There’s no denying that the harmful effects of climate change are being felt most sharply this century. Aside from scientific reports claiming that the last 20 years have been the warmest on record, many living organisms are simply fighting to survive. While the absence of action by global leaders is a major contributor to the problem, we must also hold ourselves accountable.
Plastic Free July empowers millions of people from around the globe to do exactly that — take the first steps towards becoming more environmentally conscious. It acts as a reminder that all it takes is one person committing to ditch plastic for 31 days to spark change.
Challenging yourself to make greener choices during one single month is a good start. But what if you could get others on board too?
Below are some of the ways you can inspire your community to join you for the month of July and help preserve the environment.
Do your part and say ‘No’ to plastic bottles, straws, and bags
Did you know that with the current usage of plastic, it’s estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean? It’s about time we reverse this trend and eliminate plastic we don’t want to be swimming with when on vacation.
Switch to a reusable water bottle, a metal straw, and a cotton tote bag for getting groceries. You can also refuse single-use coffee cups and bring your own instead which will encourage your friends and family to follow your lead.
Perform a waste audit at home and at your workplace
A sure way to get your loved ones and colleagues to rethink their recycling habits is to study your own trash. This means assessing what waste you’re producing and whether it can be reduced or avoided altogether.
Speaking about adopting eco-friendly habits at work and therefore jumpstarting the bigger-scale plastic-free movement, a proven way to bring about change is to start bringing your own lunch to work. Not only will this be a conversation started in the common kitchen but it will also serve as a reminder for others to think twice before ordering a takeout.
No need to make any drastic changes straight away — purchasing a composting bin for turning organic waste into compost will do the trick. Choosing to sign papers digitally and suggesting others start sharing documents via the cloud instead of printing might even help the company to minimize its carbon footprint as a whole.
Bring your work lunch in reusable containers
To take it up a notch, you can also invest in reusable silverware and either leave it at work or pack it with your lunch container. This way, you’re killing two birds with one stone — reducing your plastic consumption and setting an example for others.
Organize a clean-up in your neighborhood
Our oceans are filled with litter and so becomes the food you consume. To maintain good health, use Plastic Free July as an opportunity to spread awareness about polluted oceans by organizing a cleanup in your area. It doesn’t even have to be a beach, a lakeside, or a riverside — a local park will benefit from less trash too.
Tell your fellow neighbors, local businesses, and other community members about the event and you’re likely to get a thumbs up for your initiative. If you know someone who’s knowledgeable about environmental issues, you can invite them to shine some light too.
ARRANGE A LOCAL FUNDRAISING EVENT WITH FUNDS GOING TOWARDS AN ENVIRONMENTAL CAUSE
You can involve an even bigger number of people by hosting a fundraising event where everyone can donate as much as they can for a good cause. It can take the form of a dinner party with food catered by local farmers or a weekend workshop with invited environmentalist experts motivating the attendees to do their part in keeping the planet clean.
Making a lasting change isn’t easy. It takes the willingness to learn and do better so that the next generation doesn’t have to deal with the mess that’s currently being made. Use Plastic Free July as an excuse to get out of your comfort zone, make smarter lifestyle choices, and persuade your local community to do the same.
Author: Casper Ohm