If you’re like us and you consider yourself to live a fairly sustainable, low waste lifestyle then you have probably already heard of Plastic Free July. But if you haven’t, we’re excited you’re here and we can’t wait to tell you more. Plastic Free July is an initiative created by the Plastic Free Foundation to spread awareness about plastic pollution and work towards a plastic free world.
Every year, the Plastic Free Foundation encourages people to use the month of July to take inventory of their daily plastic use and make efforts to reduce it in hopes of these practices becoming part of their everyday lives. In 2019 alone, it is estimated that 250 million people around the world took part in the challenge from 177 countries. The Plastic Free Foundation also estimated that 9 out of every 10 people who completed the challenge made changes that become daily habits after completing the challenge, contributing to a total saving of 825 million kg of plastic waste each year. How incredible is that?!
Whether you’re a zero waste junky who participates in Plastic Free July annually or not, you have likely seen or heard of the alarming statistic stating that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. That is a number that, quite frankly, scares the sh&*t out of us. However, it’s the small, grassroots efforts such as those by the Plastic Free Foundation getting more notoriety that are helping to move the plastic free movement more mainstream… and also people like you taking the time to learn about the efforts because you care!
As you also most likely already know, we at Lumi Basics deeply care about the health of our planet which led us to create our company in the first place. We firmly believe that personal care products should be just as beneficial for the planet and environment as they are for your skin. It is that very thought that leads us in every move we make and product we create. All of our products are formulated using 100% natural ingredients straight from nature; sourcing sustainably, organically, and fair trade is always our first priority. But beyond that, we package all products in little to no plastic, offer bottle back and label free programs, as well as ship 100% plastic free and give back to our community.
Recently, we launched our first two completely plastic free products that we could not be more proud of:
dry shampoo - available in blonde and brunette
lotion bars - available in 3 scents.
So, in honor of Plastic Free July we would like to share our personal tips and tricks we practice in our everyday lives outside of our business to help reduce our waste and carbon footprint in hopes that it may help you reduce yours. These tips are simple and attainable for anyone on any budget. Truthfully, they will most likely save you money in the long run.
1. switch to reusable shopping bags
Keep a few reusable bags in your car. By storing your bags in your car, you’ll always be prepared for the grocery store or a Target shopping trip. You can easily start a collection for free as many events and/or stores will hand out free promotional reusable bags! If you forget your reusable bags (no one is perfect) you can reuse your plastic or paper bags from the store, or recycle them. We love Eco Bags!
Pro tip: After you bring your items inside and unload, hang the empty bags on your front door handle so you don’t forget to put them back in your car!
other reusable items to invest in:
There truly is an eco-friendly swap for almost anything. Here are a few other brands we love that offer reusable swaps:
- water bottle: https://www.kleankanteen.com/
- zip lock bags: https://www.stasherbag.com/
- cling wrap: https://abeego.com/
- tampons: https://divacup.com/
- reusable “paper” towels: https://threebluebirds.com/
Want a one-stop-shop for all your reusable needs? Check out one of our favorite stores, Package Free Shop.
2, shop secondhand and donate clothing
Thrifting is great for the planet and your wallet. The clothing industry has a huge impact on the environment and sustainable fashion does not always fit in our budgets. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the US alone throws away 13 million tons of clothing every year. Buying second hand will keep plastic out of landfills (e.g. polyester, nylon, etc.) and positively contribute to the decrease in textile demand and subsequent waste associated. Here are some of our go-to’s for thrifting online:
3. conserve energy at home
Cutting back on energy consumption is one of the most impactful ways to be greener and it can also save you some money on your energy bill. Here are some super easy ways to reduce your energy consumption everyday:
- Unplug electronics when you aren’t using them
- Unplug appliances (like your toaster) when you aren’t using them
- Swap out bad light bulbs with more eco-friendly ones such as LED
- Wash your clothes using cold water
- Lower the heat in winter and bundle up with a warm blanket and sweater
- Raise the AC in the summer, even just a degrees or two at night helps
4. reduce food waste
Most food waste ends up in landfills, giving off CO2 emissions and contributing to negative environmental impact. Be mindful when food shopping to only buy what you are going to use right away. Being prepared with a list at the grocery store is a great way to ensure you only leave with what you need!
It is also important to be mindful of how you store your fruits and veggies to make sure they last as long as they can.
- Wrap loose lettuce in a damp kitchen towel to extend its life. Seriously, you won't believe how long a head of romaine can last when stored this way!
- Place your herbs in a cup filled with water. Make sure to change out the water every few days
- Freeze what is about to go bad to use in smoothies or to reheat and eat later
5. make your own
A very important part of living plastic free and more sustainably is to repurpose what you already have. Yes that trendy all organic cleaning spray is better for the environment than one filled with toxins, but what if you can make one that’s just as good out of ingredients you already have at home? Get creative! No matter what it is you are in need of, we are willing to bet someone has a solution for you that you can easily find on google. Here are some easy things to make at home:
- cleaning products using a mixture of vinegar, water, and lemon or essential oils placed in an old bottle
- paper towels using old cut up t-shirts
- homemade Laundry detergent
- homemade dishwasher detergent
What to do if you can’t find plastic free options
Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, there is no getting around having little bits of plastic in the things that we buy… and that’s ok! You can make a difference just by choosing items that, while they may be packaged in plastic, are recyclable or made from recycled materials. Or maybe you choose to purchase from a local small business that isn’t necessarily plastic free but uses quality ingredients and gives back to the community. These things matter too!
These small steps are just the beginning. Once you get started making more sustainable, environmentally swaps and actions for your household and other everyday items you will naturally want to do more. However, we do suggest going easy on yourself and not attempting to tackle too many things all at once. Start with bringing reusable grocery bags to the store or investing in a reusable water bottle. Trying to go all in at first might be too overwhelming and cause you to give up. It is also important to know that you absolutely do not have to get rid of every plastic item you already have any use (we’re looking at you, tupperware). As we mentioned, part of living a more sustainable life is making use of what you already have. If you have a reusable water bottle, use it! If you can repurpose something instead of tossing it out, do that!
To celebrate Plastic Free July this year, we are offering 20% off all of our plastic free products! Yes, we know we (literally) just said that you don’t have to go out and buy all new things when you’re starting out, but sometimes rewarding yourself is part of the excitement. Plus, these products are 100% plastic free and organic… how can you say no to that??
Use code PLASTICFREE at checkout for 20% off our plastic free dry shampoo and plastic free lotion bars!