58 tips on how to reduce your waste & join Plastic Free July 2019 like a pro!

BONUS Free eBook with 80 tips on how to Go Plastic-Free all year round!

Taking part in the Plastic Free July 2019 challenge means an attempt to reduce your plastic consumption for July. However, as you will soon understand through reading this ebook, cutting plastic is about creating a habit. Science has demonstrated that we need 21 days of repetitive actions to implement new habits in our lives. Most of us starting our Plastic Free July challenge today will carry on a chain of successful plastic-free events. Ready to unravel what could be the start of your zero waste journey?

Tips Plastic Free July 2019 for everyone

  1. Moving towards un-overwhelmed change

Changes don’t happen overnight. Before you get started on the plastic-free challenge, you must understand that it is not about perfection; it’s about making better choices. 

Plastic-free is a goal, and especially at the beginning, you will find it hard not to create waste. And definitely, you don’t have to purchase all at once. In fact, there will ALWAYS be specific products that plastic you can’t avoid plastic. Because plastic is literally, everywhere! All that we do at Ourgoodbrands is to help people to understand that every single step matters, that together, we can make the world a better place. 

  1. Start practising activism

This is just about asking straightforward questions:

Do I really need it?

Or, could I live without it?

Do I have to own it?

If you feel like you will give it a few uses only, think about options: borrowing, renting or finding the item at a second-hand shop

activist consumer ethical shopping

 

  1. Observe & research

Observation is another great way of being an activist consumer. Check up on the internet (better if you use Ecosia’s search engine, a browser that plants trees for every search) and surprisingly you may find bulk stores, markets and other eco-conscious shops. A great way to start is to go there and just observe. Make a list of all the potential items you would usually purchase and that you could easily start to replace. 

Part of the observation practice is also to bring awareness of your daily actions. Knowing how you behave when it comes to consuming will make your process way more manageable. In fact, this will cause you to become more evident when it comes to goal-setting

  1. Finish the products you have

This challenge is not about throwing all plastic items away. Whether it is a Christmas tree, hygiene products, food, toys… just make the most out of it. At the end of the day, they may still have a value for you and throwing them away while they can be used will create the opposite effect of what we are planning to achieve here. As you go, you will find that many items will slowly be replaced with more sustainable materials.

  1. Punishment-free

We shall not forget that we are a bunch of humans trying to do the best we can. We live in a society where things are meant to be thrown away, not in a perfect world where not finding plastic is normal. So be patient with yourself and make sure you make one step at a time. The longer you pursue the goal, the better you will become. If you make mistakes and you want to improve like a PRO, then keep a diary with your list. We would love to share some of those with us and celebrate them together!

Do you want to keep these tips forever? Here is the FREE ebook with 80 tips on how to go Plastic Free July 2019 and all the year round. The go-to guide for anyone who is willing to make a difference taking one step at a time.

ebook guide go plastic free julyIf you want a smaller guide with just the basics. here are our Top 10 tips to go Zero Waste for beginners.

Products for Plastic Free July that will make your life easier

Guide to Plastic Free July 2019 for Food & Beverage

  1. Reusable Straws

As we all know, we don’t need straws to drink, and the problem is these are served everywhere, as it was a standard we had asked for. If you find straws are your thing or tend to have drinks that are typically served with straw – such as smoothies, fresh coconuts, or even cocktails… then reusable straws is a MUST.

The different materials you might find are glass, which would recommend having at home. Even better than glass would be stainless steel – more resistant as you can imagine. Or bamboo straws! Yes, we get excited as bamboo is our favourite material and again, it is 100% natural.

Yourstraw is one of our favourite brands. Lightweight and easy to take with you wherever you go, travelling or just going to the cafe in the corner. These bamboo straws are fish-friendly and also biodegradable, back to nature.

  1. Reusable Water bottles

One of the biggies to avoid plastic use is not to leave home without your water bottle. You will find that almost everywhere there is an opportunity to fill it in. Also, refillable bottle machines are becoming more popular. Here are some good brands that may work for you!

Lifestraw: we find these the top water bottles. Basically, these guys are redefining the safe drinking water space through technology. Especially if you are planning to travel LifeStraw has created a product that could filter out virtually all of the microbiological contaminants that make water unsafe to drink. Further to this water filter straw is used in water products and projects in more than 64 countries around the world.

Frank Green: Their SmartBottles and the help of iHydrate app are literally so smart that you can keep a record to learn if you had enough hydration throughout the day.

