Plastic Free July is now upon us, but what is it all about?
The plastic tide is rising – Plastic bottles lying in the gutter, grocery bags tangled in branches, food wrappers scuttling across the ground on a windy day. Although such examples of litter easily come to mind, they only hint at the serious and growing problem of plastic pollution – a problem mostly hidden from view – a problem we’re beginning to tackle in Plastic free July.
Plastic Free July is a global yearly challenge to give up single use plastic during the month of July. It aims to raise awareness of the amount of single-use disposable plastic items in our lives and challenges people to do something about it. Millions of people are already taking part and it’s something that we at goodGround feel passionate about so we’re getting involved too.
“The good news is that there are things we could do right now to stop this plastic scourge”
– Louise Edge, Greenpeace
We’re not going to lie; this challenge won’t be easy – you will likely have triumphs and fails along the way. Get your family and friends involved so that you can support each other and have a few laughs at the same time. Don’t feel you have to go completely plastic free (but even better if you can and do!). Just implementing a few small changes at a time is a huge step in the right direction towards making the world a safer, healthier place for us all.
Currently more than eight million tonnes of plastic reaches the sea every year. At the rate we’re going, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans, and virtually every seabird species will have eaten some.
“We’ve seen albatrosses come back with their belly full of food for their young. You think it’s going to be squid, but it’s plastic”
So what can you do to help? Let’s start with the easy stuff:
- Get yourself a thermos or re-usable coffee cup. The next time you go to grab a coffee on the run, take your own cup and say no to the disposable takeaway cup.
- Bring your own re-usable shopping bags. Some stores are already taking steps to replace single-use plastic bags with alternative options. Ask us for a free goodGround bag!
- Buy reusable produce bags. Avoid the pre-packaged fruit and veges and go for the loose ones.
- Say no to straws – nice and easy!
- Stop buying bottled water. There are some wonderful, colourful bottles available that you can fill yourself and take with you on the go. If you do need to grab a drink, look for ones in glass bottles.
Think you’ve got the basics covered? Time to step it up:
- Ditch the disposable razors. Switch to a razor that lets you replace just the blade or you could even consider getting a straight razor.
- Shop in bulk – Bin Inn in Whangarei is a great place to start. Take your own containers and fill them up with the huge selection of whole foods, laundry and cleaning products.
- Buy bar soap, not liquid body wash. There are some wonderful local companies making soaps and by buying them you’ll be able to support a small business as well as avoiding plastic. Double win!
- Line your rubbish bins with paper bags.
- Don’t save the silverware for special occasions. Use it when you have a party, instead of plastic.
To help raise awareness for plastic free July and the broader issues of rubbish and waste disposal, we are hosting a business breakfast on 20th July with the topic of ‘rubbish’. Speakers Sheryl Mai (Whangarei Mayor), Bill Shepherd (Chairman, Northland Regional Council), and Carli David (Love U Waipu) will all be speaking on this crucial topic. Click here for more information and to find out how to book your place. We will be handing out free re-usable goodGround bags on the day.
Be sure to follow our social media accounts where we will be keeping you up to date with what we are doing to support Plastic Free July – we’ve already ditched the takeaway cups for our coffees (we drink a lot of coffee!), and will be implementing more changes over the coming weeks. From the team at goodGround, we wish you the best with your plastic-free endeavours. We look forward to hearing about the changes you’ve been making – share your stories and tips with us on our facebook page.