Plastic Free July
by Lisa Dolloff
July 01, 2023
It's Plastic Free July!
As herbalists, green witches, or just as people who like plants and herbs and nature, we're stewards of the environment. For everything nature gives us, it's important that we intentionally put in the work to reduce our negative impact on the earth we depend on.
This month is a great time for each of us to evaluate our use of plastics and make changes to reduce our dependence on these "forever materials". We call plastics "forever materials", because although many will eventually break down, some will take hundreds of years, and most won't ever fully break down. They just get smaller.
Plastics are made from fossil fuels, so they negatively affect our environment from the start. Then, even though much of plastic is recyclable, only an average of 9% globally actually gets recycled. Most of it ends up in landfills where it stays forever, or it ends up in places like The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, one of the garbage islands floating in our ocean.
Plastic is inevitable in our modern society, and may even be better than alternatives in some cases, but single-use plastics, especially single-use plastics from virgin materials, are a huge and almost entirely avoidable burden on our environemnt. Just as substantial a problem are disposable household items made from plastic that are easily replaceable with plant-based compostable items or refillable items.
It's always best to use up what you have, and to reuse whatever you can (even plastic), but Plastic Free July is the perfect time to make intentional changes to reduce plastic use to keep it out of landfills and waterways. Most changes are so easy, you'll be able to make them a permanent part of your life without much effort.
Not all changes will work with all lifestyles and all budgets, but all small changes add up. Don't worry about doing it perfectly, just choose what you can do, and do it consistently. One of the biggest mistakes we make as humans is not realizing how impactful we are, and how much of a positive change we can make when we do it together.
Check out the official site of Plastic Free July (we're not affiliated with them in any way) and follow along with us on our Instagram or Facebook in July for daily eco-friendly replacement ideas for commercial plastic products. Some of the items are eco-friendly and/or compostable items we have available in the shop, and some are just general ideas or items we don't carry but love.
Let us know on IG or FB, or comment below, about your personal Plastic Free July challenge you're giving yourself and what change(s) you're making!