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Plastic Free July? Not Yet!

This month is known as Plastic Free July. (

Click the site above, then take the Plastic Free July challenge and also take the Pesky Plastics Quiz.

This blog is not an ad. Although some useful but pricey items are for sale (pictured right) to help you move away from single use plastic, you can apply your creative skills to repurpose and reuse cloth to make produce bags.

Or try waxed paper and rubber bands to replace plastic wrap.

Plastic Free July started in Western Australia in 2011, and now claims to have inspired an estimated 326 million participants in 177 countries. The website has plenty of suggestions on how to get involved. Want an idea on how to start? Turn down these four items:

plastic water bottles, plastic bags, plastic straws and take out coffee cups.

Well, most climate-conscious individuals are probably already trying to avoid those four biggies. So I signed up and took the quiz to try it out and be more aware of how to accomplish going plastic free for next July. Although so much of this is obvious, trying to do without plastic was still an eye opener.

Just walk into your favorite supermarket and look around. Almost everything is covered in plastic. If you really want to eat from plastic free sources, in produce you will find some fruits and vegetables and lettuces, in grocery you will buy food in cans or glass bottles. It can be very limiting. Even the old standards of frozen veggies in paper boxes have been replaced by plastic bags, and these are not even recyclable. You could buy a loaf of bread in combination paper and cellophane covering, but cellophane is not gentle on the environment either. A butcher shop may still be using plastic sheets under a paper covering. You could do it, if you were determined, but here's another problem. The whole household has to be willing to make changes, and to shop accordingly. Need I say more? And if you're shopping in a hurry, your no plastic resolve can be dashed without a thought.

There are some beacons of hope out there. Do you recognize this aisle?

Reuseable containers work here.

(Abundance Coop)

So I was unsuccessful in many ways at my first try for Plastic Free July. Plastic Free Fridays, not the same organization, offers a much easier way to succeed. Don't go shopping. But it's still worth checking out, , and does raise one's awareness for changing behavior. Or you can try a plastic free month on your own. And when next July rolls around I know we can add an event of our own to the global map and be the first site in New York State outside of New York City to be listed. And in the meantime, keep on turning down the four biggies: plastic water bottles, bags, straws, and take out coffee cups; add some more items, and pass the message on!

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