We are kicking off Plastic Free July and for many of us we love the idea but it seems almost impossible in this plastic packaged world we live in. Even if we cannot achieve the ideal of a completely Plastic Free month, we can all make a commitment to try and reduce our use.
Young Vinnies made the commitment to keep its Winter Sleepout free from plastic, and the boys all brought along mugs for their soup. It was great to see them, rinsing them out so they could then have a milo…2 styro-foam cups saved for each student! With around 60 people attending the sleepout that was 120 less cups sent to landfill. I know that it is a small step, but if everyone is willing to take it, that adds up to a lot.
Single use plastics such as straws, takeaway plastic cutlery, plastic shopping bags (yes even the heavy duty ones they give us at the shops that can be used two or three times)and Gladwrap, are easy ones to target. News reports tell us that it is the small plastic items that slip through the cracks and float into our water ways and the oceans. If the only commitment you make is to give up straws, stop the plastic bags at the shop, and avoid take away plastic cutlery then this is a great contribution.
There are fancy bamboo cutlery packs that you can buy and metal straws, to keep handy in your car or bag, but a simple alternative is to wash and reuse plastic cutlery that you have or just don’t use a straw. I keep a plastic knife, fork and spoon in a zip lock bag in my hand bag ready for any occasion. Problem solved! Bees wax wraps are a great alternative to Gladwrap. Next semester, the Mazenod Sustainability boys will be making Wraps for purchase. Keep an eye out in the newsletter for updates.
It takes a bit of retraining to remember our reuseables but it is worth the effort. Make July the month to have a go and try to reduce our impact on the planet and eliminate single use plastic from our lives.