This past month my family and I took part in the Plastic Free July Challenge, a global movement to reduce plastic waste. This challenge has inspired millions of people all over the world to #choosetorefuse by making small changes in their home, offices, communities and schools and collectively it is having a HUGE impact on reducing plastic waste.
According to http://www.plasticfree.org, Plastic Free July participants contribute to a total saving of 490 million kg of plastic waste each year.
In my household we are far from perfect and have a long way to go before we can be a “zero waste” home but we made some significant changes this month creating serious momentum to reduce plastic in our home and daily lives.
THE JACKSON’S TOP WINS FOR JULY!
- Switched from bottled soaps to bar soaps
- Eliminated cling wrap, replaced with bees wax cloth
- Switched to compostable dog poop bags and bin liners (Rufus & Coco now avail. at Woolies!! YAY!)
- We are buying milk in bottles and returning bottles to be reused. SUPER YAY! (Barambah Organics)
- Clean Energy. With the installation of additional solar panels our house (and thus my studio) is now 100% solar powered!! SUPER DUPER YAY!
This challenge has not only helped us reduce our waste, it has made me a more aware consumer. Even though I am quite knowledgable about environmental issues there are so many sneaky plastics out there … hello tea bags. Yup did you know some tea bags have plastic in them? Crazy huh? Knowledge is power.
Plastic Free July has come to an end but it doesn’t mean we have to stop here. I will continue to look for ways to reduce our waste in my home and business and educate myself and my children on the impact it has on the earth.
I challenge you to Take Action in August and keep the movement going. Here are 5 things you can do right now to make your office more sustainable!
- Refuse single use plastics. Forks, spoons, coffee cups, bags, straws, food storage containers, take-out food packaging. Instead invest in good quality reusable products.
- Dispose of e-waste correctly. Batteries, electronics and old appliances do not belong in the regular garbage. Find an appropriate e-waste recycler to dispose of these correctly.
- Reduce Energy. Turn off appliances and lights when not in use. Install energy efficient appliances. Use green energy if possible.
- Reduce paper waste. Before you print consider if it can be reviewed on screen or filed electronically. If necessary to print, print double sided and black and white.
- Recycle but more importantly reduce. Recycle as much as possible but more importantly reduce your consumption and waste.
You will be surprised that making these changes can cost a bit more in the outset but in the long run actually saves you money and is better for the environment too. WIN-WIN. Show me what you are doing for Take Action August. Post a photo of your positive changes to Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #TakeActionInAugust and tag me @nancyjdesign.