It’s been a year since I’ve started thinking about plastic; now it’s something I notice everywhere I go. When you break free from your normal habits, it’s amazing what you’ll discover. I still remember walking into a Target after deciding I would go 30-days without buying or using plastic and had a meltdown in the middle of an aisle. Plastic is EVERYWHERE. From packaging to products it’s almost impossible to get away from the stuff and in the process of learning to live without plastic, I also had to learn to live with grace. So as we approach Plastic Free July, here are some helpful tips to get you ready for this month and to not have a breakdown like me in the middle of a Target (unless you like that sort of thing…)
Have Grace in Your Zero Waste Journey
Rome wasn’t built in a day and going from plastic everything to plastic-free is not something that happens overnight. To this day I’m still slowly finding replacements for my plastic products and learning to deal when I can’t find a plastic replacement. Choose the plastic-free way of life is not always cheap, in most cases, it’s more expensive, so don’t feel like you have to do it all. Replacing one one-use plastic item this month is a win, doing more than that is life-changing. Start small, know that everyone doing a little bit is more important and anyone doing it perfectly.
Start With A Plan To Go Plastic Free
Here is what I found when going plastic-free. Replacing bathroom supplies is the easiest place to start. There are mainstream products at Target or the grocery store that include plastic-free deodorants like Ethique or Secret. You can switch to shampoo and conditioner bars from Lush or the Package Free Shop. And you can switch from a disposable razor to a reusable one. You’ll even find replacements for your make-up. The bathroom was by far the easiest place for me to start and might be all that you choose to focus on this month.
However, if you want to go the extra mile, replacing other plastic items in your life will most likely depend on having a bulk store nearby or a zero-waste shop. Do some research and find out what shops are near you or online that you can order from to make your journey easier. I even bookmark products I see on Instagram and save them to a folder so I can easily go back and find them again.
Have A Community
My family loves to make fun of me for my obsession with plastic. My husband will look at me and say “how badly is this killing you” when we’re somewhere and I’m forced to use single-use plastic. (A lot, it kills me a lot!) But I have friends who I can talk to about this journey, share new products with, and share our experiences with trying to do our best. Not everyone will get this. Most will think you’re being high-maintenance or just plain silly. You aren’t doing this for them. You are doing this to care for the planet you love and to care for yourself. Remember that. And find a community, even a digital one, that can support you on this journey. (Reach out to me on Instagram–@SincerelyKatieLeigh–and I’m happy to support you too!)
This journey of going plastic free should be fun and exciting. Unearthing new brands, paying attention to habits and how the world works, is meant to be an adventure. Take the pressure off of doing it perfectly and instead, embrace this as a month to notice and be more intentional. You’ll be amazed at what you discover that the end of 31 days.