The writing’s been on the wall for a while now: we’ve gotta reduce our plastic use, Circle!
Out of the 9 passion areas The Ambassadors Circle focuses on, we’re zeroing in on Environmental Sustainability this July. The stakes around are environment have never been higher for present and future generations to urgently pivot towards more eco-friendly ways, which is why we’ve been focused on engaging Ambassadors around practical ways we can use our personal influence to protect the planet - as in things you can do right now, today.
In the past we’ve encouraged the Circle to think mindfully about our wardrobes and begin making a transition to ethical and sustainable fashion. Now, The Ambassadors Circle invites you to join us in taking the #PlasticFreeJuly challenge to help us jump start new habits to eventually alleviate single use plastics in our lives.
Why go plastic-free, you ask? The facts speak for themselves…
- Over 8 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans each year
- 1 in 3 species of marine mammals are found entangled in plastic litter
- Over 90% of all seabirds have plastic pieces in their stomachs
- Approximately 50% of plastic products are used only once before being thrown away
In the past 10 years, we’ve produced (and thrown away) more plastic than in the entire past century
(Source: Plastic Oceans Foundation)
And in case that’s not enough to get your attention….
If we keep up our current rate of producing plastic waste each year, scientists estimate that pound for pound, there’ll be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans by the year 2050 (Source: The Washington Post)
#PlasticFreeJuly is an opportunity for us all to break free from our dependency on single-use plastics, and start working towards a more sustainable world. It all began in 2011 when Australian government worker Rebecca Prince-Ruiz toured her local recycling facility and, shocked by the mountain of plastic waste that just one suburb had produced, started a campaign with the goal of encouraging her local community to change their plastic-reliant behaviors. Since then, #PlasticFreeJuly has mobilized over 120 million people in 177 countries around the globe to take steps towards reducing their daily plastic use, and the movement’s only getting stronger each year!
If the prospect of going totally cold (plastic) turkey is a little daunting, you’re certainly not alone. In signing up for the challenge, you can commit to something as manageable as bringing your own bags to the grocery store for just one day or week -- and, as you increase your plastic-free finesse, you always have the option to go back and step it up.
By committing to a #PlasticFreeJuly, you’re not only doing more good for our oceans, but for yourself as well - the Earth is everyone’s home, and it’s the only one we’ve got! And by changing your consumer habits and bumping up your advocacy, you’re helping to push industries and companies to change their ways and reduce their dependence on single-use, waste-creating plastics.
Ambassador J did the challenge two years ago and said this about his experience, “This challenge helped open my eyes to just how much plastic I was using for a few moments but every single day of my life. While I never imagined I’d be this dude, today I’ve rid myself of the habit of using straws, use a bamboo toothbrush and utensils and carry a water bottle with me everywhere I go. And can’t stop sharing what I learned with peeps around me!”
Over the past few years, consumer advocacy has made a huge impact on global business practices, with companies like Evian and McDonald’s committing to going completely plastic-free in the next decade. The change is spreading to the political arena, too - peep this list of cities and countries who’ve led the way in banning single-use plastics around the globe!
So now, it’s time for us to turn up the heat and go all-in on the #PlasticFreeJuly challenge as a first step to changing habits for the first time or going even deeper if you’ve already started the change!
The Ambassadors Circle is looking for 20 folks around the Circle to join us in this challenge. and then share what you learn with your circle as a way to inspire and equip them to do more good. Down to join us? DM or shoot us a reply on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, then join the challenge at https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/take-the-challenge/
Here’s a few ways to get started:
- When out and ordering a beverage begin asking your server NOT to bring you a straw if plastic. This action tends to be an easy first step to developing mental toughness around this new habit.
- Use a reusable bottle and try to rid yourself of using single use plastic water bottles and then purchase a bamboo cutlery set to keep in your backpack or purse to avoid one time use of spoons, forks and knives.. reusable produce/grocery bags in multiple places (ie car, backpack, stroller, etc)
- Instead of single use plastic baggies and wraps pack your lunch and small food items in reusable containers and bags.
- Opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups
(Source: Green Education Foundation)
Ambassador Sophia Cross is a Bay native who loves modern dance and dollar book bins. You can find her beachside, trailside, or anywhere that serves a killer breakfast sandwich.