ONYA: as we will see later on ONYA is the plastic-free shopping king, and some of the range of products includes water bottles (and also coffee-cups!) they are all ethically made from recycled materials.

When finding filtered water is hard, we find Carton & Water Co to be a great option on the go!

  1. Coffee cups

How much plastic would you save with an eco coffee cup?

design your own coffee cup keep cup brand impact infographic

With Keep Cup (http://bit.ly/EcoKeepCup) you can track your impact and learn how much plastic you have saved with their calculator.

It was born for the consumers to have a beautiful design made and chosen by themselves for life. Create your design of the personalised coffee cup, size and colours with infinite combinations available. The range of prices is between $11 and $36 depending on size and features. 

Frank Green SmartCups has a double-walled thermoplastic outer layer keeps drinks hotter for longer. They are safe for dishwashers and better cleaning. They are stylish and functional for easy drinking, as the push button operation opens and closes the spill resistant lid. Another feature that makes Frank Green even cooler is that they have partnered with CaféPay. So no more cash and your loyalty will be rewarded with free coffees and special offers.

The prices of the bottles range between $30 and $40, depending on the size and selected features. You have the option to get a gift box, which will make it more affordable.

Frank Green BYO reusable bottles brand impact infographic

  1. Preferable glass or aluminium containers

Between the broad range of food and beverage products out there, preferably pick those brands that package on glass or aluminium. They have reasonable rates of recycling and, since they are not plastic, don’t add more waste to the problem we are here to fight! Now, really important, please make sure you wash the glass or aluminium containers before throwing them into the rubbish otherwise most likely they will not be recycled and end in the landfill. 

There are positives and negatives about both materials, but still better than plastic. Soon we will share with you some PRO tips to up-cycle these containers and make the most out of them!

  1. Tea strainers

Wait, what?! Tea bags also contain plastic?Well, the is a whole industry behind, and this video shows it very well. Combine the old-fashioned metal tea strainer with loose-leaf teas which you can buy in bulk and many health food stores. 

  1. Plastic-Free produce

This is an obvious one, we know! There is no way we need to purchase bananas, avocados, watermelons wrapped in plastic hey! But hell, it still does happen which upsets all of us on a daily basis! 

So moving back to the positive… Look at this beauty! #PlasticFreeProduce is an excellent way of discovering new ways of shopping your fresh produce, connect and campaign along with a quite vast community of plastic-free people! Oh too inspiring!

But what might not be that obvious is that for some reason we will carry with us our tote bags, but then we will use these little bags to put in the fresh produce anyway! See, the problem here is that especially THESE small plastic bags are entirely useless… They have less use than single-use, believe us! So while you are doing already the effort to carry your shopping bags, make that step further and use some of everEco organic cotton net! Again, endless brands out there, short or long handle, with or without colours… PARADISE!

  1. Pasta or rice in Cardboard

We are saying this because the supermarkets are hard to find some of the basics, pasta or rice, packaged plastic-free. We have noticed that the brand Barilla is often shared on posts by the zero waste warriors.

  1. Say no to chewing gum

Chewing gum: Yep, it’s got plastic in it! AND it is a completely unnecessary product. If you like it too much, try to find a natural alternative. 100,000 tonnes of plastic pollution every year are reason enough for us to stop chewing, uh?

  1. Cook more 

Another obvious one! In what is take away food served most of the times?! Repeat with us… PLASTIC! Cooking is THE way if you want to reduce your plastic impact. Oh, wait! You can go out for lunch or dinner, but just have it there! 

If cooking is not your favourite, a good option is to plan your meals for the week, even prepare larger quantities when possible and freeze them. It will save you time and money, and even better, you will avoid having to chunk away food that once upon a time could be okay to eat! It’s all about reducing waste – isn’t?

TIP FOR PROS – Go to Pinterest… an endless source of inspiration for meals. The most interesting is that when you have a few ingredients left and don’t know what to do, keyword in them in the app browser and MAGIC! Some fantastic recipes will show up for you. Creativity once click away!

  1. Water filter 

Not everywhere water is good tasting… we totally get that! A water filter is such an important investment. So to say, bottled water costs almost 4,000 times more than tap water. While 1 litre of tap water costs a fraction of a cent, bottled water can cost up to $5 per litre. And consumers spend more than 0,5 billion dollars every year on bottled water. It takes an enormous amount of energy and non-renewable petrochemicals to get water from the source and to make disposable bottles. Without considering the efforts of refrigeration and recycling. 

