It is the 5th year I have participated in Plastic Free July! When I sat down to think about the many changes I have made over the past 5 years I was so excited to see the long list emerge. My friend, Nadine over at The Zero Journey, told me about this challenge 5 years ago. At the time I thought it was crazy to even attempt, but I was definitely intrigued. When I first decided to do Plastic Free July I was quickly overwhelmed with how consumed our lives are with plastic! Over the years I have slowly implemented changes into our household and lifestyle. I decided to showcase these changes on my Instagram page during each day this month and have saved them under my highlights. Here are ways our family is going plastic free:

1. Water Bottles

Carrying around a reusable water bottle was one of the first changes that I was able to incorporate. These insulated water bottles keep my water cool for hours. By taking one with me wherever I go I end up being more hydrated throughout the day, which gives me more energy, makes me happier, and keeps me healthier.

2. Takeout

After a long, challenging day the last thing I had energy for tonight was to cook dinner for our family. But it's Plastic Free July, I thought, and I would really like to make an effort. Then I remembered my inspiring friend, Nadine, talking about taking her own takeout containers! The amazing staff at Soulfood gladly accommodated me and even gave me a discount for bringing my own containers!

3. Iced Drinks

I love a good iced chai latte in the summertime so I am sure to keep reusable bottles like this one around that I was given years ago. Just like a to-go mug for hot drinks it's easy to make this a habit and take it with you into your favourite coffee shoppe, like Kootenay Grounds.

4. Food Wraps

There are many alternatives to using wasteful plastic cling wrap and one of the best options is beeswax wraps from Abbego Food Wraps! These reusable wraps can conform to different shapes to cover food in the fridge or on the counter. Use them on top of a dish or wrap them completely around your food.

5. Food Box

Weekly fresh organic produce boxes from Kootenay Farm To Folk can be plastic free! This weekly box helps keep healthy food in our house that is easy to grab for a quick snack! I love the surprise of what I get to cook with each week.

6. Market Bags

Shopping at your local Farmers Market is a great way to support your community, eat healthy, and buy plastic free. Bringing along a large market bag allows me to just put my goods right in the bag and save on the packaging.

7. Canning

Canning is a way that I can preserve food at its peak to enjoy at a later time. This strawberry rhubarb jam was made using rhubarb from my parents' garden + strawberries from Kootenay Farm To Folk + local honey = zero waste + plastic free.

8. Straws

Reuseable straws like these stainless steel straws from Unwrapped Life travel with me in my car so that I have them handy whenever I need them!

9. Cheese

I love cheese and admit it is one thing I have struggled to enjoy plastic free; however, it is possible to enjoy cheese plastic free when equipped with beeswax food wraps from Abeego + awesome cheese shoppes like Creme who can cut your cheese to order! You can take your own containers to many cheese shoppes and have them filled with yummy cheeses - the key is just building a new habit!

10. Tea

Tea can easily be enjoyed plastic free AND zero waste by getting your tea leaves from local shoppes in refillable containers and using a tea ball.

11. Honey

Did you know that eating local honey can help alleviate hay fever allergies? There are numerous other health benefits, too. I've been using honey in my jams this summer instead of refined white sugar. There are lots of local options for honey in our area, many of which come in reusable glass jars! I also find honey easier to use in glass storage.

12. Cooking Utensils

Wooden kitchen utensils can rest in hot pots and will also not be leeching any crazy chemicals into your food! You can often find handmade wooden cooking utensils at your local Farmers Market or at shoppes that support local makers.

13. Glass Storage

Over the last several years I have slowly been switching over to glass storage containers in the kitchen. These containers easily show their contents and can be used in the fridge, freezer, and oven (and microwave if you use one). They are easily cleaned in the dishwasher, too! They do come with reusable plastic lids but can also be used with beeswax wraps, too.

14. Wooden Plates

Natural wooden plates are what we have chosen to use with our son. These plates from Timber Child do not contain dyes, chemicals, petroleum based products, preservatives, formaldehyde, plastics, melamine, or mineral oil. It really is scary when you start to learn about how many of our everday lifestyle products in our homes are made. These plates are easily cleaned with water and a tiny bit of soap, and food stains seem to come off after a few washes.

15. Kitchen Cloth

Cloths to use in the kitchen can easily be made yourself! My first sewing project was these flower napkins 5 years ago and we still use them weekly! I have some crafty friends who have knit me dishcloths and crochet scrubbies. These reusable cloths all work WAY better than any disposable cloth or scrub I have ever used and easily get cleaned in our weekly laundry with our towels. My next goal is to work on eliminating paper towels!

16. Buy Bulk

Buying bulk is something I am trying to do more of now. Many stores are embracing bringing your own containers and will weigh your containers for you before you fill them. Some places even offer a discount for brining in your own containers. Skip the packaging and buy the amount you really need!

17. Produce Bags

Produce bags don't need to be single use plastic bags! Many fruits and veggies don't even need a bag (like bananas!), but if you do feel the need to bag your produce bring along smaller reusable bags with your cloth grocery bags!

