Know Your Sustainable ‘WHY’ for Plastic-Free July

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

Plastic Free July Is All Month Long! Do You Know Your 'Why'?  

The ever-increasing demand for greener business practices and more sustainable brands has made eco-friendly alternatives more accessible, and the zero waste lifestyle more attainable, for the average person looking to make a positive impact on the planet. If you are a zero-waste rookie, make sure you are aware of the 5 Things Every Zero Waste Newbie Should Know

But there is one question that eco-warriors of all levels, from beginner to advanced, should always be asking themselves throughout their sustainable journey through life…

  • WHY should I be using All 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

We're celebrating Plastic Free July all month long at ZeroWasteStore!

Discover Your Sustainable WHY

Two women wearing printed t-shirts that read

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. 

You might be an avid hiker that’s passionate about keeping your nature trails clean & green. Maybe you’re a beach bum that can’t stand to see trash littering your favorite shorelines. You’re possibly an animal lover that wants to save the millions of wildlife and sea creatures that are killed by plastic pollution every year. You could be a health-conscious individual looking for ways to avoid harmful plastic toxins from leaching into your food & drink. Or perhaps you are simply trying to save money and have realized that living sustainably is a great way to do it.

Whatever it may be that brought you here, never forget the main reason you turned to zero waste in the first place–this is your WHY!

The Importance of Knowing Your WHY

Staying constantly connected to your WHY, and understanding your motivation for adopting new sustainable habits is an all-important element for successfully leading a happy & rewarding zero waste lifestyle.

Knowing your WHY…
  • holds you accountable to your actions so you can live a sustainable life with integrity
  • brings clarity to your purpose and makes your eco-friendly decisions more meaningful
  • shapes your values, which steer your decisions and identify your goals 
  • keeps you committed 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. The zero waste transition is much easier when you feel that your environmentally conscious decisions are making a difference.

WHY Go Plastic-Free for July?

Plastic-Free July is a worldwide movement to reduce the amount of plastic pollution that litters our streets, oceans, landfills, and communities. 

But why is it so important to 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
Join the Challenge 2021 Plastic Free July

Our reliance on plastic is simply unsustainable. Plastic waste can take up to a ten centuries to completely break down, essentially creating an everlasting burden on our planet. It’s time for us to rethink the way we consume our products, and a great place to start is by taking the Plastic-Free Challenge in July, where you can join millions of other eco-warriors around the world who are choosing to refuse using disposable plastic products. 

A cobalt blue glass straw in a glass jar full of water

HOW to Go Plastic-Free in July

Don’t let the terms, “zero waste” and “plastic-free,” discourage you from reaching the sustainable goals that you, and the planet, deserve. And while it may take a little time at first to get into the hang of things, there are a few guiding principles for you to consider that will help in setting yourself up for plastic-free success all month long–and beyond!

Strive for Progress, Not Perfection – Like “zero waste,” the term “plastic-free” is not meant to be taken literally as it relates to living more sustainably. Living 100% free of plastic, or without generating any waste whatsoever, is a completely unrealistic goal for anyone to set for themselves. Living sustainably isn’t about achieving perfection overnight; it’s about getting as close to it as you can by doing better each day. 

Reuse, Repurpose, Rehome – The primary objective for going plastic-free is to alleviate the need for plastic and stopping the consumption of it at its source. Should you find yourself with plastic in your possession, try to think of creative ways in which you can reuse those products as long as you can. Or at the very least, consider donating them to a friend or thrift store to extend its use as long as possible. 

Substitute with Sustainable Swaps – Breaking & making habits take will power and determination. Smooth out your zero-waste transition with reusable plastic-free swaps that are designed to eliminate your need for single-use plastic products. With more eco-friendly alternatives available than ever before, you’ll soon discover that avoiding plastic is actually much easier than you might think!

Green 32 oz reusable ceramic water bottle from Frank Green

Beginner Swaps

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!

Purple round shampoo and conditioner bars on a dark wooden tray

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. 

A set of bamboo utensils in a green and gray sleeve next to a clear glass straw and pipe cleaner

Advanced 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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