Consider to check out Home Pure Nova, which is considered one of the best drinking water filter & NSF Certified. The matter is that every time we drink water, we are putting in our bodies nocive components due to weak water filters. Since water is essential for our life, that’s why it should be clean, healthy. Home Pure Nova is also great tasting because it’s the only one that provides 99% filtration. 

Again! If you need a more affordable option, LifeStraw bottle has an integrated water filter straw, which at least will ensure that any water is safe to drink! Just for you to have an idea the first filter was developed to remove Guinea worm larvae from the water it was contaminating. Once they had the technology in place, LifeStraw created a product that could filter out virtually all of the microbiological contaminants that make water unsafe to drink. 

  1. Wood and bamboo cutlery 

Wood or bamboo are materials that are sustainable per-se. Ideally, you would opt for bamboo as it is a grass that grows infinitely, while with wood you always need to check if fresh trees have been used or only remnants. 

Cling Nature are the bamboo kings, also offer cutlery which is perfect for travellers as these are light-weighted items. The set contains a spoon, a fork and a knife. It’s ideal for travellers as it is light weighted and easy to carry. As always, bamboo is naturally made, with no toxins and BPA free.

  1. Bee’s wrap

Store your food properly and make it last longer. Worth saying to avoid plastic or aluminium foil, the good thing to do now is making your own Bee’s wrap. If that is too much, there is an endless list of brands you can find out there, as well as many creative people producing large quantities for sale. A new economy is coming up with bee’s wrap, and it is quite unbelievable the designs they come up with!

Guide to Plastic Free July 2019 for Shopping

  1. Reusable bags 

You can be horrified by how some households accumulate “millions” of plastic bags from the supermarket. We tend to hoard them because we go shopping more often than these would be required on a lifetime. Worse, they don’t even fit in the rubbish container… so at the end of the day, it is stupid plastic that it’s destiny can only be the landfill.  So, carry your tote bags. End of the story.

  1. TIP FOR PROS- Not forget your reusable bag

guide plastic free july 2019 zero waste shopping

  1. Bulk everything

Whether it’s veggies, bread, cereals, milk, oils, cleaning products… bulk stores and fresh local markets tend to have all options available. This will also allow you to buy only the quantities you need and adjust better to your budget.

Onya: this brand is making the life of many – zero waste or not -much easier. From reusable shopping, bread or bulk food bags,… all are made ethically from recycled materials. They have managed to create a zero-waste business model that also works together with other companies to implement initiatives and get more people to incorporate sustainable habits.

zero waste life onya brand impact infographic

  1. Reuse glass jars

Once you have decided to switch to glass containers for the products you purchase, then you can easily upcycle them for your bulk shopping. To avoid using the paper bags available in the shop, just write the weight of the container itself and you are ready to shop in bulk!

  1. Labelling

Soak your containers to get the labels off (eucalyptus oil can help)! Also, consider using a greaseproof pencil, so you can label the jars I can label the jars without needing to buy sticky labels or mark them permanently. This will help you to remember the date you refilled the container to make sure it doesn’t get old! 

  1. Meat or fish? BYO container

Take your containers to the local butcher or fish market… They will by default serve their food in plastic-based packaging, but glad to say that lately, we have seen a rise of shops accepting people to bring their own container. You will not see this happening in the bigger supermarket for illogical hygiene reasons. But if you go to local shops, it will also allow you to start a conversation, and made some business owners realise how much money they could save by not needing as much single-use packaging.

  1. Shop in the fresh market

The benefits of going to a fresh market are so obvious: to start with, as the name says FRESH food. You will not just support local farmers working hard to provide you with better fruits & veggies (sometimes even organically produced), but also you will generally not find a trace of plastic. To shop like a pro, get organised by checking the calendar of local events in your city. Believe us: shopping is way more fun!

Do you want to keep these tips forever? Here is the FREE ebook with 80 tips on how to go Plastic Free July 2019 and all the year round. The go-to guide for anyone who is willing to make a difference taking one step at a time.

ebook guide go plastic free july

Guide to Plastic Free July 2019 mastering Hygiene

  1. Toothbrush

Sasa Collective or The toothbrush project another bamboo basic. We should change our toothbrushes every three months, so only one person would already make a pretty cool impact if we decide to go to a natural choice and alternative to plastic.

sasa collective eco toothbrush infographic impact plastic waste

  1. Tooth cleaning

The Eco-Floss which you can find in Biome is a great option, offering a refillable dental floss. It is Vegan-friendly and plant-based, this floss is made from PLA, a bioplastic made from cornstarch and is coated in candelilla wax for a smooth glide. 30m of mint flavoured floss.