18. Snacks

Snacks can be tricky to buy plastic free so making your own is often the way to go! This is also a much healthier option as then you know exactly what is in it! Other options include buying bulk, shopping at the Farmers Market, or growing it yourself!

19. Condiments

Have you checked out a Zero Waste Store yet? Places like FullFill in Kimberley offer many great options for refillable condiments. Not only are you saving on the packaging but products are often at a more sustainable price point too! If you are needing condiments and are in the grocery store look for condiments in GLASS! The more we look and ask for items in reusable packaging, like glass, the more companies will do it. Condiments are also often simple and fun to make yourself!

20. Meat

Meat is a tricky one to do plastic free! Did you know that you can bring your own reusable containers to many butchers and ask for your meat to be put in them? Shopping local for our meat is important for our environment and for our local economy! There are more and more local meat options popping up. Check out your local Farmers Market and your local butchers!These meats can also often be purchased in butcher paper. While some butcher paper cannot be recycled some can be composted. Ask the questions and make some changes!

21. Parties

Parties don't have to be big wasteful events filled with single use plastics. With a little planning there are many ways to host a get together without a ton of waste! Try to use what you have, borrow from family and friends, make it yourself, or rent it.

22. Gifts

Next time you need a gift try making it, shopping local, or buying handmade. Gifts don't always need to be wrapped! Other ideas include using a reusable cloth bag, tying the gift together with reusable ribbon, string, or burlap, or wrapping the gift in plantable tissue paper.

23. Laundry

This refillable laundry detergent from FullFill is eco-friendly, smells great scented with essential oils, and it works! Plus I use way less than commercial brands to get a good clean! I hang all of my clothes but for towels I do use the dryer. I've had these Splat & Co. wool dryer balls for a year now. They reduce drying time and can be scented with essential oils too if desired!

24. Shampoo Bars

Shampoo Bars are definitely worth a try! I have ditched the plastic bottles in the shower and have used shampoo bars for the last year on my long hair. I get a good clean and can go 3-4 days between washes. The baby bar has been great for my little guy - super gentle!

25. Bathroom

Bar soap has been around for a long time but if you are into liquid soap try refillable soaps found at zero waste stores like FullFill. Bamboo toothbrushes can be a great alternative to an entirely plastic one. Bamboo brushes and combs often work better than plastic ones!

26. Cosmetics

I find myself using less and less cosmetics and try to live a more healthy lifestyle instead. When I do need cosmetics I try to look for them in sustainable packaging like glass, bamboo, or paper products. If we keep asking for more sustainable packaging someone will listen! There are also many cosmetics that you can learn to make and DIY!

27. Clothing

Have you ever asked yourself who made my clothes? How were they made? Where were they made? How did they get to the store or place I got them from? What materials are they made of? How much of the price of this garment actually goes to the person who made it? Shopping local, made in Canada, and with natural fibres are all important considerations when trying to reduce our waste!
Wool Pyjamas: Simply Merino
Bamboo Velour Cloth Diaper: Lilly & Frank
Wool booties: Nooks Design

28. Toys

As with clothing choices, toys are another area that I have been questioning over the last few years. Our fast-paced society where everything is "disposable" promotes the idea that your child needs LOTS of toys in order to have a good time. They need a toy for every possible situation or type of "play" that an adult can imagine. Buying handmade and locally made toys out of natural materials is healthier, helps maker mamas and dads stay home with their children, and often promotes more play with open-ended toys that can be used for years in a variety of ways. Some great Canadian and BC made toys that I have come across include:
Fox: Pantoufle de Verre
Moose, Mountains, Blocks: Trae Designs
Hammer, Teething leaf: The Baby Niche
Name Blocks: Tree Fort Toys
Bunny: Ouistitine
Blocks: Timber Child

29. Cloth Pads

Cloth pads are something new to me but I can tell you there is a BIG difference in feel and comfort. The wash routine is very similar to that of the cloth diapers I am already doing for my son. There are lots of options out there for a plastic free period - give them a try!

30. Baby Needs

There are many baby needs that can be met plastic free. Cloth wipes made from bamboo velour and organic cotton work wonders (I use 1 maybe 2 as opposed to 5 or more disposable wipes on messy cleanups!) and can be washed along with cloth diapers. Diaper cream made from natural ingredients can be found in reusable tins instead of plastic tubes. In most cases baby needs are available in plastic free ways or reusable containers/options!

31. Cloth Diapers

Cloth Diapers are one of my most successful and proudest plastic free switches! Cloth diapers are easier than you may think! Think of how many disposable diapers just one baby goes through in a day, in a week, in a month...if even some of this HUGE WASTE could be eliminated by using cloth diapers that would add up to a significant difference!

In conclusion, it's not about being perfect in going plastic free, but more of changing habits when possible to be less wasteful!
SHARE 0 comments

Add your comment

© Allie's Adventures in the Kitchen, Crafting, and the Kootenays! · THEME BY WATDESIGNEXPRESS