Let’s Keep #PlasticFreeJuly Going All Year Long

Written byRegenerative Travel
Date

Few things embody the good that social media can do as much as #PlasticFreeJuly. Since its inception in 2011, Plastic Free July has become a global campaign that provides resources and ideas for participants to reduce the amount of single-use plastic in their lives for the month of July.

During the month, posts tagged #PlasticFreeJuly flood social media, eco-conscious brands and environmental non-profits alike highlight and incentivize the occasion, and fellow participants share in their successes and failures in maintaining their commitment to use less plastic.

While we all know—and luckily many have incorporated—plastic-reducing habits like refusing plastic straws, bringing our own reusable bags to the supermarket, and opting for a reusable water bottle rather than a plastic one, these single-use items are only some of the ways plastic finds its way into our daily lives.

To help you get closer to your plastic-free goals, we’ve put together a list of three ways plastic sneaks into our lives through products we use regularly, as well as sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives that can help make every month #PlasticFreeJuly.

A woman wipes her face with a tissue
1.     Makeup Remover Wipes

After a long day at work or a late night out, many makeup-wearers turn to disposable makeup remover wipes as a quick and easy way to wipe off their faces before bed. While these wipes are certainly convenient, most of them are made from non-biodegradable plastic fibers, and they end up accumulating in landfills or flushed into water systems. In fact, people in the US dispose of around 20 million pounds of single-use wipes every day.

Fortunately, convenient and sustainable alternatives to makeup remover wipes exist, such as soft fiber makeup remover wipes.

These easy, eco-friendly, and effective makeup removers allow you to have your makeup off in seconds by just adding water and massaging the soft, super fine fibers over your face to clean and exfoliate. Plus, it’s better for the planet: reusable makeup removers can be used dozens or even hundreds of times.

Plastic containers of shampoo and soap on a shelf
2.     Shampoo and Conditioner Bottles

Shampoo and conditioner bottles have been staples in our bathrooms our whole lives. Since we don’t throw them away with the same frequency we do other plastic items, we may not think about them when looking to reduce our plastic use; however, more than 552 million shampoo bottles end up in landfills every year from the US alone, so it’s important to draw our attention to these bottles this Plastic Free July.

Luckily, conscious brands have begun creating plastic-free alternatives to traditional shampoo and conditioner.

Plastic-free bars are a great alternative for some of our most used bathroom products, especially with brands that use naturally sourced and sustainable ingredients to create products that help keep your hair, skin, and conscience clean. Plus, bars last much longer than bottled shampoo and conditioner: Just one of conditioner bar can last you several months.

Do the planet—and your hair—a favor by ditching those wasteful shampoo and conditioner bottles and switching to plastic-free bars.

Clothes on a clothes rack in a store
3.     Clothes

Without knowing it, most of us put on some of the worst plastic polluters in the world when we get dressed every day.

Most clothes are made from plastic-based materials such as polyester and nylon, and because of this, the fashion industry accounts for over a third of all plastics found in the ocean. 

Every time we wash our clothes, we contribute to this pollution ourselves. Synthetic materials shed plastic fibers in the washer, and the amount of microfibers from clothing that goes into the ocean annually is the equivalent of 1 billion plastic bottles.

One major lifestyle change we can make to reduce our plastic pollution long-term is to buy clothes from sustainable and eco-conscious companies. From leggings to t-shirts to bikinis, look for clothing from 100% organic cotton without using toxic dyes or pesticides.

You can also increase your impact by buying clothes second-hand to increase their lifespan and keep them from being thrown out. When you’re done with them, either return them to the thrift shop or get creative with some DIY crafts. Old t-shirts can make for excellent dish rages or funky throw rugs.

By choosing clothes made from organic cotton or other natural fibers, you’ll prevent pollution every time you wash your clothes and find yourself celebrating #PlasticFreeJuly all year long.

Even though the end of July is approaching, that doesn’t mean the end of #PlasticFreeJuly has to. If we use plastic-free alternatives to our clothes, beauty, and hygiene products—along with continuing to refuse single-use plastics such as plastic bags and bottles—then we together we can turn #PlasticFreeJuly into a #PlasticFreeLife.

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