Kick Off Plastic Free July with these 5 Swaps
Combat Climate Change Today
This is the Save Our Happy Place weekly climate action newsletter making it easy for you to help protect the places you love from climate change. Subscribe to get access to simple & effective climate actions, sustainability, and eco-friendly lifestyle tips to make helping the planet easy.
As you’re trying to enjoy summer activities and inevitably notice that it is a little hotter than you remember summers being or spot some unsightly garbage as you stroll along the beach - we are here to give you peace of mind that there is a collective action you can take each week with us to combat climate change. So you can be present while enjoying nature and this glorious season, and then join us on Tuesdays to make waves. We aim to make it as easy for you as possible by doing the leg work and this week is no exception. We’re so excited to share our plastic-free favorites!
Saving Our Oceans
Where Personal & Systemic Action Meet
Over the course of this World Oceans Month, to help protect our oceans we have covered how to take personal actions, like voting and shopping for sustainable seafood, as well as system-level demands you can make to your representatives, like supporting the Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act or the REDUCE Act. Each piece of the equation is meaningful and impactful.
The end of World Ocean Month perfectly intersects with the beginning of #PlasticFreeJuly. This could not be more appropriate, as limiting plastic pollution is crucial for saving the oceans and mitigating climate change. The two go hand in hand.
With that - here are my favorite plastic mitigating products to help you embark on #PlasticFreeJuly and keep plastics out of our oceans! If you have not tried to cut back your plastic consumption before, I promise it is not as hard as it seems. The suggestions I make below are selected to help make this EASY for you.
Quick Guide to Lower Your Single-Use Plastics
5 swaps to help keep our oceans clean
Utilize your consumer power to support more sustainable brands, while conveying to the economy that sustainability is important to you - all while lowering your plastic footprint! 89 percent of the plastic in the ocean is single-use plastic items, so here are a few items to help you reduce your use of single-use plastics.
1. To-Go Utensils
Replaces: Plastic To-Go Utensils
It never fails even when I go out to eat at a sit-down restaurant, in “post“-pandemic NYC, many restaurants will still hand out plastic utensils. These light bamboo utensils are easy to keep in your handbag, bookbag, fanny pack, or car and access any time. Just gently handwash them after use. A free alternative is to carry around a set of cutlery from your dishes at home. That is a slightly heavier option though.
2. Reusable Storage Bags
Replaces: Plastic Seal Bags (like Ziploc)
These are a game-changer and render the Ziploc bags obsolete. These can carry anything you would put in a standard plastic seal bag, plus so much more because they are sturdier. They’re also machine washable, microwave safe, and can be used over and over again.
3. Silicon Straws
Replaces: Plastic Straws
If you’re like me and developed a straw habit that you just can’t kick, silicon straws are my go-to. They’re a little less dangerous than carrying around a stainless steel spear and they don’t have a metallic taste or change the temperature of the beverage. They’re also super light and machine washable.
4. Micro-Plastic Free Water
Replaces: Water Bottles
After finding out that 93% of bottled water around the world and 92% of tap water are contaminated with microplastics that can wind up in our bloodstream, I went on a serious hunt to find the most effective and easy way to avoid microplastics in my drinking water. This filtering pitcher keeps essential minerals while filtering out microplastics, bacteria, parasites, lead, PFAS (“forever chemicals”), and 30+ contaminants. There is also a water bottle version for when you’re on the go.
5. Cora Ball
Add to: Your Laundry
Inspired by the way coral filters the ocean, the Cora Ball prevents microfiber (microplastics released from synthetic clothing) from breaking off our clothes during laundry and collects our microfibers into fuzz we can see, so we can dispose of microfibers in the right way. This ball prevents 26% of microfibers from flowing down the drain respectively. It is easiest to just leave this ball in your laundry machine. But if you share a machine or use a laundry mat, you can store it in a reusable container (stasher bag, perhaps?) in between washes.
***I would like to note that these recommendations are for products I have actually used and loved. I’m careful to make recommendations for items that need frequent replacing, not items you can keep using even if they are plastic. Finally, there is no financial incentive for me to make these recommendations, they’re from the heart. I spend countless hours researching ways to live more sustainably and simply aim to share my findings with you - in hopes that you can find Saving Your Happy Place to be a walk in the park.
Some Rays of Sunshine
The Headlines We’re Happy to See
Canada is banning single-use plastics, including grocery bags and straws. - Read more
Danes set aside €200 million for aquaculture and fisheries fund. - Read More
Indigenous peoples have shucked billions of oysters around the world sustainably. - Read More
North Carolina legislation would fund numerous projects to protect coastal water quality. - Read More
California Senate approves bill to train workforce dedicated to ocean conservation. - Read More