It all started with an amazing 30 day Low Tox Living E-course by Alexx Stuart. As that came to an end, I was introduced to the movement of Plastic Free July and I did take the challenge. The past two months I have been flooded with just enough information that motivated me to change habits and refine ones I already had in place. Alexx's course covered everything from cleaning products, what you put on your body, to whats in your environment, how its all effecting us and so much more. It wasn't as overwhelming as it may sound as Alexx was smart enough to have a support group, where she and all the other members could lend a hand. She also gave you a day off every week and a day where it was about mindset, meditation and breathing so we could get through any anxiety that came up and believe me some of that stuff came up. Its scary whats allowed to be put in products especially when they are aimed at our kids.
Plastic Free July started four years ago in WA with about 40 members but have some 25000 members now. There aim is to bring about awareness around single use plastic. You can sign up for a day, a week or the whole month, refusing ALL single-use plastic or try the TOP 4: plastic bags, water bottles, takeaway coffee cups and straws. I signed up for the month and for the TOP 4. There were awesome emails along the way with great tips, connections to blogs and links to documentaries and reading material. All for you to explore in your own time.
So how did I go? Pretty bloody good, here are the things that I changed with the help of Alexx Stuart and Plastic Free July.
Phew! Its still a work in progress, making the changes where you can and working towards the bigger changes as I am able to. Small steps, using up what I have and replacing as it I need to with a lower tox or organic item. I am pretty lucky as I rarely do take away, if we eat out its usually at a favourite cafe and I don't do coffee anymore, so no more takeaway cups. Remembering my own bags to grocery shop was a bit hit and miss, but after juggling groceries to the car in my arms it sunk in pretty quickly to remember my bags. They do make you pay for the reusable plastic bags here in Darwin but still its plastic and we already have heaps so getting through those and taking more sustainable bags.
After watching the documentary Plastic Paradise and Plastic Oceans, well that just made me look at plastic in a whole new way. Lets just say I'm glad I haven't had seafood for about two years now. They are definitely worth watching, two of my kids watched it to, such an eye opener for them. Im trying to think about ways to not have to have any plastic but its so bloody hard, when even good low tox products still come in some form of plastic, or bulk products are still in plastic. What really does my head in, is if you buy organic produce at woolies. Everything and I mean every bit of organic produce in that section is placed on a styrofoam tray and wrapped in glad wrap. The unnecessary packaging of things is mind boggling.
I feel having invested in Alexx's e-course and signing up for Plastic Free July made me really accountable. It inspired me to try harder, the more people say no to unnecessary packaging, the more companies will have to come up with eco friendly ways of packaging their products. I am guilty at slacking off due to prices and availability, and of course good old convenience, but having an understanding of how chemicals and plastics effect our health and the health of our planet has me inspired to always look for the best option. Please don't think you can't make a difference, because you can. When you say no to straws or buy that cool reusable glass takeaway coffee cup or even take your own bags when shopping, it counts in a big way. Please share below your great tips/stories on going Low Tox or Plastic Free!