Plastic Free July is a month-long acknowledgement of our plastic usage with a goal to take action to lessen it. But how accessible is it?
Plastic Free July. Is it accessible? Is it right for you? Let’s see…
Is Plastic Free July for the Privileged Few?
Last year was the first time I heard about plastic free July. I honestly just brushed it off as a hashtag somebody who is super privileged enough to go plastic free had come up with. I gave it major side eye, looking at it from afar. Not only did I didn’t participate, I didn’t want to know more about it, and I automatically shut down the thought of it. It seemed like something that wasn’t attainable for someone like me.
There are so many people that aren’t able and places that aren’t conducive to living a plastic free lifestyle. It just isn’t physically possible. If someone lives in a food dessert where fresh produce is rarely available, buying packaged produced, like frozen veggies in plastic bags, is an option that helps keep people healthy when there are no absolutely fresh options.
Removing Perfection from the Conversation
But this year I decided to look into it more and learn more about Plastic Free July. The month long recognition was founded by the Plastic Free Foundation and has been going on for over a decade. It is a legit challenge (not that it wouldn’t be even if it didn’t have these credentials), with a lot of plastic-free lifestyle resources on their website to support you on your journey to using less single use plastic.
Yes, Plastic Free July is Mostly Accessible!
So, back to the questions I asked – Is Plastic Free July accessible and for everyday folks?
The answer to that question is mostly YES! It is FOR everybody. You don’t have to be 100% plastic free to participate. Baby steps are important. This is something that I talk about all of the time in regards to living a sustainable lifestyle! So they get it, they get me, and they understand that not everyone has the privilege to be 100% plastic-free, but that everyone can try to remove plastic from at least one area in their life.
This doesn’t mean that refusing plastic will be our saving grace. There are entire countries that depend heavily on plastic for their survival. They need plastic even though using it and disposing of it simultaneously adds to their demise. There is a lot of work that needs to be done on so many different levels – government, retail, and in our homes – to address the plastic crisis. But analyzing and reducing our own is a great place to learn and start the process.
I’d also like to note: please do not bash folk for not knowing about it, not understanding, and not participating in Plastic Free July. That goes for small business owners, friends, family, or random folks you see but don’t know. You don’t know where anyone else is on their journey, and what other issues they may be facing in their lives. If you have to degrade/tease/talk poorly about someone in order raise awareness, then you aren’t raising awareness at all – you’re just being an ass.
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