For toothpaste, our pick is the o Mandala Dream Co. which is Organic Goodness of oral hygiene in a jar. Vegan love, free of all cruelty, GMO, palm or parabens.

For those who like to get really creative on their toothpaste, doing your own has become so popular and it seems many people have succeeded as it’s extraordinarily easy to do. 

  1. Cotton buds

Bamboo cotton buds are the best zero-waste option finding it also at Biome zero waste store, which also supplies other few bamboo options (like toothbrushes) and we found it was the most biodegradable choice to clean your ears. These are made from sustainable bamboo and natural cotton. The packaging is also plastic-free, coming in an elegant recycled paper sliding box. The box is a sliding drawer type that was intended to be reused and is educational in that there is a story that unfolds as the drawer slides open.

  1. Bar soaps

Switching to body bar soaps is one of the easiest ones to do. The best part of it is that usually, you would find that the ingredients are also organic, fewer toxins and even better smell. 

Also, shampoo is possible now! The soap paradise brand is Lush which has infinite options for all types of hair & skin.

  1. Hair removal

Sooooo many options! To start with, epilators which will last for 10+ years turns out it can be a significant investment, and you can recharge every time it’s needed.

Other suitable options (especially for travellers) can be the Stainless steel razors. A well-known brand is Rockwell Safety Razor and here is all you need to know about how to compare safety razors vs cartridge razors!

Tweezers could also be an option, great to go in more detail… but only for patient people!

Also, waxing for the braver ones! The only non-petroleum based wax we have found that even doesn’t come on packaging is the sugar waxing. This is an ancient practice and you will find many recipes online, just make sure you read the pros and cons before proceeding.

  1. Skincare 

There are so many brands you can find. One of our favourites is Mandala Dream Co. where you enter the heaven of hemp creations. So healthy and gifted by Mother Nature. Created by the ecowarrior Julie Grant, started creating eco bed linens, decor, slow fashion, and not much later her range of skincare, and toiletries. 

All this just by using hemp and botanical ingredients; made by hand with love and devotion. Because organic, ethical, eco and sustainable creation cannot be rushed.

Positively values we highly respect and promote. Skin care is essential and is not just a matter of being plastic-free. Don’t you think we can all agree on this!

  1. Menstrual cup

OrganiCup: menstrual cups replace pads and tampons in the most organic way as possible. More comfortable, healthier, smarter. Month after month.

 

OrganiCup is truly sustainable, as even the packaging is biodegradable, with an organic cotton pouch for the storage of your cup. The product is high quality; 100% medical grade silicone, natural colour with no additives.

There are way more brands for menstrual cups out there, we hope sometime we can review them all. Meanwhile, check out this review which offers a full rate of the top 10 menstrual cups

  1. Period proof underwear 

YES, you did understand well! Gabi Goddard, our most fashionable blogger, takes an in-depth look at period-proof underwear. After years of using them, she’s prepared this definitive guide for Period Proof Underwear so that you can imagine what it might look like if (when!) you make the switch to period undies. Whether your monthly is light or heavy, or even if you have endometriosis, Gabi will break taboos and guide you toward a more sustainable period. She also writes a useful comparison of two of the most well-known brands’ period-proof underwear brands: Modibodi & Thinx.

  1. Wood everything

Most of the items we find in a bathroom, guess what? Are made out of plastic, which makes our toilet really unstylish and UGLY. If you give wood love, it lasts forever. Wood is warm & beautiful. It’s natural & goes back to nature. If you are handy you can even create your own. Check out Biome for more like this!

guide plastic free july 2019 zero waste bathroom
Photo Credit: Instagram @hi.zero.waste

34. Toilet paper

Who Gives a Crap: the most sustainable and funky cool toilet paper in the world. This brand does give a crap about the water contamination, the forests destruction, the greenhouse gas emissions, the amount of oil and energy used, the litres of water waste… but also there’s a purpose behind every toilet roll sold: building toilets around the world.

Who Gives a Crap sustainable brand impact infographics

 

  1. Deodorant

Every time is less hard to find plastic-free deodorant; we have discovered Taylor’s Pits! Which is also vegan, comes as a paste in a glass jar. Another quite popular one is No Pong, a brand that many have found it to be effective, it is super-natural and bicarb based. You can also find other healthy organic and vegan deodorant options in Biome zero waste store, where you will find plenty of brands that can be suitable for you! 

