My Plastic Free July Goals and Expectations

My Plastic Free July Goals and Expectations

A new month is here, and with it comes my favorite sustainability challenge all year — Plastic Free July.

What is Plastic Free July? Simply, it’s 31 days of making an effort to avoid single-use plastic that contribute to pollution and waste.

Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. 

This is my third year trying this challenge, and I’m excited to see how I might have improved as I’ve been incorporating different sustainable swaps at home over the years that have helped me immensely to live as low impact as possible.

And while July is a great month to audit my environmental impact, I also want to use this month to make other home and wellness improvements. So to keep myself accountable as much as possible, I’m listing my goals and expectations for this month. I’ll also try to post at least weekly updates on my wins, fails, and the sustainable lifestyle journey.

Tote bags for Plastic Free July

My Goals for Plastic Free July

Avoid and refuse any and all single-use plastics such as straws, plastic bags, coffee cups, takeaway cutlery, etc.

Always bring my zero waste kit with me when I leave the house.

Choose to buy local when possible.

Eat less meat.

Discover more sustainable swaps to incorporate into my home.

Minimize material things, and declutter my home.

Be more mindful of my wardrobe, and shift my clothes to slow fashion only.

My Expectations for Plastic Free July

I expect that I’ll be able to avoid a lot single-use plastic because it’s what I already do in my day to day life. I do expect that food shopping will definitely be difficult because so much of our food on island is imported in plastic and styrofoam. I expect I’ll fail sometimes, but I won’t dwell on those because it’s all about making the effort and moving forward.

My “zero waste kit” goes through iterations of essentials to curb my plastic consumption, but my go-to basics are my reusable water bottle, a sturdy tote bag, and utensils I already own. My expectation is that I’ll do a decent job at taking my zero waste kit around but I anticipate some honest mistakes like forgetting to request “no straw, please” when at restaurants.

Buying local is obviously the first choice because it supports our local economy, but unfortunately a lot of local produce comes packaged in non-renewable plastic. I expect that this will likely be our exceptions to the challenge because we love local produce but we’re still thinking of ways to improve.

I’ve already eliminated beef and pork from my diet, and have been getting more into plant-based products, so I think I’ll do pretty good on that this month.

We’ve transitioned our home into a much more conscious environment — composting our food scraps, sorting our glass, and aluminums for recycling, and have made various changes to little things like using cloth napkins instead of paper towels, using soap and shampoo bars, etc. There’s a lot more of the little stuff that are harder for us, like how to get a more eco-friendly toothpaste option since it’s not readily available on island. I’ve tried DIY’ing toothpaste, and it did not turn out. So I’ll be looking for other swaps that we can make and even if there’s just one or two little things we change, that will make a big difference.

I just started on decluttering my home today, and have already culled more than 20 miscellaneous items from my home, and that was just in one hour of decluttering! There’s probably about a hundred more things I could get rid of… my neighbor is hosting a clothing swap in the next few weeks, so I’ll be organizing my stuff to a giveaway pile, and donate pile. I hope that by the end of the month, through daily decluttering, I’ll be able to minimize my material possessions to only things that are functional and bring me joy.

If you’ve seen some of my recent blog posts, you’ll see that I’ve started sewing again and making my own clothing pieces. It was my goal last year to not shop fast fashion, and I think I did okay but this month I will go more thoroughly through my wardrobe and try to repair some pieces that need TLC, and think about how much I wear and rewear pieces to identify my favorite essential clothing and get rid of ones that I don’t need or wear.

Overall, I feel like my mindset is in the right place. My sustainability journey has been eye opening over the past three to four years. My habits are continually shifting; I’m more mindful of my consumption; and I am enjoying every step of the way.