• Plastic Free July: Tips to Make This Year Your Most Successful Yet

    July 6, 2018 • GUIDES, LIFE, PLASTIC FREE / WASTE FREE

    We just love seeing the wave of passion, enthusiasm and positivity that sweeps across our community this time of year as more and more people take the pledge to reduce single use plastic waste and production for Plastic Free July and beyond.

    Whether you’re new to Plastic Free July or you’ve participated before, or are just looking at ways to stick to your commitment to reduce single use plastic, here are our top eight tips to help you.

    Plastic Free July: Tips to Make This Year Your Most Successful Yet | Biome Eco Stores

    1. Create your everyday reusables kit

    If you think about it, there are probably several single use plastic items that you use on almost a daily basis. For many people, these items include straws, takeaway coffee cups, single use plastic shopping bags, produce bags, bottled water or soft drink, and cling wrap or zip lock bags.

    Well, the good news is that there are reusable alternatives for all of those single use products!

    The first step to making this Plastic Free July your most successful yet is to put together your reusables kit to help you avoid single use plastic day to day. And then:

    Of course, you can tailor your reusables kit to suit your needs and activities.

    We have lots of zero waste, reusable alternatives here, but you don’t necessarily have to buy new things to live with less single use plastic – make do with what you have.

    2. Look at other disposable items

    Once you have put together your reusables kit to help you avoid single use plastic day to day, the next step is to consider other common plastic disposable products, such as your toothbrush, razor, cotton buds, skin and hair care, cleaning products, and even pegs.

    Did you know that for all of the items we’ve just mentioned, there are eco friendly, plastic free or buy for life alternatives available? So:

    • Swap your plastic toothbrush (which even comes packaged in plastic!) to a bamboo toothbrush packaged in cardboard;
    • Invest in a stainless steel safety razor, which will last a lifetime;
    • Use bamboo cotton buds instead of cotton buds with plastic sticks;
    • Consider using multifunctional skin care and cleaning products packaged in glass or plastic free packaging, like the Biome Skin Care range, shampoo bars, or soapberries;
    • Or, why not try making your own DIY skin care or cleaning products – we have lots of recipes available here >
    • And, never deal with plastic pegs going brittle and disintegrating again with our stainless steel pegs, which may become a heirloom item!

    3. Place reminders in easy to see areas

    It’s one thing having all of these reusable, single use plastic free alternatives on hand, but it’s another thing to actually remember to bring them with you!

    Here are some tips to help you remember to take your reusable items with you when you leave the house:

    • Create a phone wallpaper with a reminder on it (we love this idea @the_bluescientist shared with us on Instagram);
    • Keep your reusables together behind the door, so it’s the last thing you see;
    • Leave a note on your car’s sun visor, so you’re reminded as soon as you pull it down; or
    • Stick a post-it note by your keys reminding you to bring your reusables too.

    6. Consider what you buy and how you buy it

    Plastic Free July is a great time to audit what you buy. You might like to consider these questions:

    • What items do you purchase?
    • Do you really need it, or is it an impulse buy?
    • How much of a particular item do you purchase (a little, a lot)?
    • How often do you buy it (once a week, once a month, etc)?
    • Is it available in bulk, in plastic free packaging, or a larger pack?
    • Is all of it used, or is some wasted and thrown away?
    • Can you buy less of a product that is being wasted or thrown away?

    4. Shop zero waste or with less single use plastic

    No matter where you live, there is generally a way to shop with less single use plastic packaging.

    Grocery Shopping

    Is there a bulk food store near you, or perhaps a fresh fruit and veggie store, bakery or deli?

    Even if there isn’t and you get your groceries from a supermarket, use your reusable produce bags for fresh produce, ask the person at the deli if they will accept reusable containers (many do!), and choose products packaged in glass, cardboard and tin, which can be recycled.

    Are there items you could purchase without plastic packaging? For example, could you choose the pasta in the cardboard box as opposed to the pasta in the soft plastic package? Or does your supermarket have nuts available in bulk? Can you opt for fresh fruit and veggies that are in season, instead of plastic packets of frozen fruit and veggies.

    Another option is to buy a larger pack size of something to reduce overall packaging. For example, rice, dog or cat food. You could also then repurpose that packaging to contain rubbish or something else.

    Other Shopping

    If you’re located in Brisbane, or even just visiting, Biome is an excellent spot for shopping zero waste or with less single use plastic. Biome has four stores in Brisbane, including Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, Paddington, Balmoral and Brisbane City. Here you can find:

    • Bulk DIY skin care ingredients, like activated charcoal, bentonite clay, beeswax, shea and cocoa butters (among many other raw ingredients);
    • Bulk cleaning items, like vinegar, pure castile soap, organic soapberries, and toilet cleaning bombs; and
    • Lots of other skin care, cleaning, home and lifestyle products that are zero waste, toxin free, palm oil free and ethically made and sourced.

    And if you shop online, seek out online stores that use as little plastic packaging as possible. You can always send them a quick message to clarify. If they’re not shipping with minimal plastic, your message might encourage them to consider it!

    At Biome we ship all of our packages with as minimal plastic packaging as possible, using cardboard envelopes and boxes, paper tape and paper stuffing. Occasionally we recycle boxes sent to us and use cornstarch packing pallets that can be composted too.

    You can shop online at Biome here >

    5. Find a local or online community

    Having a community of like minded people around you will make your zero waste and plastic free journey much easier!

    Plastic Free July is taking place in more than 150 countries worldwide this year, so keep an eye out for local Plastic Free July events happening near you. If you can’t find a local event, there are lots of online communities and blogs you can turn to.

    For those that use Facebook, is there a local zero waste Facebook group you can join? If not, why not start your own Facebook group for people who are trying to live with less single use plastic!

    Biome’s DIY Natural Beauty Bar Facebook group is a lively community of people interested in making their own zero waste skin care products. You can join here >

    Otherwise, Biome’s Facebook and Instagram is brimming with zero waste, plastic free ideas, and we regularly share inspiring ideas from our community.

    We also have a range of zero waste, plastic free, low tox and sustainable living books to  inspire you.

    7. Take some time to plan

    Living with less single use plastic this Plastic Free July will require some simple planning. Here are some tips:

    • Take a moment to plan your day before you leave home, including whether you might stop for a takeaway coffee, afternoon smoothie or by the supermarket, so you’ll know what reusables you’ll need;
    • Plan your meals for the week, to avoid resorting to last minute takeaway;
    • Prepare meals or chop ingredients ahead of time, like on the weekend;
    • Look for food, skin care and cleaning recipes that use ingredients you know you can find plastic packaging free – Pinterest and Biome’s Naked Beauty Blog are great resources; and
    • Write a shopping list and stick to it.

    8. Don’t let setbacks dishearten you

    Remember that new habits take time, patience and persistence. Stay positive and don’t let setbacks dishearten you. You’ve got this!

    We’re all in this together and the collective power of our actions can create significant change. In fact the Biome community has saved millions of single use plastic items from waste and production in the last 12 months alone, and that couldn’t have happened without you! Read more about your positive impact here >

    Take the #BiomePledge this Plastic Free July

    This Plastic Free July we’re encouraging our community to make a pledge to reduce single use plastic, even if it’s in just one aspect of their lives. It could be plastic produce bags, takeaway coffee cups, disposable straws, or something else entirely.

    To make it exciting, we’re running a fantastic competition where you could WIN one of four $100 Biome vouchers!

    See the #BiomePledge competition details here >

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