How I Failed Plastic-Free July Pretty Much Instantly
Let me start by saying that Plastic Free July is a challenge, so I’m going to try not to beat myself up too badly over a few early mishaps. But I did fail the challenge pretty much as soon as it began, by ordering an iced coffee at Boardwalk Bagel on my way to work…DAY 1. Amateur move. The way I see it though, PFJ (Plastic-free July) is all about recognizing the insane amount of plastic we use on the regular, and changing our habits. It’s a habit of mine to get an iced coffee, so now I’ll be sure to grab my thermos before I go! Pretty simple solution.
Finding alternative options is something I’m used to already- when I started Indigo Apparel back in 2013, sustainable fabrics were just gaining traction. The ONLY real options for a small-fry like me were organic cotton and organic bamboo (and who knows what the fabrics were dyed with, which is why I dyed them myself.) Eco textiles have come a long way… I hope to follow suit! In the search to find ways to cut down my plastic use, I’m going to share some products that I’ve found that make my life easier. Let me know what’s helping you go low-waste or plastic-free!
#1. Food Wraps Definitely a game changer. From wrapping up sliced lemons + avocados to covering the tops of bowls (instead of using cling wrap), it’s easy to clean and easy to use. I bring sandwiches to work in these, and wrap up precut veggies. They come in Small, Medium, and Large size- and you can cut them smaller if you like. I haven’t tried them from this seller in particular, but they’re based in the USA, vegan, and got a ton of great reviews. These bees wax wraps are an organic, non-vegan & made in the UK alternative.
#2. An Insulated Water Bottle And no, your reused plastic Poland Spring bottle is not the same 😜 You can use it to keep your drinks cold or hot. Having a water bottle around undoubtably helps me drink more water, too! Double win. If you don’t have one of these and you’re over the age of 25, it’s about that time. Try a S’well for ultimate customization.
#3. Reusable Silicone Bags I don’t have one of these yet, but boy do I need one! I’ve just come across from a Brooklyn-based Package-Free store and will 100% be making a purchase.
Never use a single-use plastic sandwich bag again. Bring your favorite food and snacks with you wherever you go in these convenient and reusable silicone snack bags.
#4. Travel Utensil Case Handmade in Portland, OR, these pouches are filled with a knife, fork, spoon, and chopstick set. Bonus: they also come with a metal straw and straw cleaner! So many color and print options to choose from, you’ll be excited to throw this in your bag. Say a final goodbye to plastic cutlery, and hello to “one less” plastic fork polluting the Earth.
#5. The one, the only, MASON JAAAA-AAARRRR But really, the mason jar is the original anti-plastic food storage container, skincare product storage, laundry product storage, or drinking cup. Buy detergent, coconut oil, make your own body scrubs, store leftovers, and put pretty much anything in a glass jar. A very cost effective alternative to plastic Tupperware.
As the saying goes, “Less is more.” I think they were talking about kitchenware, and couldn’t agree more. Stay tuned for the next plastic-free post where we’ll be covering bags: Tote bags, shopping bags, produce bags… You won’t want to miss it. :)
By Jackii Ramis - Jackii is a sustainable fashion fiend and designer/founder of Indigo Apparel.
www.jackiiramis.com— Blurring the lines between fashion & art.
Images from linked shops - Visit their websites to find out more. Follow Indigo Apparel on Instagram @indigoapparelny for PFJ giveaways this month!