plastic Free July!
- If you don’t want to go without plastic for the whole month, at least do it on July 3rd! July 3rd is “International Plastic Bag Free Day.” So switch out your plastic bags for something reusable, and share a picture on social media!
- Host a plastic-free BBQ! Have everyone bring their own plates, cups and silverware. This also is a conversation segway into the dangers of plastic.
- Cook more. There are so many amazing perks of cooking at home, and once is how much less plastic is used. No carry out containers, no plastic straws, no plastic utensils. Be sure when buying ingredients to try and buy some without plastic wrapping!
- Buy in bulk. For instance, buy a large container of yogurt instead of snack sized yogurt cups. It’s often cheaper per ounce, and there’s significantly less plastic.
- You can check out the official Plastic Free July handy guide of action steps for more! Also, “10 Easy Tips for Living a Life With Less Plastic” is a great resource from Life Without Plastic.
Like we said earlier, 90% of plastic products are only used once! That makes plastic bags, water bottles, straws, and coffee cups the biggest offenders.
Thankfully there are plenty of great companies out there to make the switch easier!