Date Posted:1 July 2016
Plastic Free July is an initiative that started in Perth in 2011 and it has now gone global which we love. This July it is bigger than ever and plenty of people and businesses are questioning what they can do to support our planet.
Did you know worldwide we go through 10 billion plastic bags a week! 2.5 million plastic bottles are used every hour in the US and 500 million straws are used daily. A huge amount of plastic that goes into landfill and our oceans. More than 270 of the world's marine animal species are affected by marine debris.
At Flora & Fauna we are very passionate about our environment and our planet and we have always used recycled materials and all our products are cruelty free and vegan. But we felt we could do more. So for July we stopped using mail bags and decided to post all our boxes naked. No plastic bag! We initially were worried our parcels would get damaged or waterlogged but, it is now the 27th July, and our customers are happier than ever. So we're continuing it, but not only that, we've decided to make more changes; we've changed our plastic sticky tape to be paper tape and we've changed our recycled bubble wrap to be green wrap, a recycled paper wrap. This does cost a bit more but we'd rather that and have a better planet.
So what else can we all do? We've popped our thoughts below on 10 things we can change every day. But have a look at what you do every day and if there is plastic involved. Then ask yourself if there is an alternative. Remember every little bit helps.
Coffee Cups - we throw away so many coffee cups and lids every day; millions! So take a reusable cup and save the waste. Some coffee shops are also offering discounts if you bring your own cup. If yours doesn't encourage them to do so.
Water Bottle - 2.5 million plastic bottles are used every hour in the US. Stop! Not only is this damaging for the environment but for you too. Plastic left out in the sun can cause leaching of toxins into the bottle and into you. Grab a stainless steel bottle like our Kabi Bottles or BBBYO and look stylish as you drink.
Toothbrushes - In Australia we throw away over 30 million plastic toothbrushes into landfill every year. And we don't need to. Bamboo toothbrushes are a great way to clean your teeth and they are biodegradable so pop in the compost and off you go. We have a lovely selection of bamboo toothbrushes here.
Hairbrushes - there's plastic in hairbrushes but we have alternatives and it's bamboo. Bamboo is a really quick growing plant so it's a great alternative. Our range of hairbrushes and combs are by Bass.
Plastic Straws - Straws are one of our biggest problems. In the US they use over 500 million a day! The plastic ends up in our waterways and landfill. They don't break down easily and either sit there for years or, if they get in our waterways, end up in our marine life effectively killing them. I am sure you've all seen the photos. So stop the plastic and don't use straws. If you do need to use straws we have some fantastic steel strawsfrom Ever Eco which fit the bill and even come with a brush cleaner.
Sanitary Pads - there is often a lot of plastic tied up in sanitary bags and there are alternatives. There are JuJu cups which are plastic but one JuJu cup will last you 10 years. Or hannahpads are reusable, washable pads.
Toilet Paper - yes your toilet paper is paper but how does it come...in plastic. We love, and use, Pure Planet. Made with bamboo and sugar cane, wrapped in paper and delivered in a box as often as you want it. We're on a subscription so I never have to buy loo roll again!
Plastic Bags - Quit the plastic bags; they are literally killing our planet. If you know Melbourne or VIC you'll know the gorgeous Little Penguins at St Kilda and Phillip Island. They are beautiful but their main predator is us; we are killing them with all our waste so please stop using plastic bags. Take a box or one of the hundreds of bags sitting in your house (we all have them). We also have an awesome coconut bag made by a community of women in Sri Lanka.
Storing Food - Glass storage jars are great for storing food and if you buy in bulk even better.
Around the house - there are many alternatives to cleaning the dishes, using plastic scrubbers and washing your laundry by using soapnuts. Lots of household options here to look at.
If you look around your home, desk or car there is plastic everywhere and we are not going to change the world quickly. But small changes lead to big changes so start today. You can find out more ideas at www.plasticfreejuly.org
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