Our last favourite is the eco & social enterprise Coconut Matter MOOD deodorant range, as it’s not just natural, vegan, cruelty-free, but also 100% biodegradable. It’s effective and smells delicious!

As always you have a “DIY” alternatives and will find many many recipes online (make sure it’s safe, so check out the comments and reviews on other people before attempting to do your own version of plastic-free deodorant)

An extra note on deodorants be aware that it’s no longer so much about how it’s plastic-free packaged, but most commonly they have harmful chemicals which can be a common cause of breast cancer in women. Please do some research and make sure you opt for more natural & organic options.

Guide to Plastic Free July 2019 for Beauty products

  1. Makeup

There’s been a rise of plastic free makeup brands, but not just that, refillable makeup is also becoming very popular. 

Again, Coconut Matter has an extense range of zero waste lipsticks and lipbalms that come in a 100% biodegradbale packaging – and their base is made out of virgin coconut oil!

In this case, we will start with the brand Elate, which is one of the few ones that do offer refills. It’s vegan, cruelty-free, toxin-free, gluten-free AND sustainable packaging using bamboo. When you run out of the product, you recycle the tin, which is holt with a small magnet. The small stainless tins have pressed eyeshadow, blush, or foundation. 

Antonym offers compact eyeshadows, blushes, and brushes packaged in bamboo. It’s a certified organic brand which is vegan and cruelty-free. 

When it comes to lipstick, Axiology serves the product in tubes that are made from recycled aluminium, and their boxes are hand recycled by Balinese Women. When it comes to the ingredients, they are all earth-based pigments, so vegan and, of course, cruelty-free. 

In the Lifechanging shop, you will find Jasmin lipstick range. It comes in 11 colours, beautifully packaged with bamboo, made of castor oil and coconut oil make this lipstick easy to apply and is very hydrating to the lips, and cocoa butter makes the lipstick wonderfully softening and encourages the colour to stay longer.

  1. Makeup Removal 

Preferably use this facial buffer and gently cleanse and/or exfoliate your skin. Compared to cotton pads that come in plastic packaging, you will also improve the look of your skin and reveal a softer radiant complexion as you buff away dead skin cells and stimulates skin microcirculation. 

Pssst! One of the most sustainable ways to remove your make up is with coconut oil and Coconut Matter is our winning brand!

  1. Plaine products

If you are based in the U.S. & Canada, you can find in this range (literally!) zero waste bathroom products for your whole family. All the natural goodness in the shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, hand wash, face moisturiser, face wash. 

It is also certified vegan, with all the richness and nutrients provided by mother nature. Totally free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates and palm oil! Safe for kids, great for sensitive skin and all hair types. 

  1. Consider using oils

Oils have countless benefits for our body (and mind!) and usually are sourced naturally, fair trade and also often use glass for their packaging. This is the most excellent brand we have found so far for being indeed sustainably sourced.

doTERRA essential oils are a Gift of the Earth. It is considered natural medicine, but worth using for air freshener, body fragrance, food supplements or as a resource to access your emotions… they have such a wide range of flavours that will cover almost every need! Even better, drop by drop, doTerra is a catalyst for changing many lives. Two third parts of the producers are Somalia, Guatemala, Haiti, ensuring the workers receive fair and timely payments to support their families and communities.

doTerra brand impact infographic natural medicine essencial oils

 

Beard oil it’s become extremely popular over the past years… As we all know, the hipster trend is kicking strong! Endless brands out there that you might want to check out if you have grown a beautiful beard that you will need to groom. Rockwell has a great oils range to go along with their safety razors.

Guide to Plastic Free July 2019 for Cleaning

  1. Laundry soap

So far we have found is one that ticks all the boxes. The Simply Co is presented on a glass packaging, which makes it a good option for a zero waste living, but it is organic and toxin-free. 

The founder of this brand, Lauren Singer, found out on her research that there are over 85,000 industrial chemicals and a majority of them aren’t even tested for safety; and on top of that, cleaning product manufacturers are not legally required to list their ingredients on their packaging. This is the reason why this product has an entirely transparent label!

the simply co zero waste detergent brand infographic

  1. Dishwasher tablets

Cajeput Scented dishwasher tablets or powder also to find at Biome store! These are made in small batches that clean your dishes while also deodorising your dishwasher. Non-abrasive and made from a blend of naturally occurring minerals and salts. 

  1. Dust brush

Eco-Max offers a sustainable swap for your microfibre cloth. This brand is biodegradable, handmade, Fair Trade. It’s made from recycled timber and unbleached coco fibre, a waste product from coconuts. The sealant used on the timber is a non-toxic toy paint sealer, so it’s animal and child-friendly.

