Zero Waste Alternatives for Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July is a movement that’s getting more people reducing their plastic use, and talking about it! That’s something I’m excited about.

So I’ve gathered up some awesome tips from bloggers, and some of my favourite zero waste alternatives. If you’d like to join the challenge and try to reduce your plastic use, sign up here.

Almost all the plastic, that has EVER been produced, still exists today. And that’s a lot of plastic. It’s in the oceans, it’s in the earth, it’s even in the air. Yes, you read that right.

Plastic pollution is so widespread that fibres are even found in household dust and the air we breathe


Plastic Free July is a month long challenge.

You can even try it for just a week though, see how it goes, or try to extend it longer. The focus is on quitting single use plastics. That’s a good starting point.

My family is trying to go plastic free this month, and beyond. It isn’t easy, so I wanted to share some ideas here, please share your best tips in the comments. And let me know if you’re taking the challenge!

Whether you’re up for the challenge of Plastic Free July, or you’re just looking for more zero waste alternatives for everyday items, this should give you some inspiration!

First, the big offenders: bags, straws, coffee cups, and bottles!

Here at Tree Chic we make hemp and organic cotton tote bags to replace your plastic shopping bags with style. These are handmade in our Parry Sound studio and can be screen printed manually or taken to your local print shop. Contact us for a quote to have your own simple design created. Another awesome alternative to plastic bags is to make your own bags from old t-shirts!

Ok, I doubt you’re going to carry a pottery mug with you everywhere (but you could if you want to!). You can carry straws though, it’s nice to be able to refuse a plastic straw when you’re out. Our set of 4 stainless steel straws comes with a cleaning brush and handy canvas bag. It’s perfect for carrying in your purse or keeping in the car.

Some of my family’s favourite plastic free solutions include:

  • Silicon popsicle molds instead of freezies.
  • Making our own bread, cereal and waffles.
  • More bulk foods from shops that let you bring your own glass containers. The most difficult part of trying to go plastic free has been noticing all the little things that come wrapped in plastic.
  • We always try to remember to bring reusable waters bottles and shopping bags everywhere we go.
  • And of course, a travel coffee cup, or a reusable tea infuser bottle (a must for any coffee or tea lover.)

I feel I should note: the solution to all this plastic mess can’t come from individual action alone, at this point. It helps to get people talking, and shows businesses that we are demanding alternatives. We are going to need industrial level production of biodegradable plastics to really tackle the problem.

Here’s what some of the bloggers in our network are saying about reducing plastic:

Malorey Matson-Bates: I began making simple swaps here and there about a year ago and I love finding new ones! Can’t wait to see what people have to say about changes they’ve made???? I recently wrote an article about my favorite ways to reduce waste, especially plastic.

Megan Beaver: Our planet needs us to chill out on the waste. Reuseable menstrual products are another way to cut back. This helps the environment and your health. As you know tampon applicator and wrappers are plastic. Sanitary napkins use plastics for the bottom and the wrapper.

Sandra Tanner (from The Advantage (And Disadvantage) Of Drinking So Much Water…): The issue is we are still looking for the convenient and most economical option. We are buying cases and cases of the cheapest water we can find. Recent study shows only 1 out of 6 people will recycle their bottle when they are done. When ONE bottle goes to the landfill, it takes 1000 years to decompose.

Sara Marino: I highly recommend Planetbox lunch boxes. They last forever. Also lunchskins lunch bags are a great “ziploc” alternative.

Regina Young: I moved away from plastic as much as possible when I started researching fertility. I also have a daughter and don’t want her exposure to plastic to effect her ability to have children in the future as well. I found it easier to get her plastic free to start- since we were buying new things anyway. Jar coconut oil for lotion, Tin lunch box for preschool , no plastic. Cups – only metal , no plastic. Straws – only paper or metal.

Justina Murphy: I love our kids’ Bentgo boxes, which aren’t plastic free but they are reusable and have lasted us well over 3 years and are still going strong. We also switched out all plastic Tupperware style bowls for glass, plastic straws with silicone straws, reusable mesh produce bags, and most recently silicone snack bags to replace ziplock style baggies. We also use stainless steel water bottles for each person in the family.

Vbac Mama: Once I found out about plastic being linked to estrogen we stopped using it in all forms. We use glass for just about everything, and we like to save the glass jars that our pasta sauces and other sauces come in for flower vases and other uses around the home

Eva Martin: When I breastfed, I used washable bamboo nursing pads – awesome product! Also I love using disposable wooden cutlery for parties and bbq’s. They are all-natural and compostable, which is great!

Now it’s your turn! Tell me in the comments how you reduce plastic in your home ↓

8 thoughts on “Zero Waste Alternatives for Plastic Free July”

  1. These are all really good ways to not only cut back on the plastic use, but also doing things that are good for your body and home as well. Regina Young hit the nail on the head about how plastic affects fertility, especially when we think about all the fertility issues we have in the states! Clearly, we need a change! Thanks for bringing light to that Emily!

  2. I love that you are highlighting such a massive problem. Our environment is truly being overrun by plastic because of our society wants everything to be convenient. Thank you for giving worthwhile solutions!

  3. I am great about using my reusable bags, but I always forget that every once in a while they should be washed too! The checker looked in my much used bag and wrinkled her nose! ha ha! Time to wash them!

  4. I try to refuse as much as a can – plastic bags, straws, etc. I also try to avoid single use plastics like water bottles. Becoming more aware of the habits I need to change for sure. 🙂

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