Plastic Free July is an awesome movement that started in Australia encouraging people to be more aware about the plastic problem in our world. I have taken the pledge this year and hope you all will too. The movement has been gaining momentum worldwide and hopefully we can get more supporters in the U.S. as well.
By pledging for Plastic Free July you are agreeing to try to refuse single-use, disposable plastics for the whole month. This includes things like plastic water bottles, one-use silverware, etc. This may seem daunting, but I would like to encourage you all to at least give it a shot because it is better to challenge yourself and try rather than not doing anything at all. And most of you will actually be pleasantly surprised to see just how easy it is to lead a greener lifestyle.
contemplating lots of things about the environment while I wait for the subway with these beautiful clouds
We are all here to support each other too. It is a learning process and there may be bumps along the way. There are many solutions to not using plastic, but if you find yourself stuck, reach out to a friend or ask me in the comments to help think of easy and efficient ways to avoid single-use plastic. Yes, you may have to invest in some tools you do not have, but usually you can find solutions within things you already own. In fact, most of my tupperware has simply been collected along the way.
I know it may seem difficult to have to bring silverware or tupperware for leftovers around with you all the time, but all it takes is a little pre-planning and thought. After awhile, it even becomes habit. Next time you go to grab a disposable plastic, think about if you really need it or how you could avoid it in the future. Planting that seed in your mind is the start to developing better manners and routines and trust me, you feel better afterwards too.
Here's a little glimpse in the life of Julia to give some ideas about how to be more zero waste.
Here are some nectarines I packed for a morning snack in a mason jar. I'm also holding one of my reusable napkins.
I love mason jars because they are so versatile. I use them at home and on the go. And because they have measuring lines on them, most places are more willing to let you get a drink in your jar instead. Most pearl milk tea places I go to now will let me get the bubble tea in the mason jar -- so happy.
I cannot encourage reusable napkins more than I am already now. It is so easy and saves so much paper. I keep one in every bag at all times and just switch them out to wash if they are dirty. And, you do not have to go out and buy anything fancy because things like old bandanas or handkerchiefs work great. And if you have ever cut shirts or other pieces of clothing, keep the scraps! I use those fabric scraps as reusable napkins too. If they are too small then I sew multiple together and I like to personalize my reusable napkins by embroidering something small on one of the corners.
I bought a cookie on my lunch break, but I brought my own tupperware so no paper or plastic involved. They simply used tongs and put the cookie in my container.
On most days, I carry either a mason jar or tupperware with me (sometimes even both). This comes in handy when I want to pop into a cafe and grab a snack because I can avoid any wax paper, paper bag, or plastic since they can just put the food in my container.
green beans in a reusable produce bag
Reusable produce bags are also a must! In the past, I used to just forgo the plastic and put everything in my basket, but with smaller vegetables and fruits it definitely gets a little chaotic. I came across these reusable mesh produce bags at a holiday market and have not gone back since. I realized after using these though that so many bags can be used as produce bags too. For example, the little accessory pouches you get when you buy jewelry or any medium sized mesh or fabric bag can be saved and used for produce. For bigger veggies, I either use a cloth bag that we give out at work for large accessory purchases or just wrap it in a kitchen towel.
These are just a few examples, but there really are so many ways to cut plastic out of your life. The first step is just committing to the pledge and giving this challenge a try. All the little things do matter because in the end, it is our combined efforts that can make a change.
Oh, and here is my outfit that day:
hand embroidered dress - Isabel Marant // cracked leather sneakers - PUMA x Rihanna // black ribbed socks - UNIQLO
My parents got me this dress as a gift awhile back and it always just feels so special. I love the gentle yellow color and the hand embroidery is so detailed. It came with a slip underneath that I wear on its own all the time too.
I bought new sneakers because mine were pretty beat up and I was debating on which style to buy for awhile, but I ended up getting the cracked leather PUMA fenty sneakers. I am going to be studying abroad in London in the fall and since it will rain a lot I chose the patent leather shoe over a canvas one that would just get soiled in the rain. They are platforms too so they add a little height.
I hope you all enjoyed this post and that it maybe inspired a few to take the Plastic Free July pledge with me. Happy Monday!