The coco fibre bristles sweep beautifully, not flinging dust and dirt across the floor. This is one of our most loved and often used belongings. This brand offers endless cleaning options that can be suitable for your new plastic-free life!

  1. PRO-Tip all before – Make your own 

You would be surprised at how easy (and cheaper) it is!! Nevertheless, it is also healthier for you!

Pinterest is our favourite place to go for these cases. You can find any ideas for recipes within the whole range, from an all-purpose cleaner, disinfectant, microwaves, mirrors, toilets, fabric softener, like literally.. everything!

Guide to Plastic Free July 2019 for Entertainment to enjoy & be proud!

  1. Books and magazines without plastic wrap

As obvious as it sounds, books sometimes will come wrapped in plastic. So disappointing!

Commonly seen on airports, so make sure you purchase your readings before jumping onto the plane. And even better if you go to the second-hand books shop around the corner. Much more affordable, and you contribute to a more circular economy (and we kill fewer trees!)

We suggest you check out Better World Books for second-hand book options before you attempt buying new books. You will also find incredibly cool the fact that you will be supporting their education and literacy programs around the world (extra bonus YAY)!

  1. Wood games

Social events are more fun with games! Yes – we don’t have to be children to play! For sure you have seen games such as tumble towers, the solitaire, the Chinese cheers, penthouse, tic, tac, toe… all legendary games that you can add as if it was a collection. A pretty epic brand we have found is SiamMandalat. 

  1. Childrens Toys 

When it comes to plastic, usually everybody’s first thought is packaging, mainly for food and beverage (which indeed has!). But reading in-depth statistics and reports about plastic we found out it is plastic toys though that play a significant role:

– Toys are the most intensive users of plastics amongst consumer goods, about 15 times higher than the plastic used in food packaging.

– The plastic of only one piece of a toy is comparable to 500 bottle caps.

– 90% of toys for babies and toddlers between the age of 0-3 years are made of plastic.

– 40% of these toys have a lifetime of only 4 months.

– Usual plastic toys are not widely recycled, in the UK 8.5 million new and usable toys are landfilled every single year.

Blue Brontide is come with a passion for natural design on a mission to make a greener world for generations to come. Toys and ethically crafted goods that will last a lifetime, that will tell stories and gather memories in your family and will be passed down to others. A beautiful and minimal wooden collection of eco-friendly, natural & non-toxic kids products to make all the little things in the baby’s everyday routine memorable and fun.

Bebemoss toys are entirely handcrafted; bears, lions, monkeys and elephants made out with organic cotton yarn. All the toys are made with love by a community of over 80 refugee mums from Syria and underprivileged Turkish mothers. Deciding to purchase these plastic-free toys not just helps the environment, but it changes lives, one stitch at a time.

ecoBirdy is proof of how plastic in toys has an enormous impact on our world.  This brand is working towards creating sustainable educational furniture made out of magic flakes. Basically, they are giving plastic toys a new life and empowering kids to care for a more sustainable future. In the creative and experiential process, children are taught about circular economy.  From Charlie, the chair, to a table called Luisa, Rhino a lamp shaped like a rhinoceros and Kiwi, a kiwi bird shaped container.

And with A Little Good every time you buy a toy you change a life! These are fair trade & ethically made toys and gifts from the developing world for your little ones. The artisans are from some of the poorest places in the world, no child labour is involved and is providing women with an income. 

The guide to Plastic Free July 2019 for Eco-Travel

  1. Travel gear you cannot miss out

Aside from the already mentioned straws, cutlery, coffee cups, water bottles… There are some things you will miss on your trips, like these bamboo speakers. This is probably the coolest and most sustainable speaker on Earth. The reason why it is incredible for travellers is that it doesn’t require electricity and it is incredibly light! Perfect for sharing as any devices will fit in, no matter if its Apple or Samsung… Also, you can keep it for years as for sure this one is no planned to become obsolete. Ah and of course, plastic-free! Keep on rocking and “BOOM BOOM” Bamboo music with BOOSIC. 

Oh! And planes… a machine of plastic waste. Interestingly enough, there are some companies such as HiFly aiming to go plastic-free, however, we can understand one aircraft company doesn’t give us a lot of scope. You can refuse any packaging or plastic items when travelling by just bringing your own. From headphones, pillows, socks, to cutlery, water bottles, cups and personal hygiene items such as a toothbrush. Anything you may need while travelling just take it with you!

