Plastic Free July – What It Means To Us And What You Can Do

plastic free July challenge badge

Are you up for the Plastic Free July Challenge?

Join the millions of people around the world going plastic free. 

Plastic Free July® is a global movement that helps millions of people become part of the solution to plastic pollution. By working together to reduce plastic waste we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. You can choose to refuse, reuse, and reduce the plastic in your everyday life. 

My first Plastic Free July was no doddle!! I actually started on 2nd July 2017, as I had never heard of it. But after a quick internet search, I was well up for the challenge – completely ignorant to how fricking difficult it would be. I went pretty hungry some days (to clarify, hungry but never missed a meal). I found the experience completely compelling, that plastic is everywhere and that I wanted to help make change. 

man thinking about plastic free July

It was quite different in 2018, I wasn’t alone. My partner and I (Mr Harriet) decided to take on the Plastic Free July challenge together. Even though I felt more prepared, and we certainly did well, the plastic situation had hardly changed. 

After a lot of discussion on how we could help people to lower their plastic consumption we embarked on a slightly radical and spontaneous idea for lowering our plastic usage, and that idea meant our plastic-free refill store was born.

Therefore, Plastic Free July 2019 really was a lot easier!! It felt revitalising to be part of the solution and it felt amazingly invigorating to be helping thousands of other people lower their plastic usage and make a tangible difference. The world was changing, and we were part of the ride. 

2020. Pandemic hits. Plastic Free July was not at the forefront of people’s minds and there was an overwhelming sense that it was not the right time. More pressure, more concern, more information delivering simply didn’t feel right. As a small business owner, the survival of the refill shop business felt more important and a ‘shop local’ and ‘support local’ message felt more appropriate. We continued to be a plastic-free shop but certainly didn’t celebrate Plastic Free July the way we previously had. The shop sang a different song for a while, and we didn’t make as much effort in our personal lives. It all felt too much. plastic free July 2021 badge

Plastic Free July 2021 – Well here we are and, truth be told, I’m super excited and cannot wait to be properly immersed in the challenge once more. The shop is ready to go, go, go! For a world-wide campaign that brings us a buzz and so much new and inspired interest from ‘first-timers’.

But enough from me, what will it mean for you? Are you up for a challenge?

Please know…

  • Plastic Free July does not ask you to be ‘perfect’. Just considering the challenge is enough, anything more is commendable.
  • 100% plastic free living is intense and if you embark on the challenge to commit fully, be aware you may become quite pooped! Plan ahead, organise and be realistic.
  • First time? Do one item at a time. In no time (basically July), you’ll be amazed at how much change you have created for yourself!
  • Some plastic free items are more expensive than their plastic counterpart. Be prepared to spend a little more on some items and perhaps not buy others to compensate. You may not be able to afford all the new plastic-free replacements in one month and don’t buy what you don’t need. However…
  • Generally, refilling at a refill store will most likely save you money. Not only do refill shops offer extremely competitive prices when compared to mainstream supermarkets (they have to, to survive) but buying only what you need will help lower the cost of your products. Check out our prices at www.harrietsofhove.com to see for yourself how most prices are highly comparable. 
  • Plastic Free July is a huge campaign with lots of online support. You can visit the Plastic Free July campaign website for more information and sign up as a participant (for free). 
  • However you choose to take part, whether you decide you’ll make zero plastic purchases for 31 days, or if you are going to start refilling a few items and look to whether you can purchase what you need plastic free we would be absolutely delighted to hear about your journey. Visit us in-store or send us an email at [email protected]

You can also tag us on Facebook and Instagram using @harrietsofhove. We would love to see what you have been up to. Your wins, your misses and things you would just like a little advice on. 

Happy Plastic Free July to you. Enjoy the challenge!!

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