5 Easy Ways to Embrace Plastic Free July

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

It’s no secret that S’well is dedicated to reducing the use of single-use plastic, so there’s no better time than Plastic Free July to reaffirm our dedication to living a waste-free lifestyle. In honor of this S’well-centric mission, we’ve gathered some useful tips from zero-waste blogger, Celia of Litterless. Going plastic-free can seem daunting at first, but it’s really easier than you think! Read on for Celia’s five practical tips to reduce plastic use in your day-to-day life.

1) Say No to Paper Cups

You may be tempted to grab coffee in a paper cup and recycle it during Plastic Free July, but they aren’t recyclable in most cities (though check your local rules, of course). Paper cups are lined with plastic to make them waterproof, and most recycling machines aren’t able to separate the paper exterior from the plastic interior, so into the landfill they go. Fortunately, the solution is simple: commit to bringing a reusable S’well Tumbler or Traveler with you.

2) Bring Your Own Utensils

Once you get into the habit of planning ahead, plastic forks are another easy thing to avoid. When I’m going out to eat at a restaurant that doesn’t offer reusable utensils (or when I’m traveling), I try to carry a set of reusable utensils with me. Most often, I just pull a metal fork from my kitchen drawer, wrap it in a cloth napkin, and throw the roll in my bag. Done.

3) Swap Out Your Plastic Toothbrush

This is the easiest way to go plastic-free. Next time you run out of toothbrushes, instead of grabbing a plastic version at the drugstore, buy a bamboo one instead. You can find them online, or find a local seller here. The wooden handles are compostable, and I love that this is one habit that doesn’t take an effort to build. A great first step during Plastic Free July!

4) Take Advantage of Summer Farmers Markets

Most of the year, berries come packaged in plastic, but in the summer you can go to your local farmer’s market and carry them home in your own container—no plastic needed! Same with mixed baby greens, grapes, and other favorite foods. So, find a market near you and plan to spend a few bucks each week on local, package-free food while summer is still here!

5) Make One Small Kitchen Change This Month

Maybe it’s using reusable beeswax food wrap in lieu of plastic wrap. Maybe you’ll swap out Ziploc bags for a few durable, reusable silicone Stasher bags. Maybe you’ll donate that unopened bag of plastic party cups to a local secondhand store and invest in a few extra glasses you can use next time you’re hosting. You can target your biggest vice or something you only use occasionally, but taking a small baby step in the direction of a plastic-free kitchen will help keep you motivated to continue the spirit of Plastic-Free July all year.

Thanks for the tips, Celia! Follow @swellbottle and @litterless on Instagram and share your own Plastic Free July photos and hashtag #ReduceTheUse.

All photographs by Anna Zajac.