Swapping single-use plastic bags for reusable, eco-friendly options is kind of our thing. We do it 356 days a year, rain or shine. (If you’ve purchased our Lotus bags, thank you for helping to bring our vision to life! With your help, together we have eliminated over 500 million plastic bags from entering the environment!)
But plastic bags are only the beginning of our pollution problems. Single-use plastic cups, straws, utensils, and packaging are a continuous threat to the health of our beautiful planet.
If you’re like us, you are always looking for ways to be more sustainable. But sometimes bad habits can be hard to beat. We love Plastic Free July because it is a great way to create new sustainable habits.
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. Started in 2011 by Australia’s Plastic Free Foundation, Plastic Free July empowers us to work together towards a vision of a world free of plastic waste.
Plastic Free July challenges us to refuse to use single-use plastic for the entire month of July. For example, instead of disposable coffee cups, opt for a reusable tumbler.
We like to celebrate Plastic Free July by getting kids, friends, family and neighbors involved. Plastic pollution is a big problem. But if we all work together, small changes can make a big impact.
Here are 7 creative ways to get inspired for Plastic Free July
Water Bottle Challenge
Gift everyone in your family with their own reusable water bottle (even if it just comes out of the cupboard). Or take a family outing so everyone can pick out their own. ( Opt for stainless steel over reusable plastic bottles.) Then, challenge the fam to keep their bottle with them all month long. For little or forgetful ones, craft or purchase a water bottle sling! Get creative and decorate your bottles. There are tons of beautiful (and inexpensive) stickers on Etsy to choose from. A simple search of "eco water bottle stickers'' will lead you down a fun, creative venture - here's one example to get you started.
Backyard barbeques are one of our favorite summer activities. Every few weeks, we invite neighbors, family, and friends over for a festive gathering under that big summer sky. A tradition we love even more is plastic-free barbeques! We swap non-recyclable paper plates for biodegradable plates that we discovered on a recent trip to Target. Instead of solo cups, we use mason jars to sip summer cocktails and teas. We use color-coded straws so everyone can keep track of their drink. As an extra bonus, mason jars and colorful straws are a beautiful upgrade from big red plastic cups.
Plastic Swear Jar
Nothing helps break a bad habit than having to pay, literally, for the offense. Enter the Plastic Swear Jar! The kid-tested, treehugger-approved method to kick our addiction to single-use plastics. Here’s how it works: Upcycle a coffee can or mason jar into your new Plastic Swear Jar. Decorate the jar for fun or simply place it in its spot of honor. Then, every time you use single-use plastic, put a dollar in the jar. (Sometimes, we drop $5 or $10 into our jar, depending on how bad we’ve slipped. You can also use quarters, pennies, marbles, or pebbles.) When the jar is full, donate the money or your time to your favorite local cause.
Clean Nature Hike
Dedicate a day to getting back to nature. Drive out to a great hiking spot with your partner, the kids, both dogs, and lots of snacks. (Or go alone! But still, pack the snacks.) Bring a Lotus Trolley Bag along for a hike and pick up any trash you see along the trail. Talk to your kiddos about why this is important. Find a beautiful place to sit and take time to enjoy your surroundings. See who can go the longest without looking at their cell phone. Sing. Tell stories. Laugh. Breath.
Green Thumbs Up
Take time this month to do something green. Expand your world of succulents. Plant fresh herbs like mint and basil. Tend to a community garden. Start a vegetable garden with the kids. Let them decide what to plant first. Purchase fresh flowers that smell like relaxing on a summer’s day. (Avoid purchasing flowers already wrapped in plastic. Opt for butcher paper instead.) Place them in a vase somewhere you can appreciate both their beauty and that sweet scent.
Neighborhood Walk and Clean
When we walk around our neighborhood, we are always amazed at how much trash there is to pick up. So, we started cleaning as we walked! Our neighbors thank us when they see us picking up trash, and we often stop to talk to them about our plastic-free mission. Sometimes, they even join in! Try coordinating with your neighbors to walk and clean up your neighborhood. Meet at an arranged time and place with your Lotus Trolley Bag and start walking. Fill your Lotus bags with trash that you pick up along the way. Who cares if your bags get dirty! (or trashy, haha). At the end of the day, you can always throw your Lotus bags into the washing machine for a fresh start. Plastic Free July is a great reason to get your community involved and work together to clean up where we live.
Spread the Word
Sharing Lotus products with family and friends is a great way to help eliminate single-use plastics. Gift the shoppers in your life with a Lotus Trolley Bag or a set of Lotus Produce Bags! Or, join the Lotus Friends affiliate program to share Lotus products with people you love and earn money for it! After all, friends don’t let friends use plastic bags. Learn more about the Lotus Friends affiliate program.
However you decide to celebrate, we wish you a beautiful and sustainable Plastic Free July!