You may also want to support Recycled Mats, perfect for indoors or outdoors and travels. Mat by mat, they have removed over 170 tonnes of recyclable materials from landfill, which equals over a 1 million plastic bags and PET plastic for the indoors and outdoors mats range, which is made out of 95% recycled materials. For the rug range, the brand has also recycled cotton, denim, leather and offcuts from the manufacturing industry.

eco-friendly ethical fathers day gift guide 2019 ourgoodbrands

The guide to Plastic Free July 2019 for Fashion

  1. Buy second hand 

Whenever you can… second hand! Surprisingly many clothes use polyester. And guess what? This is plastic based. So every time you throw away clothes or buy new ones, we are contributing more to the microplastic problem once these are thrown in the landfill. This is a HUGE problem for our oceans and our health.

If you are planning to get rid of things… same same! Read more about the benefits of second-hand market experience.

  1. Opt for a biodegradable fashion

It is really common to see sports clothing using polyester… what if we tell you do have an alternative?

So far we have been genuinely amazed by the brand Think Love Live. Its activewear is made out of Lyocell (wood pulp from sustainable tree farms) and Sorona (a non-edible plant glucose starch extract). Combining those two fibres, VOILÀ! It creates a pair of activewear that is nearly 100% biodegradable. And incredibly soft! 

We have for also a full guide for eco-friendly & ethically-made activewear with 30 good brands!

  1. Polyester fashion – wash by hand

Think Love Love also has its range of swimwear made out of recycled plastic bottles. Similar, another popular swimmer and yoga brand is Crystal flow uses Econyl recycled fibres, fishing, fluff (the upper part of old, spent Nylon carpets), yarn discards and fabric scraps.

For children? The best option is TYOUB® reusable swim diapers, made with sustainable regenerated nylon and ocean waste textile, designed with extra strength and shape retention for maximum durability and also UPF50+ protection. No more full bins of single-use nappies, an economical option for parents to have a truly long-term reusable swim diaper. Promise you will find no leakage, no red pressure marks on soft baby skin, quick dry and easy rinse clean.

The whole point is that if you wash your swim or yoga wear, or you do own some clothing that contains polyester, wash by hand. There are great soaps out there (check out tip nr. 40) that will make your life much more comfortable! Just keep in mind the microplastic problem is way more important than it appears.

  1. Fashion packaging

AMAZ sneakers are deep cultural rooted shoe handcrafted by the Moroccan artisans. The brand does so much for girls education and preservation of the local fashion industry, but back to the point (!) they are packaged plastic-free in a tote bag.

Lost Shapes are bold and original hand printed sustainable and optimistic jumpers and t-shirts with a retro style and a healthy dose of irony! When it comes to the packaging, the founder makes every effort to keep packaging minimal, recyclable and recycled. Tags are made from recycled card and compostable twine; garments are wrapped in a simple recycled card belly band; brown paper envelopes or sacks are used for postage.

Luca Broccolini is a truly delightful brand of sustainable kids’ clothing (& with loads of personality) and is well-known because it sizes large, it’s durable, limited (sorry, they recycle linen and other materials) and made with love. With so much love to the point that they will use recycled paper mailer bags for shipping and recycled craft paper for gift wrapping.

See how brands get really creative to avoid plastic? And you  LOVE IT!

  1. Fake leather and fur is not a choice… 

Many brands are calling themselves sustainable or vegan because they do not use leather… And this is the moment where we get really upset!  With the apparent rise of ethical and sustainable brands, many take advantage of many of us who are trying our best to learn. Again, when it comes to faux leather and fur… the king component will be polyester! 

Here is an infographic that we found very educational:

Faux Leather comparisson eco-friendly alternatives fashion
Source Garrett Leather

Alternatives? Yep, we have that for you because natural vegan options are coming to stay!

Kantala, is a brand of vegan handbags with a hint of colour. You will find an option for every mood and occasion, but most importantly you will carry handbags with certifications for high ecological standards and exist to represent Sri Lanka’s natural beauty and vibrant, colourful culture. While the Hana plant is the primary material, these cheerful masterpieces also use other natural sourced fibres, like Piñatex™ and coconut shells!

With Gold is a Neutral, all the intensity of the Indian culture in clutches to fully celebrate the Indian culture textile culture, as vibrant as it is. When it comes to the materials, Gold is a Neutral uses five fabrics from Kutch for this first collection, including Kala cotton. Other materials you will find are again, one of our favourites Piñatex, in this occasion used for the wrist strap and base of the bags.

