We may think that the escalating issue of plastic in our oceans is majorly at the fault of big global companies but in fact if every person took into account the amount of plastic they use and throw away on a day to day basis, and changed their daily habits we could make a huge difference.
It's True. Just imagine, if every single person in the country started to refuse single use plastic – bags, straws, cups etc... if they stopped purchasing products wrapped in plastic, then the big companies would supply less and less because there would no longer be a demand for it! We all have the power to change the World, one plastic bottle at a time!
Yes it requires commitment and effort, a little bit of planning ahead sometimes, but isn't it worth it for a cleaner ocean, a cleaner planet not only for our future but for our children's future and so on?
So where to start?
1. Invest in a Re-Usable Water Bottle
This one is top of my list because I become increasingly horrified by the amount of plastic bottles still being used and thrown out every single day! The stats are shocking – over 32 billion plastic bottles end up in our oceans or landfill every year! And yet in countries where we can drink the tap water... FOR FREE, it doesn't make any sense!
Invest in a re-usable water bottle and carry it everywhere including to and from your Yoga class (where hopefully they have a lovely fresh water fountain to encourage you to top it up!) We love these by Fire & Ice – they keep your water cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours and come in a whole range of gorgeous colours & print designs.
2. Refuse Plastic Straws & Cutlery
Yes it's convenient when you are out and about, or post yoga to grab a take away salad or smoothie.. Thankfully a lot of shops are becoming more conscious and have started using cardboard boxes, wooden cutlery or compostable straws, however we shouldn't rely on this and need to take the responsibility on ourselves as well.
Either take the time to dine in, or get in the habit of carrying with you your own bamboo straw, cutlery (it can literally be out of your kitchen draw) or tuppaware container. We love these bamboo straws from Bali Boo.
3. Buy from bulk food stores and take your own containers
Do some research online to find a bulk food store near you – there may be one closer than you think! In Manly beach, where I live part of the year, we have a great example – The Manly Co-op run by volunteers, is a non-profit organisation and is therefore often actually cheaper than the supermarket!
They have a great selection of grains, milks, breads, nuts & seeds... (and my favourite guilty pleasure – Homemade peanut butter!) so that you can buy just what you need and take home in your own container or jam jars. They even have their own stash of containers should you need one, as people often take back ones they don't need, for somebody else to use.
The most recent addition to their range is a beauty range including eco-friendly deodorant! Take along your glass roll-on jar and re-fill it here!
4. Take Your Own Bags
This is an obvious one and definitely something the whole world is getting more conscious about! But how many times do we forget to take the bags?! Try and get in the habit of keeping a tote bag or two in your car, your handbag or even your yoga mat bag, that way you won't get caught out if you “unexpectedly” end up shopping on the way home!
Check out our new range of Organic Cotton Tote Bags, to help spread the mindful message!
5. Carry Your Keep-Cup Everywhere
This one can take a bit of getting used to remember! But choosing a nice design makes it much nicer to sip your fix from! In addition many coffee shops are now offering a 50c/20p discount on your coffee if you bring your own cup. I love my Stojo as it collapses neatly into itself when empty and easily fits in my yoga mat bag.
6. Make Mindful Purchases
There are many eco-friendly small businesses out there, just like Free Spirit, that are putting their heart and soul into both their creations and their commitment to the planet! All our packaging is made from recycled, bio degradable or compostable materials, not to mention our leggings which are made from recycled plastic bottles.
Every method of production from start to finish is considered so carefully as to be mindful to the planet... and there are many like us! Every one of us has a story and is trying to do their part, so next time before you go on autopilot back to your faithful chain store, consider if buying from an independent will be a better ethical & environmentally conscious choice, not to mention a more unique and special purchase!
7. Get Your Hands Dirty
Roll up your sleeves and hit the beach! Or your local park... even on your morning walk to work or evening stroll with the dog... just spend 5 minutes and see what discarded plastic / rubbish you find..
I am often shocked even on the cleanest beaches we still see plastic being washed up on the shore.. Sometimes it is not even from the local area itself but has travelled across seas or oceans to be washed up there. Regardless of who or where it came from we can each be responsible for cleaning it up, and saving the life of a marine bird or animal. Did you know that ingestion of plastic kills an estimated 1 million marine birds and 100,000 marine animals each year?
If that's not a good enough incentive to help clean up then hopefully this is:
We are repeating our Earth Day Offer of earlier this year by pledging 20% exclusive discount off Free Spirit for anyone who posts a photo of themselves on their own beach clean up, similar to this one of me below!
Just post the photo on Instagram, tag us @freespirit and use the hash tag #take3forthesea and #plasticfreejuly and we will DM you your exclusive discount code!
Thank you for taking the time to read this! If we can inspire even a small change to your every day habits then we can make a huge impact... not just for Plastic Free July but for the rest of the year and onwards!
Love & Light!
Founder of Free Spirit