Know Your Sustainable ‘WHY’ for Plastic-Free July

left hand holding shells while right hand holds bits of plastic trash found on a beach

This plastic-free July, discover your personal why so your sustainable switches feel more meaningful and easier than ever.

‘‘If we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our why"

– Simon Sinek, Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose

It’s Plastic Free July all month long and you know you should take part, but have you ever thought about why?

Yes, there’s the big overarching reasons, like ‘to help end plastic pollution’ and ‘to protect the environment’, but within them there’s specific reasons that will resonate with you personally.

Whether you’re outdoorsy, an animal lover, or a clean beauty fanatic, this post will help you think deeper about what matters most to you, and why you’re taking part in Plastic Free July.

By finding a why that’s meaningful to you, you’ll be much more motivated to keep making sustainable switches.

Start asking...

WHY should I use Natural Bug Spray or Reef Safe Sunscreen when I spend time outdoors?

WHY shop groceries at the local farmer’s market, instead of a big chain supermarket?

WHY is it important to carry a Reusable Water Bottle to stay hydrated all day?

WHY should I opt for reusable swaps over single-use disposables?

WHY should I be composting my organic kitchen scraps?

WHY abide by The 10 Green Commandments?

Discover Your Sustainable WHY

Photo by Photo Boards on Unsplash

There’s a reason you are reading this blog right now. There must be something that has compelled you to join the zero-waste movement, or at least piqued your interest enough to want to learn more about sustainable living.

Take a moment to reflect on what that might be:

  • Are you an avid hiker that’s passionate about keeping your nature trails clean & green?
  • Are you a beach bum that can’t stand to see trash littering your favorite shorelines?
  • Are you a animal lover that wants to save the millions of wildlife and sea creatures killed by plastic pollution each year?
  • Are you a health buff looking for ways to avoid harmful plastic toxins in your food & drink?
  • Are you trying to save money and have realized that living sustainably is a great way to do it?

Whoever you are and whatever it may be, we’re happy to have you here! You can use these prompts to define your why, for example:

‘I’m committed to making plastic-free choices because I want my grandchildren to be able to enjoy beautiful beaches and clear blue seas like I do’

‘I’m grateful for my body and all it does for me, so I’m ditching to plastic to help reduce the number of harmful toxins that get into my food and drink’’

‘I’m choosing plastic-free alternatives because believe animals should be loved and treated equally, and I don’t want to harm creatures with my plastic waste’

Once you have a clear idea of your why, write it down somewhere memorable – like the front of your daily planner or the ‘notes’ app on your phone – and refer to it whenever you need a dose of motivation.

The Importance of Knowing Your WHY

In life, having a clear sense of purpose helps guide your choices and encourages you to stay on the right path even when it gets tough.

Your plastic-free journey is no different! Knowing your sustainable why will encourage you to keep making sustainable choices even when it’s tricky.

How? By giving you:

  • Accountability for your actions, so you make sustainable choices in line with your values.
  • Clarity of purpose, so you make eco-friendly decisions meaningful to you.
  • Values that steer your decisions and identify your goals.
  • Focus during times when you need a little extra motivation.
  • Commitment to reaching your zero waste goals.

Knowing why you value your new green habits over your old wasteful ways is empowering, and the secret to living a sustainable life with a sense of purpose.

WHY Go Plastic Free for July?

pile of empty plastic water bottles

Photo by tanvi sharma on Unsplash

Of course, you can make plastic-free moves at any time, but why are so many people choosing now?

Plastic Free July is a worldwide movement to reduce the amount of plastic pollution that litters our streets, oceans, landfills, and communities. By reminding people of the importance of reducing plastic waste, the movement helps people around the globe discover (or rediscover) their personal why.

Why say ‘NO’ to plastic:

  • Roughly 3 tons of plastic waste is generated each year
  • Plastic wastage is growing at an annual rate of 9%
  • 1 million marine animals perish every year as a result of plastic pollution
  • 75% of all plastic that has ever been produced has become plastic waste
  • It takes around 500-1000 years for plastic to decompose

It’s time for us to rethink the way we consume, and a great place to start is by taking the Plastic-Free Challenge. Join millions of other eco-warriors around the world, who are choosing to refuse using disposable plastic products.

Let’s take a brief break from why, and look at how you can get involved…

HOW to Go Plastic-Free in July

Two volunteers in blue shirts picking up trash on the beach

Photo by OCG Saving The Ocean on Unsplash

Don’t let the term “plastic-free” discourage you from actioning your why and achieving the sustainable goals that you and the planet, deserve.

While it may take a little time at first to get into the hang of things, here are 3 guiding principles for you to consider that will help in setting yourself up for success for July & beyond.

1. Strive for Progress, Not Perfection

Let’s be real one sec. Living 100% free of plastic, or without generating any waste whatsoever, is a completely unrealistic goal for most people. Instead of striving for plastic-free perfection overnight (and, likely, falling short and feeling frustrated), go for small plastic-free steps you can take each day.

2. Reuse, Repurpose, Rehome  

Everyone has to start somewhere, so it’s likely you own some (or lots) of plastic products at the moment. Think of creative ways you can reuse those products and keep plastic out of landfills as long as possible.

3. Substitute with Sustainable Swaps

Breaking & making habits takes willpower and determination. Smooth out your zero-waste transition by swapping single-use plastic products with reusable equivalents. This way you don’t have to do anything extra, you just have to switch up the things you’re already doing.

With more eco-friendly alternatives available than ever before, you’ll soon discover that avoiding plastic is actually much easier than you might think!

Put your WHY into action

Whether you’re a zero-waste newbie or have been making plastic-free swaps for decades, here are some ways to put your why into action this Plastic Free July.

Swaps for the Newbie

 It’s best to pick up new green habits at your own comfortable pace to avoid feeling overwhelmed when you first get started. Take care of the no-brainers first. A Reusable Water Bottle can replace endless cases of disposable plastic water bottles, and an Organic Cotton Tote Bag is a super easy way to eliminate plastic grocery bags from your life. 

Check out this ZWS Rookie Collection for more easy-to-switch-to sustainable swaps!

Intermediate Swaps

Once you’ve taken care of the no-brainers, a great way to level-up your sustainable game is with plastic-free cleaning products. Using plastic-free swaps like zero waste shampoo & conditioner bars can greatly reduce plastic waste, and reusable Unpaper Towels can be used to slow down the rate of deforestation. 

You can find more swap ideas in this collection of swaps for Intermediate Eco-Warriors.

3. Substitute with Sustainable Swaps

If you have lots of experience living zero waste, you may be ready to handle some of the more difficult switches. Carrying a Reusable Utensil Set for eating meals away from home is wonderful for eliminating the need for plastic cutlery. Sustainable hygiene products like Underarm Detox Bars and Toilet Unpaper Rolls, not only reduce plastic consumption, but it also helps to prevent harmful chemicals from touching your skin and absorbing into your body.  

Check out this ZWS Advanced Collection for more swaps for seasoned sustainable vets.

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