7 Plastic Free July Challenges

Plastic Free July is a challenge created to help inspire you to reduce what you send to landfill. You can pick one, a few or all of these challenges to play and see how much trash you end up eliminating from your life!

Challenge 1: Bring Your Own

Its cold brew + ice tea season, so be prepared for it and carry your own cup.

Did you know that most coffee cups are not recycled since they are a mix of paper and plastic so recycling facilities cannot process them? Plus most coffee shops will even give you a discount since you are saving them money!

Challenge 2: Refuse A Plastic bag OR Carry Your Own

Bags are one of the biggest pollutants in our oceans. Recently, a beached whale was found with 30 plastic bags stuck in its stomach! You can either choose to just say no to a bag or bring your own when shopping! Can you make it a whole month without getting a plastic bag?

Challenge 3: Ditch Your Plastic Toothpaste Tubes + Toothbrushes

Conventional toothpaste tubes and plastic toothbrushes are made of mixed materials making them hard to be separated, therefore they typical do not get recycled.⠀⠀⠀

Make the switch to a bamboo toothbrush, my personal favorite is @brushwithbamboowhich I get off amazon. For toothpaste I like to use baking soda with a little peppermint oil. You can typically find baking soda in bulk making it package free!

Once the bristles are too soft I remove them with pliers (the bristles are trash), then the handle can be composted or recycled.

Challenge 4: Rething Your TP

Typical toilet paper comes wrapped in plastic, a super easy plastic free switch is to just buy TP wrapped in paper. I also like to get it in bulk, which ends up saving you some $$$. I’m not usually one to stock up on things, but I do stock up on TP (I can’t imagine not needing it anytime soon ?)I also try to stick with recycled paper, or bamboo based TP’s!

Here are a few of my favorite companies: 

Challenge 5: Is Your Wardrobe Made Of Plastic?

Plastic is everywhere, even our clothes are made of it. Polyester is commonly used in clothing production for its versatility and affordability, especially in the fast fashion industry. However did you know that polyester clothing is one of the largest causes of micro plastic pollution in the ocean? Every time you wash polyester, micro plastics wash off, and end up in our water system, which eventually ends up in the ocean.

No I’m not saying your should get rid of all the polyester in you closet! It’s a great fiber for workout clothes, underwear and bathing suits. But there are a few things you can do to help stop micro plastic pollution.

➕Invest in a micro plastic catcher like Guppy Friend from @stopmicrowaste which is a mesh bag that catches micro plastics in the wash. There is also Cora Ball which traps the micro plastics, and they are currently doing a kickstarter for their company.

➕Next time you are in need of a new garment, take time and examine the fiber content before purchasing. I find natural fibers like linen, cotton, and silk tend to last longer, and have better breathability. Even when I’m shopping secondhand, I tend to stick with natural fibers.

Challenge 6: Pick Your Best Option

We do not live in a #zerowaste world, and not all of us have access to bulk. However there are still options when it comes to shopping for packaged goods. I like to stick with glass, metal, and paper when it comes to grocery shopping.

Plastic is a material that can only be recycled a few times before if degrades, and becomes too weak to be made into anything else. Glass and metal however, can continually be recycled! Paper can be recycled a few times or it can be composted so at least it will not stick around forever.

➕When buying food in aluminum cans look for cans labeled BPA free to avoid leaching

Challenge 7: Avoid single use items

To kick off the month, my final Plastic Free July challenge is to simply avoid these 3 major single-use plastics for the whole month. You guys ready? You can do It!
Avoid getting:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
➖Plastic water bottles⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
➖Plastic straws⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
➖Plastic forks⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
What to do instead:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
➕Carry a reusable water bottle⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
➕Either ask for no straw or BYO⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
➕Carry your own fork, might sound odd a first but once it’s a habit it’s easy!

Join me on Instagram @jesswithless and tag #withlessplastic to join!