Plastic-Free Future: August Challenge
They say it takes a month to make a habit of something. Many of things we’re used to - plastic bags for grocery store produce, plastic water bottles you buy after the gym, the straw in your iced coffee - are conveniences we have become accustomed too after a lifetime of being told that disposable things are perfectly acceptable and completely normal. But the reality of these conveniences is that plastic contains toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity and endocrine disruption. Because of these chemicals, plastic spoils our ground water and threatens wildlife, disrupting food chains and ecosystems. Plastic is also made to last - it isn’t biodegradable - and yet 33% of all plastic is used once and then thrown away.
But there are some exciting changes taking place: Starbucks will soon no longer be offering plastic straws, McDonald's is experimenting with paper straws, and the UK has reduced single-use plastic bags by 85% since introducing a levy in 2015. We’re finally starting to see some big changes take place, changes which indicate that green living isn’t just a passing fad. As corporations and governments begin to respond to the demand for reusable products, we can do our part to make sure that these changes become permanent shifts.
For the month of August, we’re challenging our readers to go plastic free! It’s time to build a new habit, whether it’s always having a reusable bag on hand, setting a reminder to bring your water bottle to yoga class, or sending your child to school with a reusable straw. We’re challenging you to do whatever is in your means to take steps towards a plastic free future! Here are our recommendations for your first plastic free month.
Flip & Tumble: Red 24 - 7 Bag $16.00
From bag to ball, the 24-7 bag is a snap to keep with you all the time. Sure, it will handle milk and eggs like a charm, but its versatile shoulder design also works for everything from day-tripping on travels to bringing your lunch to work.
CredoBags: Produce Bags $30.00
Finally, mesh Produce Bags for fruits and vegetables to replace single use bags at the grocery store or farmers’ market.
CredoBags: Bulk Bags $26.00
These cotton Bulk Bags are a practical storage solution for bulk purchases such as rice, dried beans, nuts, coffee, pasta and grains. Use the smaller size for herbs or loose teas. The larger size for lettuces, potatoes celery etc. and keep them in the refrigerator or dry storage to prolong freshness. Take these lightweight bags with you for bulk shopping- they are light to transport and then easily unload them at home into your glass jars.
Baggu: Standard Baggu in Peach $13.50
Baggu reusable bags aren't just for the grocery store. Carry in your hand or over your shoulder. Holds 2-3 plastic grocery bags worth of stuff. Folds into a flat 5 in. x 5 in. pouch. Holds 50 lbs. Comes in three sizes and a ton of fun patterns.
To see our entire collection of reusable bags, click here.
U-Konserve: Stainless Steel Straws $12.00
U-Konserve straws are made of food-grade stainless steel. BPA, phthalate and lead free, these straws are also dishwasher safe. Sold in sets of two. For easy cleaning, check out the Straw Brush ($5.50).
Reusable Water Bottles & Coffee Cups
bkr: teeny $36.00, regular $45.00 - $55.00, big $55.00
Inspired by sleek modern art and the notion that beauty can spark real change, the super stylish bkr water bottles are made from glass (the ultimate green and clean material). These water bottles resist odor, will never leach chemicals and don't look like camping equipment.
S'well: Small $30.99, Standard $36.99
These beautifully crafted S’well bottles are composed of non-leaching and non-toxic 18/8 stainless steel. They keep drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. Dozens of unique patterns and colours to choose from.
Joco: Reusable Coffee Cup 12oz $27.00
Joco reusable cups are made from high quality, non-porous borosilicate glass and are free of BPA, lead and cadmium. Lightweight and durable, Joco cups are microwave and dishwasher safe. They also have a built in thermal sleeve, a splash proof lid and are measured from standard takeaway cup sizes, making them barista friendly.