Plastic Free July Ideas Advent Calendar

31 daily ideas to inspire you in Plastic Free July 2017!

Looking for some brainwaves to get you going for Plastic Free July? Look no further than our Plastic Free July Ideas Advent list – one idea for zero-waste living for every day of the month of July. Enjoy!

1. Grow your own.

Growing your own reduces your need to shop, and reducing your need to shop reduces the risk of buying items wrapped in plastic or having to take a plastic shopping bag when you’re picking something up on the go. If you’re new to this gardening thing, your local library is bound to be stocked full of great publications on the topic (like ours!), or check out our mag for regular garden know-how and a comprehensive Australia-wide course guide if you want to skill up.

2. Join or start your own food co-op.

Check out this great article from Milkwood Permaculture on the how’s and to-do’s.

3. Invest in a reusable takeaway coffee cup collection.

And keep them in places close to hand when caffeine may be non-negotiable (in your handbag, pram or on your desk). If you’re really organised you can invest in a thermos and BYO beverage wherever you go!

4. Collect reusable bags that you love to use.

Ugly green bags be damned! You can make your own (see Pip Mag issue 5 for our free Boomerang Bags How-To) or check out our funky Pip Tote collection. If you love using it, that’s just an extra incentive to go green at the checkout.

5. Make apple scrap vinegar.

This stuff is great. You can use it to replace normal apple cider vinegar in your pantry, and replace many plastic-packaged cleaning products with it in your laundry. Best of all, it is literally made with scraps!

6. Rid your kitchen of plastic wrap and invest in some funky Honey Bee Wraps.

7. Give up bottled water, and make carrying your own a daily ritual.

8. Make your own probiotic ferments.

Try starting with this simple kimchi recipe. Using homegrown produce gets you extra points.

9. Trade.

If you don’t feel like growing or making your own is always going to be for you, join your local Rough Trade group (or start your own if you don’t have one) and start trading and bartering relationships with your neighbours. Chances are someone is making what you want, and vice-versa!

10. Make bone broth, or veg scrap stock.

And store it to ensure a long supply of nutritious base-stock for your cooking. Our recipe from nutrient-dense food guru Mel Turnbull is simple, yet it tastes incredible and makes use of scraps.

11. Do a rubbish-bin audit.

Sort through your trash and work out where most of the waste you’re generating is coming from – the results may surprise you and will help you to tackle your plastic habits strategically, like a ninja.

12. Shop local and small so you can BYO container.

When you shop face-to-face with the owner of a store you can ask them directly to use your reusable containers for fresh fruit and veg, meats and smallgoods. Shopping at supermarkets for these items means they will almost always come prepackaged, robbing you of the chance to chat to your local butcher about putting your chops directly into a BYO-container and spreading the zero-waste word.

13. Buy it once.

invest in quality plastic-free items that last like stainless steel pegs, wood-handled gardening tools and more. See our top selections in the Pip Shop.

14. Make your own body products.

It saves plastic, dollars and hours reading the tiny-print on the back of bottles to see if they contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and other potentially yucky chemicals. Check out the Nourish and Nurture eBook in the Pip Shop, or our Gardener’s Hand Scrub recipe in Issue 6 of the mag.

15. Compost.

What better way to recycle your food waste and avoid buying in plastic-wrapped garden products? See our easy Quick Compost recipe for some “hot” tips.

16. Give up on plastic sponges.

Make your own cleaning cloths with old clothes or natural sponges – check out Morag Gamble’s article for tips!

17. Commit to natural fibres in your wardrobe.

Polar fleece might feel all warm and snuggly but it releases a harmful trail of micro-plastics every time you wash it, that oftentimes end up in the ocean. Read more about committing to slow fashion in Issue 6 of Pip Magazine.

18. Make your own potting mix.

It’s very easy, can be made of home-grown soil products (compost, leaf mould, worm castings) and means no more expensive, plastic-wrapped potting mix!

19. Get fizzy in the kitchen.

Do away with store-bought fizzy-drinks and make your own – ginger beer  and fizzy rhubarb champagne are some of our favourites!

20. If you’re craftily-inclined, get into natural dyeing.

This is a beautiful way to turn scraps and remnants into “new” crafting materials. Our craft guru Deborah Brearley op-shops and stashes up on different scraps of yarns and fabrics and then dyes them together to create a unified colour, so that these scraps can come together and be made into new crafty items.  See Pip issue 7 for Deb’s natural dyeing know-how.

21. Pack your lunch.

Or carry snacks if you’re a grazer on-the-go. Planning ahead and being prepared means you will be less likely to buy plastic-wrapped snacks to fill you up if you get stuck out and about with a grumbling tummy.

22. Make your own sunscreen.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors like our family, then you will know you go through quite a bit of sunscreen – but did you know you can make your own?

23. Grow your own chook food.

You may not be able to grow all your own chook food in your backyard, but you can have a crack at reducing your external inputs and reduce the amount of packaged food you need to buy too with our simple homegrown tips.

24. Make your own toothpaste.

It is deliciously fresh, much cheaper than normal toothpaste, free of questionable additives and simple to make.

25. Store your fruit and veg correctly.

This will reduce your need to throw them out and go shopping again (see point 1).

26. Make your own washing powder – it’s easy!

27. If you take-away food, try asking your local restaurant if they will let you BYO containers.

You never know, you may just start a takeaway revolution.

wet-cured bacon

28. Skip the deli-section at your local supermarket and try making your own olives, cheeses and smallgoods.

It is seriously easier than you think. Salt and mould are responsible for a whole lot of deliciousness.

29. Start a co-operative to get your own dairy goat.

We are not joking. Check out our latest podcast for inspiration on backyard goats at your peril – googling them can become seriously addictive!

30. Make your own garden seaweed fertilizer.

It’s cheap and doesn’t come in a plastic bottle, plus it gives you a great excuse for a seaside holiday!

Image By: River Cottage Australia.

31. If you’ve made it to the 31st of the month, why not bake yourself a zero-waste treat?! You deserve it!

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