It’s less than a month away from Plastic-Free July â€“ a month where I will try to avoid single-use plastics in my life. Some people suggested that I stock up on products that contain plastic so I won’t have to buy them during July, but that goes against the purpose of doing this challenge. In fact, I’m doing the opposite this month: Whenever I run out of something that comes in plastic, I will try to replace it with a plastic-free product.
Looking around the house, I can see some products for which I’ll have to find a plastic-free alternative:
Frozen Foods: I regularly buy frozen spinach and berries for smoothies, and other frozen vegetables for meal prepping. I’ll have to switch to fresh veggies and fruit when I run out of them. I’ll probably switch to spinach and/or kale for my smoothies. I don’t know if berries will be in season at the farmer’s market. I’m sure I can’t get plastic-free ones at the store. I may have to switch to other fruits like mangos. I’ve never seen non-frozen peas in the store, so I’ll likely switch to broccoli and green beans for my green veggies.
Bread: The Whole Foods near my office has non-packaged bread in its bakery section. Einstein’s will likely be my go-to place for bagels. I’ll also look for plastic-free bread when I hit the farmer’s markets. I’ve considered baking my own bread, but it’s hot in Arizona in the summer. The last thing I want to do is add excess heat to the inside of my home.
Paper Towels: My last roll of paper towels is on the dispenser in the kitchen. When I use the last one, I’m switching over to multipurpose washable cloth towels instead. I bought a pack of 12. We’ll see if I need more than that to last me until I do laundry on the weekend.
Face Soap: I use an exfoliating face soap that comes in a squeezy plastic tube. I’ll use regular soap on my face (that comes in paper or no packaging), and I wonder if I’ll notice a difference. I’ve seen recipes for scrubs I can use if I need it.
Moisturizer: I’ve used the same moisturizer for over two decades. I love it. It’s a great product. I don’t know what I’m going to do if I run out. I plan to call the parent company to ask if they have any products that come in glass. The recipes I’ve seen for lotion, so far, all have to be refrigerated, which isn’t convenient when I travel. We’ll see what happens.
Lip Balm: I’m addicted to lip balm. I usually have in my bag and/or pocket, in my desk at work, and 2-3 on various counters and tables throughout my home. They’re all plastic tubes. I have until my current stash runs out to find a lip balms that come in a metal tin or a paper tube. I just have to find a quality one that works for me.
Trash Can Liners: I don’t compost (yet) so sometimes my kitchen trash can be wet from coffee grounds and bits from fruits and veggies. Usually, I line my trash bin with a plastic shopping bag. (At least, I’m reusing them.) As alternatives, I could try using paper shopping bags as a liner or lining the can with newspaper. If neither of those work, I may have to forego a liner and wash the bin after I take out the trash each time.
Unfortunately, there are few necessary non-negotiable items in my life that only that come in plastic:
- Prescription Medications: We are all better people because I take meds. I am looking into a charity that repurposes the plastic bottles from medications and vitamins.
- Sunscreen: I’m not going to get skin cancer while saving the planet. I use a â€œreef-conscious formulaâ€ that comes in a metal spray can, but it has plastic in the dispenser and lid.
- Contact Lenses and Solution: Besides laser eye surgery, I don’t think there’s a plastic-free alternative to lenses and solution. I’m sure there are recipes for making your own contact solution, but given that these products literally go in my eyes, I’m sticking with ophthalmologist-approved and prescribed products.
I’ve been working towards Plastic-Free July for almost a year now. You can read about earlier preparations in Preparing for Plastic-Free July â€“ Part 1* and the zero-waste and low-waste substitutes* I’ve already made in my life. (* Note: Both of these posts contain affiliate links.)
Is anyone else trying Plastic-Free July?