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Plastic-Free July Ideas To Try This Summer

plastic-free July ideas

Need some Plastic-Free July ideas? Here are over 20 ideas to help you cut plastic in your own home, and also encourage wider change to make plastic-free living more accessible to more people.

Plastic-Free July is right around the corner, and if you are taking part then it’s great to have you on board. Worryingly, despite global campaigns on plastic usage, the amount of plastic that has ended up in our seas has grown and is to set to grow.

Global leaders from 175 countries got together in March 2022 to agree to a legally binding global treaty to end the plastic pollution crisis by tackling the material’s entire supply chain. However, work has only now begun on how to implement the treaty by 2024. We need action now to help decrease plastic in our seas, and efforts like Plastic-Free July are much needed.

What Is Plastic-Free July Exactly?

Zero-waste beauty products with blue text box that reads over 20 ideas to reduce plastic this plastic-free July.

Plastic-Free July is a month-long campaign, led by the Plastic Free Foundation, an independent not-for-profit charity. The charity’s vision is that of a world free of plastic waste. As such, the Plastic-Free July campaign encourages people to try to reduce their reliance on plastic where they can.

The challenge started in Australia back over 10 years ago. Since its inception in 2011, the challenge has inspired over 100 million people in 190 countries to take part and cut their single-use plastic usage.

The onus isn’t just on personal plastic usage. The Plastic-Free July campaign provides a great opportunity to ask businesses, such as supermarkets, what they are doing to reduce pointless single-use plastic packaging to encourage year-round change.

Plastic-Free July Ideas

I have amassed a few useful plastic-free July ideas over the years that may be helpful to you.

As Anne-Marie Bonneau says: “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero-waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly”. This means the goal isn’t for you to do all of these things. Rather it’s to pick which is accessible to you and to try out a few ideas to reduce plastic in your life where you can.

Plastic-Free July isn’t all or nothing, so don’t feel like because you have to buy items with plastic in them that you’ve failed. The world isn’t set up for plastic-free living to be the norm, and not everyone has the same ability, access or capacity. In short – do what you can and don’t stress what you can’t do.

The Plastic-Free Kitchen

plastic-free food shopping

Going plastic-free in the kitchen is possibly one of the trickiest areas and certainly not one that I have fully figured out yet. This is partly due to a combination of the lack of zero-waste shops in my local area and other factors such as cost and time. However, there are some things I have figured out!

Food storage is a great area to get started. Don’t bin any functional Tupperware thought. Instead, when it breaks try my tried and tested eco-friendly alternatives to cling film that I’ve been using for decades. You can also make your own beeswax food wraps quickly and easily.

When it comes to doing dishes, I still haven’t found out how to make my own washing-up liquid or dishwasher tablets that work effectively. The ingredients required just aren’t commercially available. However, I have found the best eco-friendly and plastic-free dishwasher detergent – including the detergents to be wary of. Some dishwasher detergents – even those that position themselves as eco-friendly – contain microplastic.

Speaking of microplastic, your teabags might contain plastic. Here are the plastic-free teabag brands to give that hidden plastic the heave-ho this July.

If you’d rather make your own tea, then here’s how to dry mint leaves for tea. And here’s how to make your own lemon balm tea. It’s one idea for Plastic-Free July if you have a little spare time. I find it quite relaxing and really fulfilling to make my own tea.

Whilst on the tea theme – I found the world’s best reusable cup for coffee or tea on the go. I’m still using it years later.

When it comes to food, as I mentioned, I’m still figuring this out. However, I have figured out plastic-free snacks. What can I say, I have two kids! You also can still have your crisps and eat them with this seriously tasty zero-waste crisps recipe.

You can also skip the bagged salad – here’s how to grow snow pea shoots indoors for the princely sum of 13p. Here’s also how to regrow vegetables from scraps. This is a fun activity for kids to take part in.

Plastic-Free Health & Beauty

flat lay of eco-friendly makeup

Greening your bathroom is a long-term process. It’s certainly not something you can overhaul in a month if you are sustainably replacing used-up products with plastic-free ones. However, here are some tips to help get you started during plastic-free July:

Moral Fibres readers recommend their best solid shampoo bars. Here are some refillable shampoo options if shampoo bars are not for you.

