Inspired by the Plastic Free July movement, we’re here to talk about some reasons why we care about going plastic-free and zero-waste, and we hope to inspire you to do the same!
First, let’s bring some awareness to why plastic-free and zero-waste is lightyears more advanced than recycling. On average, only 10% of plastic is actually recycled. That means that 90% is NOT. Let that sink in. And even though you’re able to let it sink in, our oceans can’t. Because of the buoyancy and resilience of plastic, along with the amount we consume, and the lack of recycling that is actually happening, on our planet we now have these pseudo islands called garbage patches, or trash vortexes. We currently have 5 of them, the Pacific Garbage Patch being the largest. This patch floats between Hawaii and California, and contains 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic.
Plastic Free July is here to inspire us to do what we can in every moment of every day. It’s an idea that started a movement to get us thinking about plastic pollution. Plastic Free July gives you a comfortable 31 day boundary to fit your lifestyle. Start slow, build on your progress, award yourself when you’re doing a good job, and be honest with your process.
What do you find struggling about it? What do you find easy?
What do you hate about it? What do you love?
Shopping tips & microplastics in our food
With this knowledge, we want to give you some plastic-free shopping tips you may not know about. Shopping can be one of the most challenging places to stay true to the plastic-free lifestyle. We hope these tips help you!
Some well known items to watch for are: water bottles,
offee cups and lids, straws, grocery bags, and those
little plastic bags from the bulk section. Investing in items
you truly love, made by a good company will ensure
they’ll last a long time and you’ll enjoy showing them off,
aka actually using them!
Some items that contain plastic we don’t always think of when shopping are: tea bags. As of 2018, 95% of tea bags have a sealant that contains plastic. Choosing loose leaf teas (bringing your jar versus using a plastic bag of course ;)), or tea bags that are sealed with a staple are the solution to this issue; shopping bags for places beyond the grocery store like the drugstore, hardware store, or your favorite specialty store. This can be especially challenging for men who don’t often carry a purse or backpack like many women; salt. Sea salt is often contaminated with the microplastics that seep into our oceans. Over 90% of sampled salt brands globally were found to contain microplastics. Choose salt companies that market themselves as, and have proof of being plastic-free; honey. A study of 19 different types of honey from Europe and South America showed traces of microplastics. Choose local honey in a glass jar, like from your local beekeeper at a farmers market, or source from a reputable company; canned foods. Unless otherwise stated, most cans are lined with BPA- the plastic chemical that has been linked to cancer, obesity and other serious health conditions; finally, supplement bottles. Think about how you can go bulk with your vitamins in other forms such as more fruits or veggies, less sweets or carbs. We know this isn’t possible with all things, but it’s fun and interesting to research how to source vitamins naturally versus taking the same pill or powder month after month. Switch it up and you may find yourself more connected to your food supply, self-care, and overall health.
When ordering to-go items, get used to saying things first, as in, no straws, no salsa, no ketchup.
Get used to a couple extra steps. For example, when you’ve emptied your reusable bags and jars, wash and put them next to the door, or in your car, this creates accountability and utilizes your new habits. Source a nice weaved basket, or a bag with a thick weave for durability (even better if it’s locally made or from a secondhand store). You want to continue to take these extra steps!
Bake your own crackers! As a mom and a lover of the outdoors, Blue Heron Botanicals owner and herbalist, Theora, is often on the go with her son in tow. Crackers are an excellent way to get nutrients, keep everyone energized, entertained, and ahead of the “hangry”, but almost all store-bought crackers are wrapped in plastic once you get past the cute cardboard box. Our solution? Bake your own! It’s a small step in the plastic-free, zero-waste movement, but it will show you just how simple it can be to take your home, your health, and loving your planet into your own hands.
All Blue Heron Botanicals products are plastic-free, and most are zero-waste and completely compostable.
For every product sold, a baby turtle is saved through See Turtles.
Remember to follow us on Instagram for special offers and more info on the plastic-free, zero-waste movement.
Share this blog with your friends, get them interested, involved, and on your team!
Theora & Emma