Arture is also very unique accessories, also vegan and minimalistic but luxurious, this time made out of cork and hemp. From bark to a bag, a choice of truly sustainable materials, well-designed and made to last. Arturo pays tribute to nature, art, design, and animals. For each bag, you support the love for them.

  1. Polyester free underwear 

Organic basics is a brand that brings probably the world’s most tech-advanced organic cotton underwear.

Basically, better Made. Consciously created. Designed to last. Because honestly… Someone had to change it. Underwear is generally overpriced, and yet it has a very poor life cycle. You wear it, washed it and not much later you just throw it into the rubbish, of course, ending up in the landfill. But related to our plastic matter, usually guess what… it most likely to contain polyester! Frustrating yeah! But Organic Basics is antibacterial and odourless underwear that will allow you to wear more and wash less, which is better for you and the environment.

The guide to Plastic Free July 2019 for Fashion

54. You probably never thought of decoration

Yes yes… also decoration. There are many options such as wood, metal, wool; which for obvious reasons it is always better than plastic. But for sure you have not considered options like the ones we are about to present… exciting!

Afrodutch Collections, not just creates eco-friendly decoration out of waste but with such innovative materials! Paperstone and varieties such as currystone or coffeestone are some of the unique techniques.  Bowls, vases, lampshades made out of newspaper, soil, herbs and coffee grounds. Producing pulp out of these raw materials involves intensive manual labour. A fair trade brand that is also inclusive for the families in Kenya and so creates a real impact in the community.

afrodutch collection eco-friendly decoration paperstone handmade

Pletivo by Plezir is another option for minimalistic decoration & crafts of the old times into trendy knitted cushions; this time we go to Serbia. Instead of polyester, they use wool, which is contributing to bringing back the wool business in the country! Aside from “knitting with pleasure”, the brand also serves a higher purpose: empowering female-led enterprises in a business which involves women of all ages, educational backgrounds and interests. What we like to call female ecopreneurs!

Cuemars is a highly creative local UK brand which combines the finest contemporary homeware with the passion of nature. The goal is to provide well designed and durable accessories and lifestyle goods for your home under the philosophy “buy less, buy better”.

The guide to Plastic Free July 2019 for Garden

55. Get creative & up-cycle

The whole philosophy around going plastic-free (and of course, zero waste) is to prolong the life of the products as much as you can. When it comes to the concept of “Reuse Reduce Recycle” we would also consider adding “Up-cycle”.  Whether it’s fashion, decoration, technology, packaging and so on, we would suggest to squeeze your creativity and be proud of giving your “stuff” a second chance. The garden is a great place to start, as flowers and plants will make pretty anything!

Watch this video and push your creativity!

From aluminium cans, glass, old electrical appliances… If you want to take up-cycling to the next level you some great ideas of decoration and gardening on Pinterest! Once you do that “click”, you will LUV’IT!

  1. Consider solar energy appliances. 

Usually, solar energy items have a very extend lifecycle, and you will avoid purchasing a bunch of plastic lamps +PLUS save energy.

  1. Grow your own food

Can you think on anything else more YUMMY than growing your food? Get your seeds, put your gardening gloves on and cultivate life! As an extra bonus you will contribute to another important cause: Saving the Bees! Here is a full guide to Save the Bees.

  1. Compostable bags for your rubbish 

There is a big difference between “degradable” plastic bags, which split into millions of tiny particles, while “biodegradable” completely changes everything! These are plant-based and are safe for the environment and you can learn here What is the difference between Degradable vs Biodegradable vs Compostable?

Take this into account when you purchase your rubbish bags. And this also includes pets!

Composting might be a bit too much for some, especially if you live in urban areas… however, if you are curious about it, it’s highly recommendable to have a look. Endless accessible learning with this some useful guides available online. 

Do you want to keep these tips forever? Here is the FREE ebook with 80 tips on how to go Plastic Free July 2019 and all the year round. The go-to guide for anyone who is willing to make a difference taking one step at a time.

guide plastic free july 2019 zero waste tips

If you want a smaller guide with just the basics. here are our Top 10 tips to go Zero Waste for beginners.

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Ourgoodbrands

Ourgoodbrands empowers people to make eco-conscious purchase decisions through valuable & honest information, tools and resources that come in the form of social impact brands & sustainable lifestyles. We share the positive news happening worldwide between our community of change-makers. If you are one of them email us at hello@ourgoodbrands.com - Together we are better!

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