Staying on the washing theme, here’s a guide to plastic-free bubble bath.

When it comes to makeup, here’s my guide to plastic-free make-up. And when it comes to make-up removal, here’s how to make reusable cotton wool pads. With this, you can say bye-bye to disposable wipes or single-use cotton wool pads! You can also try my guide to plastic-free make-up remover tips.

My big guide to eco-friendly toilet roll – I’ve even made a comparison table so you can see the pros and cons and costs involved.

How to have an eco-friendly period.

And finally, my guide to microplastic-free sunscreen, should the sun shine this July!

Plastic-Free July Cleaning Ideas

Plastic-free cleaning products on a white background.

I have so much content on cleaning. What, can I say, it’s a speciality of mine. I’ve managed to condense it all into this guide on natural cleaning products to DIY.

General Plastic-Free Living

Finally, for general plastic-free living here are some useful pointers:

If you are pregnant or have small children, and considering cloth nappies, then try my guide on how to use reusable nappies. I promise they’re not as scary, difficult, or yucky as you might think!

Plastic pops up everywhere. Here are some surprising items that contain plastic. Chewing gum anyone?

And finally, here are my top tips on how to stop junk mail – that barrage of unwanted plastic that comes through our doors every day.

Other Ways To Take Action On Plastic

Of course, individual action is only one way to enact change. To bring about change faster, we have to lobby manufacturers and policymakers.

Several charities are making it easy to take collective action against manufacturers and policymakers. Surfers Against Sewage, for example, are lobbying for a deposit return scheme to be introduced in England before 2024, to help curb plastic waste from plastic bottles.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace is calling on the UK government to fix our plastic crisis in a way that doesn’t harm people – or the planet. In particular, this is in response to plastic from UK households being dumped in other countries as we aren’t able to cope with the extent of our plastic waste in the UK. You can add your voice to this campaign here.

However, I can’t stress how important it is to be mindful of campaigns around plastic. Calls to outright ban certain plastic products are not helpful and can be discriminatory. Disabled people often rely on plastic items, such as straws, plastic-wrapped baby wipes, or prepared vegetables in plastic bags. It’s therefore important to foster inclusiveness in our messaging.

Are you taking part in plastic-free July?  If so, do share with Moral Fibres readers your top plastic-free tips, what hurdles you’ve encountered, or any other useful advice!

Home, Home and Garden

The Best Eco-Friendly Stationery For A Sustainable Home Office

Are you looking for sustainable and eco-friendly stationery and office supplies? Here’s my guide to supplies, including notebooks, folders, pens, printer paper, and more.

In order to help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links. Some brands have also paid to be featured here. This is denoted by **. Moral Fibres only works with brands that we think are doing good things.

Are you one of many who are still working from home? My partner and I are both still working from home, with my partner looking like he might be working from home on a permanent basis. I work in my home under stairs office, and to be honest, I’m not complaining.

Regardless of your setup, the chances are you are reading this page because you are looking to green your home office supplies. Well, the good news is that I have a heap of eco-friendly stationery and office supplies suggestions for you, to make that work-from-home life more sustainable.

The Best Eco-Friendly Stationery And Office Supplies

A home office set up with a white desk and gold lamp, and the caption "guide to eco-friendly stationery and home office supplies".

Here are my top picks for green stationery for your eco-friendly home office. I’ve prioritised reusable products, products made from recycled materials, and products that are fully recyclable and/or compostable at the end of their life to help green your working day.

Eco-Friendly Notebooks

Concerned about paper waste? Enter Wipebook**, who seek to make stationery more sustainable through their clever reusable notebooks.

Wipebooks are paper notebooks that erase just like your own personal and portable whiteboard. With multiple sheets in a book, you aren’t limited to just one page. Meanwhile, their small size allows you to bring them anywhere.

Whether you are taking notes in a meeting, working out problems, or sketching down ideas, the Wipebook is a great solution for an eco-friendly home office. Once you’ve typed up your notes, simply erase them and start again, without any waste.

