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How to ace Plastic Free July and join the global movement for good

Posted by Sophie Cooper on

Try our 30 easy, stress-free Plastic Free July hacks

Hello and Happy Matariki, everyone! Plastic Free July starts this week and we’re super excited to join the global plastic free challenge. In our family, we know that the incremental changes we make now will not only be great for the planet that our children will inherit, but it will create habits for them that will last a lifetime. And we’d love your household to join us!

To get you inspired, we share our bursting-at-the-seams list of 30 easy lifestyle hacks to bring you closer to the zero waste dream.

Find out more about damage caused by plastic waste in our 5 Myths about bar soaps busted here!

Small steps lead to BIG change 

We know that becoming plastic free can feel overwhelming. But broken down bit by bit into simple, achievable micro-steps it’s actually easy to make the change. 

The journey to zero waste is not about recycling, it’s saying “No” to plastics in the first place. The real secret to zero waste success is to create new habits so you eliminate the need to recycle altogether.

Start your shampoo and soap bar journey

Once you make the switch to soap and shampoo bars to replace liquid soap and shampoo, we promise you’ll never look back. Our Ahhh bars are the easiest first step to becoming plastic free, and we’ve made them the ultimate pamper treat so you always look forward to choosing your next one. 

As well as looking adorable (if we do say so ourselves😁), our Ahhh bars smell divine, cost around 10 times less per use than their liquid equivalent product, have a far lower carbon footprint thanks to being lightweight, contain natural ingredients that are proven to hydrate and nourish skin and hair, come in plastic free, biodegradable packaging, and are much more hygienic for your family to use, which you can read about here.

30 easy lifestyle hacks to start during Plastic Free July

To show you just how simple becoming plastic free is, here is our list of tiny lifestyle changes guaranteed to minimise what you throw into the bin each week while reducing your household footprint. After all prevention is better than the cure 😉.

  1. Treat yourself to a lifetime-lasting Block Dock for the shower to hold shampoo and soap bars and say goodbye to soggy soap forever.  
  2. Replace plastic pegs that mysteriously disappear or degrade over time with stainless steel pegs that never need replacing. 
  3. Make your dog 🐶 a conscious consumer by switching to plastic and aluminum-free pet food
  4. Find a community drop-off point for glass jars and keep them in circulation rather than put into recycling, like this glass jar collection project in Grey Lynn, Auckland.
  5. Replace those mysteriously disappearing coathangers with wooden ones. Yes, they cost more but they look fab, are better for your clothes, and are built to last so you won’t need to replace them ever again.

  6. Say “no” to plastic straws. If you know you’re heading out for a juice or a cocktail, BYO reusable straws. They come with a cleaning brush and carrying them couldn’t be simpler!
  7. Follow incredible people who really know their stuff about how to live a conscious lifestyle, like Kate Hall from Ethically Kate.
  8. Learn how to recycle like a boss here so that your recycled materials are not contaminated and diverted to landfill.
  9. Book a free session for your community group from Sustainable Coastlines, or download its free resources - and better still, sign up to collecting litter on beaches or planting trees near waterways, or donate or fundraise so this social enterprise can keep doing epic work in New Zealand.
  10. Take reusable produce bags to buy vegetables and fruit, like these ones from innovative Kiwi brand Eco Saint.
  11. Collect expired electronic waste such as, old phones, computers and more and find a drop off point to take them to. Start a collection point at work so everyone can bring in e-waste together.
  12. Discover how easy it is to start your composting journey at home by taking an online course, downloading resources, or get your food waste collected from your door by a commercial compost service.
  13. As they need replacing, swap out plastic pegs for stainless steel ones.
  14. Similarly, when your plastic laundry basket falls apart, replace it with a handcrafted woven basket that supports the artisan and another amazing Kiwi business, like this one from TradeAid

  15. Convert your pantry using reusable jars and stock up on dry goods, dried fruit, oil, cleaning products and more from a packaging free bulk-buy shop like Good For Store or Bin Inn.
  16. Wrap sandwiches in beeswax wraps, or vegan wraps.
  17. Keep aside all your soft plastics that cannot be recycled in your weekly collection and drop them off at a location near your home weekly, fortnightly or monthly (many supermarkets offer this service; if yours doesn’t, ask!).
  18. Avoid putting clothes in community bins as most of it heads offshore to landfills. Instead find an organisation that upcycles, or take the clothes to your local charity shop, Dress for Success or Women’s Refuge, which are always on the lookout for clothes, shoes and household items in great condition.
  19. Inspire the females of the house to use sustainable period protection. We love period undies designed for every body shape made by AWWA, as well as washable pads, and menstrual cups.

  20. Take your own bag or container to your favourite local cafe to buy your coffee beans and grind them at home. 
  21. Ditch plastic razors for reusable options, like SustainaBLAH and never buy a plastic razor again!
  22. Discover how easy cloth nappies actually are.
  23. Replace plastic-based fabrication activewear with an eco option, like We’Ar clothing.
  24. Switch your dry cleaner to an eco-conscious company like Regal that uses biodegradable plastic packaging and processes that are kind to our environment.

  25. Use compostable poop bags for dogs, and eco bags for everything else. Better still, keep and wash any resealable plastic bags for reuse when you need them.
  26. Buy as many food products contained in compostable packaging like those from Ceres Organics or Proper Crisps.
  27. Invest in a Soda Stream, or install a tap-attached home water filter system or sign up for water delivery and eliminate the need for plastic bottles altogether.
  28. Swap plastic packaged deodorants for deodorants in reusable glass jars or compostable cardboard packaging.
  29. Go eco with your baking with environmentally friendly baking paper
  30. If you’re often sending packages by courier, buy compostable bags in bulk and have them ready to go when you need them. 

Get even more incredible plastic free inspo here and thanks for reading our list! 🙂

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