At Ecoliv, as a sustainable home builder, we’re all for exploring innovative and more environmentally friendly ways of not only building homes but also the way we live in them day-to-day in a way that is a little kinder for our planet.
We minimise construction waste by factory building our modules, we utilise sustainable plantation timber to reduce our environmental impact, opt for fully recyclable glass wool insulation.
Our passion for environmental sustainability is exactly why we want to spread the good word about Plastic Free July and share some of the Ecoliv team’s best tips for reducing single-use plastic in the home and the office. Are you up for the challenge?
The Plastic Free July initiative was started in Australia in 2011 by the Plastic Free Foundation Ltd. with the vision ‘to see the world free of plastic waste’.
10 years on and it's now a thriving global movement, with a whopping 326 million individuals participating in 2020. Some of the amazing results from last year’s Plastic Free Foundation Impact Report 2020 are:
Plastic Free July provides us with a fantastic annual reminder and opportunity for more people to think twice about their plastic use, try out new behaviours and create habits that’ll reduce their plastic use and waste in July and beyond.
The Plastic Free Foundation’s values remind us that ‘small changes add up to a big difference’. So even if you go plastic-free for a few days, a week or all month (or forever!) know every little bit helps move us towards a plastic-free tomorrow and changes the world for the better.
Before we jump into all the possible ways for you to be a part of the solution at home and work, here are some of the environmental reasons why Plastic Free July is important.
With only 9% of all plastics ever produced recycled and plastic production set to quadruple by 2050, we need to take action fast to reduce plastic consumption and protect and preserve our natural environments.
Plastic pollution in our waterways and oceans, and its devastating and deadly impact on wildlife is one of the most widespread environmental problems on Earth. Three-quarters of rubbish along the Australian coast is plastic where scientists predict plastics ingestion in seabirds may reach 95% of all species by 2050.
Switch out some (or all!) of these everyday items to be part of the solution this Plastic Free July.
When plastic is exposed to the elements (like sunlight or water), it releases methane and ethylene as it degrades. As plastic is non-biodegradable, for the majority that is not recycled it just sits in landfill or the environment emitting powerful greenhouse gases that are known to exacerbate climate change.
Single-use plastics are made using fossil fuel-based chemicals (coal, crude oil and natural gas) meaning it is a nonrenewable and unsustainable resource. Even recycling plastic eats up fossil fuels. The process of recycling plastic also produces greenhouse gas emissions, as fossil fuels are combusted to run the plastic shredding machines and heating machines necessary to turn plastic waste into other products.
By reducing and choosing to refuse single-use plastics we can conserve our natural resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect wildlife for future generations.
As a starting place we recommend trying to implement just a couple of different plastic-free swaps and changes each week at your place to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Here are a few ways you can reduce your plastic use at home this July and long-term.
Support zero waste bulk refill businesses near you. For example, with Roving Refills you can bring your containers and stock up on all your household detergents, laundry powder, shampoo, body wash, window cleaner, deodorant paste and even tooth powder.
Ecoliv Ecological 3 project – opt to refill your household cleaning products and soap bottles and try out a bamboo toothbrush to get in on the Plastic Free July challenge.
Ecoliv Cape project – floor to ceiling black linen curtains are an elegant, functional and environmentally friendly addition to this 7.7 energy rated Ecoliv home.
Ditching plastic doesn’t just need to happen at home, there are many strategies for reducing single-use plastics in the workplace. We encourage you to talk about the changes you’re making with colleagues and even see if your workplace can sign up to join the Plastic Free July challenge. Your company may even use July to take action to review single-use plastics used in their operations and seek our more sustainable alternatives. Here are some simple ideas for you and your workmates to take the fight against single-use plastics:
Take the pledge to participate in this Plastic Free July in any way you can, big or small. The great thing is you can customise your challenge to suit you and commit to an amount of time and types of plastic items you’re aiming to reduce (i.e. avoid single-use plastic packaging, target the takeaway top 4: bags, bottles, straws and coffee cups or go completely plastic-free).
If you’re looking for extra ways to get involved and take your Plastic Free July campaign to the next level here are a few suggestions:
Whether this is your first Plastic Free July or you’re a seasoned plastic-free veteran, we hope we’ve inspired you to take some form of action to reduce and refuse the use of single-use plastics this month and into the future. Remember every little change and chat about our plastic use makes a difference. Together we can all make an impact on plastic pollution and all the best with the challenge.