For people who want to join the effort to cut down on plastic use, “Plastic-Free July” is one way to start the process.
Plastic-Free July is an initiative out of Australia and the idea is you pick one single-use plastic item and don’t use it for the month of July.
If you want to take the challenge, here are 10 ways you can participate and start to cut down on your personal plastic waste.
Lizzy Acker/The Oregonian
Get yourself a good reusable straw.
There are so many options for non-plastic straws. We tried out a bunch of options and our favorites were hard plastic (which might not be the best option for a plastic-free month), glass and silicone. You can decide for yourself which is best for your favorite cold drink.
Bring a reusable cup to the coffee shop.
Your morning coffee doesn’t have to involve garbage. Get a reusable mug, bring a regular mug from home or even just a jar and fill that up with coffee instead.
Aristide Economopoulos/NJ Advance Media
Don’t buy packaged produce.
Bring your own bags to the store and get produce that isn’t wrapped in plastic.
Lynn Ischay/The Plain Dealer
Keep reusable silverware in your bag.
Instead of using plastic cutlery when you get food to go, keep regular silverware with you. You don’t need to buy one of those fancy kits — you can literally grab a fork and knife from your kitchen drawer.
Mims Copeland/The Oregonian
Buy what you can in bulk.
Find a place where you can buy grains, beans, peanut butter and other things in bulk and bring your own reusable containers to fill.
Don’t use disposable plastic to wrap your food in your lunch.
Ditch the plastic bag or cling wrap and opt for a reusable container for your sandwich!
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic
Use matches or reusable lighters instead of plastic, disposable lighters.
If you are in frequent need of fire, or even occasional need, stop buying disposable lighters and find a sustainable fire solution that works for you.
Bring a water bottle with you all the time.
It’s important to stay hydrated but you don’t need to buy water in plastic bottles. Bring your own water bottle to save money and keep plastic trash out of the ocean.
Grant Butler/The Oregonian
Keep reusable bags in your car and use them for everything.
If you have reusable bags in your car, or your backpack, you’re way more likely to have a reusable bag when you need one! At the grocery store or any store or just for bringing stuff from place A to place B!
Screenshot from video taken by Jessica Greif/The Oregonian