Top 5 ways to get involved with Plastic Free July (and August, September, October...)
It can be difficult to go cold turkey on single-use plastics, there are not many people who have made a new habit by giving something up immediately or doing something only once (did you become an active gym go-er from just the first time you went?).
There are so many different ways to do it that we thought we would compile some tips in getting you started on your plastic-free journey.
1. Choose 3 items to start with
Suddenly removing all single-use plastics from your life isn't easy and it can be scary to take the plunge into the plastic-free world. Humans adapt best to small changes slowly and steadily and there’s no reason why your plastic habits shouldn’t be the same. Try choosing 3 items of plastic in your life that you are going to work on phasing out. They could be 3 you find easiest e.g. plastic bags, straws and coffee cups or 3 from a certain ‘zone’ e.g. the kitchen or bathroom. Once you've got those 3 things down, you can choose another 3!
2. Use this easy to navigate mind map
This cool mind map is a great place to refer to in times of need and you could use it to help you do Tip Number 1!
3. Find out what you can and can’t recycle in your area
Have you heard of the Four R's? Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. These are four helpful words which can guide you in making wise decisions in your daily lives. Recycling is the last resort but sometimes unavoidable.
Where you do have plastic or other waste materials, it can be confusing to know how to dispose of it - “Can I recycle soft plastics? Can I recycle this meat tray?”. Thankfully, Keep New Zealand Beautiful have launched The National Litter Hub this month where you can navigate to your region and it will provide you with a list of items that you can and can’t put in your kerbside recycling.
You can also recycle soft plastics by depositing them in specific recycling bins stationed at some supermarkets and shops. You can find out more about soft plastic recycling here.
4. Go one step further
Brad (our GM) out plogging on one of the Hauraki Gulf's stunning beaches
Are you an avid runner or jogger? Brad, our General Manager, totally recommends taking up plogging. If you're not sure what that means, it's jogging + picking up rubbish at the same time!
If you're more of a strolling kind of person, you can join in too. There are many campaigns out there such as Take 3 for the Sea and you can join in on different communities by posting your hauls with hashtags such as #take3forthesea #plasticfreenz #plasticfreejuly #saveourseas (the list goes forever!).
5. Encourage each other
Do you know someone who is already trying to reduce the amount of plastic in their lives? Perhaps you can join forces to support and inspire each other – before you know it there might be a little community of you helping each other out!