Somehow it's already July and if you've just started exploring plastic free alternatives you might be hearing whispers of "Plastic Free July" and wondering what it's all about. A few years ago a dedicated group of people seeking less plastic designated the month of July to raising awareness around reducing single use plastic and each year it gains momentum.

Of course, we all know it's important to reduce waste getting sent to landfills from an observation standpoint but now we are learning that plastic is breaking down to microscopic levels and finding it's way into our food, our water, and even our own bodies. With this knowledge, avoiding plastic seems to be becoming more personal (and overwhelming) so taking a moment each year to educate ourselves about what we can do and making an effort to be mindful of our plastic consumption is something we love to do! 

During Plastic Free July, some choose to challenge themselves to avoid plastic altogether, some use this season to pay attention to what they send to the landfill, and some just want to know more and join in the fun! We're here for all of it and we believe there is nothing better than kicking the month off with some easy wins so here are 6 of the easiest plastic free swaps EVER.

1. SOAP BAG. Ditch the plastic shower poof for a body wash bar inside a soap bag. I used to hate bar soap but when I finally popped it into a soap bag I realized I got all the extra suds I was craving, no slippery mess, and best of all no plastic! 


2. SILVERWARE: Groundbreaking I know but hear me out. As a lover of food and sampling the local fare, it can be difficult to avoid plastic utensils! One thing that has helped me is simply using what I already have. Grab a cloth napkin and roll a fork knife and spoon inside. Toss a rubber band around it and pop it in the glovebox or your bag and voila! You're ready to dig in without the side order of microplastics! (If you prefer something more lightweight and uniform you can find our bamboo utensil set here)


3. REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE: You knew this one was coming, plastic water bottles are great in some VERY specific situations but the majority of us can usually get by with bringing a bottle to refill. There are a PLETHERA to choose from once you start looking that range from smart/self filtering to good old-fashioned glass and metal. I'm currently in between water bottles and I've been refilling and sipping out of 32oz glass juice bottle. The point? Don't make it more complicated than it needs to be, use whatever you like to drink out of even if it's not considered a "water bottle". The only thing I try to avoid (again, probably obvious) is plastic. Water bottles tend to get hot and cold on a regular basis and plastic has yucky tendency to seep into water with extreme temperatures. 


4. CLOTH PRODUCE BAGS: or no bag at all! When grabbing produce in most big box stores, plastic abounds and even some farmers market vendors will load you up so having some alternatives handy is easy and affordable. Of course, we have your back at Marilla's with multiples sizes and styles of bags to choose from (LOVING these veggie crisper bags) but you don't even need that if it's not in the budget. Just grab any old reusable bag from the back of your closet and stick the produce stickers on the outside of the bag or in a notebook as you shop! If they don't have stickers, you can always note the produce codes in your phone or on a piece of paper to enter at checkout but this blog is about easy, and easy is sticking the stickers to the bag...or your pants... or your buddy. 


5. TOILET PAPER: In the realm of low waste bathroom swaps we could dive into bidets and reusable toilet paper but sticking with the easy theme, let's keep it simple. Swapping toilet paper for a brand without plastic wrap is a great way to reduce plastic headed to the landfill. Easy-peasy-plastic-freesy. I never thought I would have a favorite toilet paper but our Plant Paper is the best I've ever tried and I'm not ashamed to say it!


6. SKIP IT. Ok, this one isn't a swap necessarily but it bears saying. Simply asking myself if I really need something in the moment has saved me heaps of plastic over the past 5 years. It's not glamorous, It's not a plastic free product that I can sell you, in fact, quite the opposite. Plastic is convenient. It makes food, personal care etc. easier to grab, and it comes in infinite tempting shapes sizes and colors. Through the past few years I have gotten into the habit of asking whether I really NEED the product or if I just like the packaging, the color, and the convenience. I would say 7 out of 10 times I walk away without the product because I realize I don't really have an immediate need,  it's just that the packaging was doing it's job to lure me in the moment. Once the moment passes I don't even think about it. So as someone who loves design and creative packaging, my final advice for an easy way to avoid plastic packaging is asking if yourself if you really NEED what's in the package before you buy it. 


As we jump into Plastic Free July at Marilla's we'll be focusing on swaps that make sense and thinking about sustainability with a can do attitude. I hope to share joy, and inspiration this month and skip the overwhelm and anxiety around the plastic challenges we face! If this sounds good to you, stay tuned for some fun this month in store and online, and HAPPY PLASTIC FREE JULY!!




June 26, 2024 — Marilla Gonzalez


Min said:

Good blog, Marilla!! You are provided a good service to people who want to venture into a more plastic free lifestyle. Keep speaking about this important issue and sharing your message of embracing less plastic and becoming more sustainable.

Ashley said:

Bright, useful & inspiring as always! Thank you Marilla – Happy Plastic-Free July! 🌞

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.