Here in the Northern Hemisphere, it feels like we have FINALLY welcomed summer in the last few weeks with the warm sunny days blessing us on the regular! Swinging into summer means we will be ready to jump right into another year of taking on ‘Plastic Free July’. For those of you that are new to the challenge - Plastic Free July is a movement that encourages millions of people around the world to ditch disposable plastics for at least 30-days straight! This year might seem like it would especially difficult to do ‘Plastic Free July’ because of COVID-19, but don’t let it discourage you from your goals! We’ve put together an actionable list of things you can do at home to minimize plastic while staying safe.
Tip 1: Get Baking
Baked goods and bread from the grocery store often come wrapped in plastic packaging. This packaging was made to only be used for a few days but will stay in our ecosystem for hundreds of years (at least!) So, why not try your hand at baking? This can be a fun way to limit your plastic consumption and improve your health at the same time! The best home made sourdough has only flour, salt and water as ingredients, with a bit of fermentation in between. Here's a great beginner sourdough recipe.
If baking isn’t your for you, try to find a local bakery that you enjoy and bring your own canvas or paper bags to store the baked goods in. Want to DIY your own bread bag? Check out this step-by-step tutorial.
Tip 2: Grow Your Own Veggies
Although many vegetables are accessible without plastic packaging already, why not take it a step further and grow your own veggies this summer? It is a great way to both limit your plastic and implementing healthier practices into your diet.
Equally, you can start a compost in your backyard with the food waste you accumulate, this can then be used as nutrient-dense soil for growing your garden later (you won’t need to buy plastic-packaged soil again)!
Tip 3: Shop Small, Shop Local
More often than not, shopping at local/small stores makes it easier to find plastic-free goods. Find a local fruit/veggie farmer market, a fish-monger, or a local butcher. These small and local providers are more likely to let you bring your own reusable containers and canvas bags. Either way, when you visit local markets and stores, Plastic Free July is a great time to have a conversation about plastic-free packaging. Businesses are always interested in your interests as a customer!
Tip 4: Refilleries
'Refillery' is basically a modern term for a bulk shop. These are one-stop-shops for Plastic-Free July products and beyond! Most Refilleries have a variety of goods from household items like soaps, detergent, shampoo and conditioner to beeswax wraps, travel mugs and so much more! If you’re unable to bring your own containers due to COVID, you’ll most likely be able to purchase reusable containers to fill with whatever you need.
Tip 5: Reusable Cloth Mask
In the months ahead we will see a lot of people still sporting masks as a precautionary measure to keep themselves and other healthy. Since we will be needing face masks for the foreseeable future, why not invest in a fabric one that you can wash after use? Many retailers are now carrying cloth face masks, here is a great article on 12 eco-friendly options!
Tip 6: Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
The main takeaway for Plastic-Free July this year is to be prepared so you won’t need to purchase anything with single-use plastic. Be sure to make your coffee at home, pack all your snacks and food that you need for the day, and plan ahead!
If you’re looking for more plastic-free July tips, check out these guides we’ve put together:
These tips will hopefully help you reduce plastic use this month and even inspire you to incorporate new plastic-free practices in your everyday!
Ready to print-out your July Eco Calendar? Scroll down to get your FREE copy and find out how to make the most of the calendar.
HOW TO USE THE CALENDAR
Each monthly calendar is designed by us with a gorgeous illustration hand-drawn by our head designer Anna. To start, print out your calendar (in colour if possible!) each month and hang it somewhere on a wall as a daily reminder. You can also keep the calendar on your desk, in your notebook, or somewhere where you will often see it. The calendar has the dates of each month and a section for you to note any significant dates to remember (such as birthdays, trips, holidays, etc.).
There are also 3 sections to set your eco goals for the month and keep track. In your 'Eco Goals' section, note 3-5 goals that you would like to achieve in the beginning of each month. These can range from 'bringing my travel mug every time I order take-out coffee', to 'organize a fundraiser for an environmental cause'. No goal is too big or too small to set - the important thing is to start somewhere and learn from your progress each month.
Your 'Eco Wins' section is meant to highlight your successes and the steps you've taken to be more mindful this month. This can include things such as getting a compost bin at home, riding your bike to work or reducing your weekly meat intake. This section is meant to be referred to throughout the month as you take small steps to walk lighter on our planet.
Your 'Eco Lessons' are the noteworthy things you learned this month. Whether its a new sustainability podcast or book, understanding the impact of fast-fashion or figuring out where to buy local and in-season produce - this section is a key part of your eco-journey. You can also use this section at the end of the month to reflect on how you did with the eco goals you've set for yourself.
Although the sections are only a few lines, you can use the backside of the print-out to add more information or use a separate sheet of paper.
Each month also includes an inspirational quote and a unique #TAMGAtip we think you'll love!
The TAMGA Eco Calendar is designed to help you in taking small steps towards a brighter future - and we are so excited to be part of it! Make sure to tag us on social (@TAMGAdesigns) as you put your calendar to use and share this post with a friend, colleague or family member to inspire them to do the same :)