The year is 2020, and you wake up to concerning news that a novel coronavirus is spreading like wildfire across country. Soon, you see people at the grocery store wearing bright blue (disposable) masks while shopping; signs at the check-out saying no more reusable bags allowed; cafés no longer accepting mugs from home to fill up in the mornings; and worst of all? The bulk bins are sealed shut 😱
All of the progress we had made against the use of unnecessary plastic products were derailed by the pandemic, with some sources estimating that single-use plastic consumption grew 250-300%, mostly due to disposable foodware, packaging, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
Now that there are efficacious and readily available vaccines around to combat the virus, it's time to get the reduction of plastics back on track! And what better way than to participate in a month-long challenge?
Plastic Free July is a global campaign that challenges people to "choose to refuse" single-use plastics for the month of July. Their website offers a variety of ways you can cut back on plastic use, whether at home, work or in the community. Check it out to take the pledge and get started!
Since we're coming back from over a year of increased plastic consumption, my best advice is to begin with a Waste Audit and go from there!
If you've never done a Waste Audit before, let me walk you through a simple (and less messy) way!
How to do a Waste Audit the simple way:
- Grab a pen and notebook, or download my Waste Audit & Review Worksheet
- Every time you go to dispose of something, categorize your waste in your notebook or worksheet into one of four groups: recyclables, landfill waste, food waste and donation
- Do this for one week to see if you can identify any patterns
Once you have one week's worth of data, review the information to see where you can make some changes to reduce your personal plastic waste!
Remember, it's very important not to overwhelm yourself with trying to make too many changes all at once. That's why I recommend starting with a Waste Audit and identifying your personal pain point to focus on. In order to make the habit stick, it's important that we make it sustainable for ourselves! Yes, pun intended ❤
After completing my personal Waste Audit, I identified fast food packaging as my number one source of single-use plastic waste. So my focus for this year's Plastic Free July is home cooked meals!
I hope you'll join me in choosing to refuse single-use plastic!
Click here or on the image above to download my personalized Waste Audit worksheet! It includes a series of reflection questions to ask yourself after you have gathered your data to help you identify areas of improvement, as well as some suggestions for ways to reduce you plastic consumption!
Download today, you won't regret it!
Love & Light,