July is becoming known as Plastic-Free July, an initiative to reduce plastic use and become more aware of our impact. This month I’ll be sharing ways to cut out plastic from our lives as part of the Plastic Free Eco-Challenge. These small changes won’t just impact the environment, they can change your whole life.
Join ZooFit Team for the challenge at Plastic Free Eco-challenge.
The First Step
The first step to correcting a problem, or addiction, is admitting you have a problem. In America, we have a MAJOR addiction to plastic. It’s EVERYWHERE.
Staying at a local hotel, the only one in the area, has been a very eye-opening experience for me. They just renovated their hotel, and made a significant number of updates. One of their updates which I whole-heartedly approved, was replacing their cups for juice with compostable cups. I mean, that’s AWESOME. They replaced the plastic cups for making waffles with paper. And put their yogurt and toppings for oatmeal and pancakes in self-serve containers rather than plastic single-serve packaging.
But all the condiments from butter, cream cheese, peanut butter, and jam, all in plastic. There were plastic utensils for eating. And while they had paper bowls for oatmeal and yogurt, they still had Styrofoam plates.
This is still better than before, and I applaud the hotel’s efforts. It reminds me that going zero-waste, or plastic-free, is not an easy task. It took me YEARS to get to where I am now, which is still far from perfect.
The first step for me was admitting I had a plastic-addiction problem. The only way I could know it was a problem was by becoming more aware of the plastic I consumed on a daily basis. From there, I discovered small steps to take to beat that addiction, and change the tide. Funny enough, many of those behavior changes I made to reduce plastic also helped me stay healthy.
Day 1: Plastic Survey
For Day 1 of the Plastic Free Eco-Challenge, I’m going to ask you to do a survey of your plastic use. Before you eat anything, count the number of single-use plastic containers you used. No judging, just data (remember my principles of positive reinforcement- it’s not a mistake or flaw, it’s all just data). These containers can be coffee creamers or plastic lids for coffee, or the bagged salad mix from the grocery store. They could be the strawberries you picked up at the store in the plastic container, or the plastic ring around your milk you opened. Your protein bar, or your bag of almond flour.
Count up the number of plastics you use in a single day. The rest of this month is going to be focused on ways to reduce that number. You may be able to use the month to reduce the number a lot, of maybe just a little. You do you, boo. It’s a process, and it’s amazing you are taking great strides to work on it. One day at a time.
In the airport craving some candy but I cat be healthy and help the planet stay healthy by avoiding all of it. Happy plastic free July!