You grab a coffee at the local cafe; you stop at the store and pick up some groceries; and then head out to dinner with some friends, bringing home half your dinner in a takeout container. While this may seem like a typical day, think of all the single-use plastic you’ve used: a plastic coffee cup, plastic grocery bags, and a plastic or styrofoam takeout container. These items contribute to the 8 million pieces of plastic that make their way into the ocean each day.
Plastic items like bottles, straws, and takeout containers are all used quickly—many are even single-use—and, if not discarded properly, end up in the oceans, damaging ecosystems and wildlife.
The Plastic Free Foundation has started the Plastic Free July movement, an initiative that encourages people to reduce their single-use plastic waste during July (and beyond!).
As a retirement living community that values and understands the importance of living sustainably, Uplands Village is sharing some tips on how you can participate in Plastic Free July® and incorporate green living into your life.
About Plastic Free July®
Plastic Free July® was started in 2011 as a global movement to challenge people to reduce their use of plastic. It encourages people to notice how much plastic they use daily and then become inspired to take the next steps and come up with creative and sustainable alternatives.
The movement aims to reveal to people that reducing their plastic usage can be simple, effective, and even fun! It encourages people to start small in hopes that reducing plastic use will soon become a standard practice in their lives.
Easy Ways to Practice Plastic Free July®
Reducing your plastic usage might seem intimidating at first, but there are small and simple ways to begin! Incorporate these tips into your daily routine to get started:
Use Reusable Shopping Bags
Plastic shopping bags are incredibly harmful to the environment and wildlife. By bringing your own shopping bag(s) to the grocery store and other shops, you can eliminate your use of these dangerous bags.
Most grocery stores even sell their own reusable bags or totes that you can purchase for a reasonable price. Keep these bags in the trunk of your car or by your front door, so you don’t forget them on your next shopping trip!
Avoid Single-Use Beverage Bottles
Every day in the United States, people throw away more than 60 million plastic water bottles, most of which end up in landfills or the ocean. You can prevent this massive waste by purchasing a reusable water bottle and carrying it with you. You can bring it with you on walks and hikes, to cafes, and even use it in your own home. Glass and stainless steel bottles are both great alternatives to plastic bottles.
Buy Produce Smartly
Many grocery stores sell pre-cut and pre-packaged fruit and vegetables and provide plastic bags for the other loose produce items. While these packaged items may seem more convenient, unfortunately, they create unnecessary plastic waste. Instead, opt for the loose produce items, and cut back on the small plastic bags by either bringing your own or refusing them completely.
Reduce Single-Use Plastic in the Bathroom
Many people’s bathrooms are full of plastic items—shampoo and conditioner bottles, body wash, razors, toothbrushes, and other bottled lotions and products. Plastic Free July® is an excellent opportunity to assess the number of plastic items in your bathroom and work to eliminate the unnecessary ones.
Opt for bar soap instead of bottled, a reusable safety razor instead of a disposable plastic one, and even consider looking up simple homemade recipes for lotions and scrubs.
Green Living at Uplands Village
Uplands Village is proud to have a long tradition of health and environmental activism, including our very own Environmental Quality Committee, nicknamed the Green Team. Our retirement living community focuses on a variety of environmentally friendly and green practices, including a community-wide recycling program, the prohibition of pesticides and herbicides, and projects to increase energy efficiency. We are proud to encourage our residents to participate in Plastic Free July® and always find new ways to live sustainably.
Uplands Village is a progressive retirement living community in Cumberland County, Tennessee, offering a full spectrum of senior care and living options. We encourage all our residents to live with purpose and respect for themselves, others, and the world around them.
To discover more about our life plan community in Pleasant Hill, Tennessee, we invite you to visit our website!