As Plastic Free July comes to a close, many of us may be wondering how we can take the practices we've learned and incorporate them into the rest of the year. While it's amazing to dedicate an entire month towards being plastic-free, there's no reason we can't continue these efforts year round.
Many of us are aware that large corporations are the ones causing the most damage to our earth. While this is apparent, we still have the power of choice when it comes to deciding where we spend our money. Even though individual actions may feel pointless, any steps we take towards a sustainable future are meaningful.
Here are a few things we can continue to do:
Supporting small, local businesses – Choosing local businesses in your area is an excellent option for shopping sustainably. From groceries to home essentials, choosing to buy any products made close to home or sold by a local business is always worth it. If you can, do some research and see if you have a zero waste or refill store in your area! These stores are an awesome place to check out if you want to forego plastic and excessive waste. Zero Waste Emporium, West Coast Refill and Ash Refillery in Victoria are a few of my favourites. If you can avoid large grocery and big box stores, choose stores that support local people rather than massive corporations. Your money acts as a vote towards the companies you want to see thrive in the future.
Choose reusable over disposable - While most of us know to bring reusable shopping bags with us to the grocery store, did you know you can find reusable produce bags as well? Any effort to cut down on single-use plastic is significant. I suggest bringing your own containers for take-out, a mug for coffee or a metal straw; anything that you can do makes a difference.
Stick to items sold in glass, paper and metal - If shopping local isn't possible for you, choose products sold in widely recyclable containers. Glass, metal and paper are usually the best for this! Just watch out for the sneaky plastic coating on some paper packaging. And when you can, reuse your bags, container and jars. For example, our facial oil bottles make great decorative vases for dried flowers, and the jars from our clay masks would be great for spices! You can also find our other favourite ways to repurpose your bottles + jars here.
Use what you have before you buy more – It can be exciting to find products that align with your values, but it’s essential to use what you have first. While many of us may be tempted to try and switch all of our products right away, give yourself some time to adjust. Here are some more tips on switching to a low waste, sustainable skincare routine.
Choose package-free and bulk whenever possible - There are many products that already come without packaging. So, why not take advantage of this!
If this process feels overwhelming to you, start small and transition more things as time goes on. Sustainable living isn’t about a few people doing it perfectly; it’s about thousands doing it imperfectly.