And so it begins…Plastic Free July!

And so it begins…Plastic Free July!

Yep, it’s the 1st July, and that means the Plastic Free July challenge is upon us once again. Someone asked me recently how my preparations were going. Thing is, they’re not..because every day is already plastic-free for us. Whilst I still get really excited about Plastic Free July, most of that excitement is directed towards encouraging others to take up the challenge, to spread the word and support plastic-free living with ideas and suggestions  – things that have worked for us.

This will be our third Plastic Free July challenge, so I feel we know a thing or two now about ways to reduce our plastic consumption by now! I thought to celebrate the start of the challenge, I’d trawl through my blog archives and share some of the most popular plastic-free blog posts that I’ve written; things that I learned along the way that have become a way of living.

If you’re new to the challenge, that’s great! Hopefully these posts will provide some ideas to get you started. If you haven’t signed up yet, go for it! There’s no minus points for starting late!

Plastic Free July: 5 “How-To”s for Getting Started

1. How to Line Your Bin with Newspaper

One of the arguments I always hear in favour of plastic bags, is “but what will I use to line my bin with?” The answer for us was the free community paper we receive each week. After we’ve read it, we line the bin. You can find step-by-step instructions by clicking the title above.

2. Make Your Own Deodorant

This recipe is really simple, uses ingredients that you’ll find in your pantry and most importantly, it actually works!

3. Make your Own Toothpaste

I even checked with my dentist that my toothpaste recipe was safe and effective, and she gave it her seal of approval. I use glycerin or coconut oil as a base, sodium bicarbonate as the abrasive, a drop of clove oil for its antimicrobial properties and peppermint oil to make it taste like toothpaste. Sort of. You may find it an acquired taste to start with, but it;s gets better with time!

4.  Make Your Own Nut Milk

cashewmilkfinalWe have found milk in glass bottles, but I also make my own nut milk. It works great on cereal and in smoothies and hot chocolate (yes it does!), and also for baking. If you can’t find milk in glass it’s a great way to reduce the amount you consume. This is the recipe for cashew nut milk, but you can try with all nuts (you may have to strain them) and even seeds!

5. Make Your Own Yoghurt

I started out making yoghurt with cow’s milk – it’s really simple and so much cheaper and tastier than buying it from the shops. Once I found out I had to cut out dairy, I had a go at making coconut yoghurt, which is a little more complicated but equally delicious! I’ve never tried with nut milks, and I still need to master making my own coconut milk for a completely waste-free experience, but I’m on the case and it’s a work in progress!

If you drink cow’s milk, try this recipe for natural yoghurt.

If you’re dairy-free, here’s the recipe for coconut yoghurt.

Are you taking part in Plastic Free July this year? Is there anything you feel stuck with? Or are there any great plastic-free tips and solutions you’d like to share? Join the discussion and leave a comment below!

15 Responses to And so it begins…Plastic Free July!

  1. Will definitely try if I can find all the ingredients!
    I am much more careful with plastic since seeing the documentary “bag it” but still find it extremely hard to live a “normal” life (however much that is possible ;)) doing completely without.
    I must say your recipes help a lot in that direction… many thanks!

    • Ah, you saw Bag it! Such a life-changing documentary. And good for you, making changes!

      What is a “normal” life exactly anyway?!

      Glad the recipes help!

        • I’ve heard about this machine before but I’ve never seen a video or any actual details about it. I’m intrigued though – if this is such a great machine doing great things, why aren’t they everywhere?! That doesn’t make sense to me : /

          • I had the same question coming up as I saw it but I’m not an expert in business… is it because there needs to be a demand & there are less people interested in ecology than a majority who are not, or is it because it needs time to get into the market, be available instead of people having to make the effort to seek out for it…
            Our path to a healthy environment is a very slow one which needs a lot of patience :)
            YouTube is a brilliant tool but it might not be enough to promote something quick & on a grand scale to make big changes, fast.
            But I’m optimistic, nobody spoke before as much about organic or veganism, today it’s practically on everybody’s lips & what sounded ridiculous then is today, very much, in so, we are getting there maybe not as fast as we’d like to but we all make a much bigger difference than we suspect :)

    • Oil pulling. Now that’s a habit I just can’t get to stick. Two weeks ago I decided I was definitely going to do it every day. And I did it precisely zero times. Now you’ve reminded me I’ll have to get back onto it!

      We actually ran out of toothpaste a couple of months ago, and my boyfriend offered to make a new one. I’m still waiting, and we’ve been using straight bicarb instead. The paste is easier to use, but it does the job.

      • Yes, I did find it hard to stick with at first but then got into a routine but when challenges presents themselves at times I tend to go back to old habits so I should get back to it as it’s been a hectic end of year here :)
        I felt more “put together” when doing it if that makes any sense… & had more strength, I could jam in the day much more than usual.

        • Well I did it this morning, so that’s a start. It’s easier when the coconut oil is already liquid though!

  2. Making yogurt is so easy to do! Besides reducing consumption of excessive packaging, I like that you can avoid added sugars that so often make their way into even packaged organic yogurt. Thanks for all the links!

    • Yes it is! In the UK it’s possible to buy decent yoghurt, but here in Australia it’s all bulked out with milk powder, gelatin and other additives – it’s pretty hard to find a natural one, and then it’s really expensive. And often in plastic! Everyone should make their own – cheaper, healthier and better for the planet. What else could you want? : )

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