As the month of July comes to an end so does the ‘Plastic Free July’ challenge which inspires people to reduce or even completely eliminate single-use plastic from their homes and shopping list this whole month. SunChild has always been a brand conscious of the environment having our cards made of recycled paper, using recycled packaging and most importunately no shrink wrap. But ones you become aware of how much plastic is in our day to day life it really can be a challenge especially with children in the home!
Which is why we decided to interview Celeste Tesoriero (a sustainable fashion consultant) of her experience and the top 5 tips she learn, so that we maybe able to incorporate and take elimantes into our everday life:
Plastic Free July
By Celeste Tesoriero
As a sustainable fashion consultant, I make it a priority to be aware of and reduce my personal footprint. This is my third year partaking in Plastic Free July. This initiative is a simple challenge- to go the whole month of July without buying any plastic. Single use, or recyclable, all plastic is out!
It may seem like an easy ask, but it isn’t until you commit to the task, it becomes fastly obvious it isn’t as easy as it should be. The best thing, and saddest reality that becomes apparent doing the challenge, is the increased awareness of how embedded plastic is in our everyday life - and how hard it truly is to avoid it.
I have learnt, and continue to learn so much, but I have consolidated my top 5 tips here:
● Preparation is key. The one thing that curves your plastic use is curving your need of convenience. I have a lunch bag in my car at all times that includes: takeaway containers, keep cups, cutlery, and plates. This is so if I am ever out and about, I am able to buy food or a drink on a whim that I may not have planned for. Its such an easy thing to implement (restocking after you’ve used is a habit I am still working on though).
● Be wary of sneaky plastic! Plastic comes in all sorts of forms, and some of them are hard to even recognise until you get your shopping home. Some I found were: stickers on fruit, plastic seals on glass jar products, glass bottles but with plastic lids, cardboard boxed goods (such as muesli and pasta) where the produce inside is actually in a plastic packet. You just couldn’t see from the outside.
● Become familiar with your local bulk store (if you have one). Take yourself on a date there, and really take note of what they do and don’t have. For example, mine does not have coffee. So I needed to look further into where I could source this when needed.
● Reuse reuse reuse. Rather than putting any plastic directly in the recycling bin, I take a minute to think if I could use it for anything else first. For example, a plastic hand-soap dispenser. Instead of throwing away, we learnt how to make our own soap to refill. Saving money and the planet at the same time!
● Educate yourself properly on what can and cannot be recycled, then get curious about how those recycling systems work (and if they actually do). Hint: They don’t. Recycling is not the answer. A hard plastic item can only be downgraded (to a single-use thinner plastic, such as a plastic bag), and will therefore end up in landfill anyway.
I watched a fantastic documentary during this time: Story of Plastic, and highly recommend it. It shows a holistic view of the plastic industry and was the inspiration I needed to stick to the cause.
Remember every little change helps. As Anne-Marie Bonneau (@zerowastechef) states:
“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”
SunChild aim is to create a better world for future generations, this doesn’t just mean mentally/ spiritually but also environmentally. As consumer we can’t except others to make more of a conscious effort to be environmentally friendly and then us not ourselves. One of my personally favourites is a morning keep cup coffee or lid-free (when I forget my keep cup!!). I know it’s by no means perfect but if we all did a little act like this every day imagine the impact on our world.
Head to the Plastic Free July website to find out more ways you can help.