For notes or doodles that you don’t want to erase, then Wipebook has thought of that. The free Wipebook Scan App saves your work and uploads it to your favorite cloud service. This includes services like Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox, and Onedrive, so you don’t lose your work.

Buy directly from Wipebook**, with notebooks starting at around £25. Use the exclusive discount code moral20 at the checkout for 20% off your first Wipebook purchase! 

Eco-Friendly Folders, Ring Binders and Stationery Storage

Paperchase kraft collection

For many of us, we’re not quite at the paperless office yet. There are still documents and bits of paper that need to be filled away for future reference.

For eco-friendly folders and ring binders, and other types of paper storage, then I’m a long-standing fan of the Paperchase Kraft Collection*. If you take a peek at my home office, you’ll see I’ve got a few of their folders on my shelf. I purchased these quite some years ago and they are still going strong.

All of Paperchase’s kraft collection is made from kraft paper, sourced from FSC approved suppliers. These eco-friendly stationery products come at an affordable price point and can easily be recycled at the end of their life.

Buy Paperchase’s Kraft Collection* directly from Paperchase, starting from £2.

Printer Paper

recycled printer paper

Talking of paper, if you need to print out documents then do consider shifting away from standard printer paper, to using recycled printer paper.

Xerox’s 80 gsm recycled printer paper is made from 100% recycled paper. Unlike some recycled paper, this has been processed without bleaching and it is free from chemically derived optical brightening agents. And for that extra sustainable touch, the reams of paper have been wrapped and packed in recycled material.

Granted, this paper is not bright white. It does have more of a beige tone to it. However, unless you are a graphic designer looking to proof design work, then it hopefully shouldn’t be a dealbreaker for you.

I’m working on finding eco-friendly printer ink, so I’ll be sure to update this article when I find some that I recommend.

Buy Xerox recycled printer paper from Ryman or from Amazon*. Try as I might, I have not yet been able to find an ethical supplier of recycled printer paper. I’ll update here when I hit the jackpot!

Eco-Friendly Pens

pack of two eco-friendly pens for your stationery collection.

When it comes to eco-friendly stationery, it’s challenging to find a truly sustainable pen, because like in many areas of life, none on the market are perfectly sustainable.

Having tried using fountain pens, let’s just say I can see why the world moved on to ballpoint pens. There’s definitely a learning curve associated with fountain pens. I have to say I just never mastered it. I would say, if you are new to refillable fountain pens, then the best option is to try a secondhand one from somewhere like eBay, to see if it could be an option for you.

If you don’t want inky fingers, I quite like these VENT for Change pens* from &Keep. These are made from recycled plastic and can be recycled again.

They also have a charitable aspect. VENT for Change supports children’s education projects around the world.  This means that proceeds from every VENT product sold go towards global education projects getting children back into school.

Buy VENT for Change pens from &Keep* for £3.95.

Plastic-Free Tape

four rolls of plastic-free sellotape

Once your regular plastic-based tape runs out, then may I recommend upgrading to plastic-free paper tape. It’s just as effective as regular plastic tape, but it is fully recyclable and home compostable.

This fancy floral print paper tape* is £5.75 from The Ethical Home Shop. But if floral is not your thing, then you can find lots of other patterns or just plain brown tape on Etsy*.

Buy paper tape from Etsy* from £0.99.

Eco-Friendly Highlighter Pens

a box of four plastic-free highlighter pencils for your eco friendly stationery collection.

Highlighter pens have also had an eco-friendly makeover, so you can now add them to your sustainable stationery collection.

Instead of the plastic pens of old, these jumbo highlighter pencils are made from wood. This means the shavings and stubs can be fully composted. What’s more, they won’t bleed through thin pages, leak, or dry out, making them much more durable.

Each box contains a pink, orange, yellow, and green highlighter pencil, packaged in a plastic-free box.

Buy a pack of 4 highlighter pencils from Etsy* for £5.99.

Have I missed anything crucial to your home office needs? Let me know and I’ll see what I can find!