5 Simple Ways to Help the Plastic Free Movement

5 simple ways to help the plastic free movement juicygreenmom

With a new year comes new year’s resolutions. I have really been thinking about what other ways I can help the plastic free movement, and how I can encourage others to do the same. It certainly isn’t easy to go plastic free – it’s virtually impossible to buy something at a store that doesn’t have some kind of plastic packaging. But I really believe it’s become an integral part of our culture, and it’s up to us to change it.

I know it can feel extremely daunting. You might feel – why does it matter if I refuse 1 plastic straw? Millions of other single use plastic straws are going to end up polluting the oceans, anyways. But it DOES matter. Because it’s a conscious decision to refuse that plastic straw, and the more often we make those decisions, the more it will become part of our culture.

So! One step at a time, right? Maybe you can choose just one thing from this list to work on this year, maybe you’re already doing several of them. Regardless – know that every choice you make to be plastic free – makes an impact.

Here are some simple ways to help the plastic free movement every day!

1. Refuse single-use straws.

Plastic straws are a big one, and it’s easy enough to get your own reusable straws to carry with you. Remembering to bring them with you is another thing entirely – but the more often you do it, the more it will become a habit! Life Without Plastic is a great source for reusable straws, like this stainless steel straw with a cleaning brush and carrying case. I have to admit that although stainless steel ones are the easiest to carry without fear of breaking, glass straws are still my favourite. There are also silicone straws that are super lightweight and unbreakable. If you want something that is truly good to the earth, bamboo straws are awesome because they will break down naturally at the end of their life.

bkr Reusable Silicone Straws Frost
The Future Is Bamboo Bamboo Straws

2. Refuse single-use cutlery.

Plastic cutlery is still very common these days, even though there are a lot of compostable alternatives. Carrying your own cutlery set is super easy to do, and there are so many easy options! There are also so many places where you can get beautiful cutlery sets that won’t damage the environment. I have seen people make a little cutlery pouch by sewing a few straight lines on a tea towel to make little pockets, then they can just put in whatever cutlery they have. Or you could get this stainless steel spork set or from Life Without Plastic.

You could also carry cutlery and straws together with a set like this one!

3. Stop using plastic wrap.

There really is no way to recycle plastic wrap, even if you tried to wash it. And now that beeswax wraps are around, there really is no reason to use plastic wrap at all! My favourites are from the Abeego brand from BC (which I purchased several years ago and am still using the same ones!). You can also get rolls of beeswax wraps from Simpatico Makers (one of my past favourite green things!) so you can cut them to the size that works for your dishes. There are also organic cotton beeswax bags to make it even easier to store your food.

Abeego Square Beeswax Wrap Variety

You can also get reusable silicone or cloth bowl covers.

4. Stop using single-use plastic bags.

Instead of using plastic produce bags, bring your own. It’s easy to find cotton ones like these from Life Without Plastic, or other mesh ones.

If you don’t like the cotton type, these mesh ones are made from recycled plastic PET bottles!

Places like Bulk Barn, Blush Lane Organic Market in Edmonton and Calgary, and Earth’s General Store in Edmonton allow you to bring your own containers and bags to fill, so you don’t need to use single-use plastic bags to buy in bulk. Life Without Plastic has these lovely cotton bags that are fabulous for things like rice or flour. I love bringing mason jars to refill, and this sturdy tote from Life Without Plastic is perfect for carrying a whole bunch of them.

Reusable grocery bags are also very easy to find; many companies give them out for free with their branding. If you have trouble remembering them to bring them with you, get a couple that fold up nicely to keep in your bag or purse.

5. Bring your own reusable bottle or cup.

Plastic bottles and disposable cups are some of the top offenders in plastic pollution in Canada. We are now seeing that many single-use water bottles are NOT getting recycled. Not only that, it takes so much energy and resources to recycle them that it really doesn’t make sense to continue to buy them. Get your own reusable bottle instead. I love the LAMOSE plastic-free, all stainless-steel bottles we have, but if you have a S’well one, or any other kind – use it! Life Without Plastic has a beautiful vacuum insulated stainless steel bottle that will keep your beverages hot or cold for a super long time.

S'well Water Bottle Rose Agate
W&P Design Porter Mug Terrazzo Cream
YETI Rambler Bottle Navy

The same goes for cups – if you need daily doses of caffeine, try to use your own reusable cup instead of disposable cups. It was found that Tim Hortons was named one of the top plastic polluters in Canada – because their supposedly paper cups are lined with plastic, making them impossible to recycle. Just imagine how many Tim Hortons cups you see in garbage bins – they will never break down! Life Without Plastic has a double walled glass travel mug so you can see your delicious coffee or tea.

These are simple ways to help the plastic free movement, and while they might seem like no-brainers, I know it’s harder to do that it seems. Going plastic free will take a huge shift in our society’s mentality. Each one of us can start that shift with each choice we make, each time we remember to take our reusables with us. And each one of us can share these choices with those in our circles and encourage them to do the same!

How do you help the plastic free movement?

(Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program, affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com & amazon.ca. I am also a participant in the Life Without Plastic and well.ca affiliate programs. This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase products via these links, a small percentage of the sale will be given to me at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting juicygreenmom.ca!)


3 Responses

  1. Thank you for including us! We love to hear that you’ve been using Abeego wraps for many years now. Saving food from the compost, one wrap at a time!

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