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Plastic Free July: How to Reduce Plastic While Shopping Online

Plastic Free July: How to Reduce Plastic While Shopping Online

July is here, and with it comes a global movement with a powerful message: Plastic-Free July! This isn't just about ditching plastic straws or cups for a month (although that's a great start!). It's a chance to re-evaluate our relationship with plastic, particularly that sneaky culprit lurking in our shopping habits.

A Global Movement That Helps Millions Reduce Plastic Pollution

Plastic Free July began in 2011 when the Plastic Free Foundation, led by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz in Western Australia, launched a local challenge to refuse single-use plastic for a month. What started as a small initiative has become a global movement, with over 100 million participants from 190 countries. This annual event raises awareness about plastic pollution's environmental and health impacts and inspires people to take action for a more sustainable future. Plastic Free July encourages individuals worldwide to say no to single-use plastic to create cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities.

The movement's success is not solely dependent on individual choices. The surge in awareness has prompted policymakers to enforce stricter regulations on plastic production and waste. Businesses, too, are playing a significant role as they pivot towards innovative and sustainable packaging solutions. This collective effort is creating a ripple effect of change, and you can be a part of it.

The Plastic Free July Challenge

The statistics are alarming: the average Aussie generates a whopping 130 kg of plastic, polluting the world yearly, and a significant factor in this is online shopping. Plastics are a long-lasting environmental hazard, posing serious threats to wildlife through ingestion and entanglement. The importance of making sustainable consumer choices has never been more apparent.

At Hello Charlie, we're taking on the challenge of supporting Plastic Free July by offering plastic-free alternatives. Our articles for this month have plenty of plastic free July ideas, such as creating a plastic-free ocean for kids and tips for maintaining a plastic-free kitchen and bathroom. These articles demonstrate plastic free solutions and taking steps towards a cleaner future.

Strategies for Plastic-Free Shopping

Let's face it—clicking "buy" for convenience often results in excessive single use plastic waste packaging. But don't worry fellow eco-warriors! We have some tips and tricks on how to go plastic free to help you reduce your plastic footprint while taking advantage of those great online deals through sustainable shopping.

Choose Eco-Friendly Online Retailers

Don't worry, eco-warriors! Even though online shopping is trendy these days, there are ways to enjoy retail therapy while reducing plastic use. Here's how you can become a more environmentally conscious online shopper this July and beyond:

Identifying Eco-Friendly Online Stores

This Plastic Free July, it's essential to choose eco shops or sustainable shops that prioritise eco-packaging to minimise plastic waste. Look for eco-friendly retailers that use recycled, recyclable, or compostable packing materials. Cardboard boxes, paper envelopes, and minimal cushioning made from recycled materials are all great alternatives.

Decoding Eco Credentials

Many eco friendly stores proudly display certifications from organisations dedicated to sustainability, such as B Corporation or the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO). These certifications offer peace of mind that the company is held accountable for its environmental impact.

Tips for Researching a Retailer’s Sustainability Practices

Now that you know what to look for, here's how to dig deeper into a retailer's eco-friendly claims. Start by reading their sustainability policy. A reputable, sustainable shop will proudly display its eco-friendly practices on its website. Take Hello Charlie, for instance. Our plastics policy emphasises reducing single-use plastic and opting for safe, recyclable, and recycled materials where possible. We're transparent about our goals and progress, which is precisely what you want to see from an online eco shop.

Additionally, customer reviews and testimonials can provide valuable insights into a retailer's real-world practices. The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Check out what other shoppers say about the store's eco-friendly efforts. If a store is consistently praised for its sustainable packaging and practices, it's a good sign they're genuinely committed to making a difference.

Opt for Sustainable Packaging

Online shopping is incredibly convenient but often leads to excessive packaging waste, which is a significant downside. However, there are ways to support plastic-free shopping and reduce environmental impact.

How to Identify Plastic-Free Packaging Options in Online Stores

Before you add items to your cart, it's important to do a bit of investigating. Although many online stores claim to support plastic-free initiatives, it's crucial to research and confirm their commitment to sustainability thoroughly.

Start by searching for terms like "plastic-free," "biodegradable," "compostable," and "recyclable" within product descriptions. This will help you identify items with minimal or zero plastic packaging. Retailers dedicated to sustainability often use these keywords to appeal to environmentally conscious customers.

For example, retailers like Hello Charlie have a dedicated page outlining our commitment to sustainable packaging. Clear communication is crucial, so if a store doesn't provide transparent information about its packaging practices, it may be a sign to consider other shopping options.

Embrace Recyclable and Biodegradable Packaging

There are still ways to support your eco-friendly mission when you can't find plastic-free options. For packaging, cardboard boxes are a great choice because they're strong, recyclable, and plastic-free. Look for products shipped in cardboard boxes sealed with paper tape instead of plastic. For smaller goods, you can also choose items wrapped in recycled or recyclable paper instead of plastic film.

Another emerging option is eco-friendly packaging made from cornstarch material. Although it's not entirely plastic-free, this type of packaging is biodegradable and renewable, helping to reduce landfill waste.

Tips for Finding and Choosing Plastic-Free Eco Friendly Products

Personal Care Gets a Plastic-Free Makeover

When looking for plastic-free products, an excellent place to start is with personal care items. You can opt for natural, plastic free skincare options. Instead of liquid soaps packaged in plastic bottles, consider switching to nourishing bar soaps. These eliminate plastic waste and often contain gentler natural ingredients that are better for your skin and the planet.

When it comes to hair care, you can explore solid shampoo and conditioner bars. These innovative products offer the same benefits as their liquid counterparts but without the plastic packaging. It's important to look for brands that prioritise sustainability and quality to ensure that your zero waste beauty routine is effective and eco-friendly.

Conquering Household Chores with Plastic Free Cleaning Products

When choosing cleaning supplies and tools, opt for sustainable and plastic free options. Instead of using plastic sponges and brushes, you can use bamboo cleaning brushes and reusable cloths. Many companies now offer biodegradable cleaning products in refillable glass bottles or paper packaging. This way, you can maintain an effective cleaning routine while being environmentally friendly.

Plastic-Free Toys for the Littlest Eco-Warriors

When shopping for toys and feeding products for kids, consider plastic-free options. Choose toys made from sustainable materials like wood, natural rubber, or fabric. These alternatives are safer for children and better for the environment. They help reduce plastic waste and promote eco-conscious playtime.

For feeding essentials, prioritise stainless steel or glass feeding bottles and containers with plastic-free straws. These options are durable and easy to clean and do not contain harmful chemicals commonly found in plastic products, ensuring your child's safety.

Making these choices is a simple yet effective way to incorporate sustainability into your child's daily routine.

Make the Most of Your Purchase

Minimise Packaging Waste by Buying in Bulk

Think beyond the 'single-serve' mentality. Buying in bulk is a convenient way to reduce the amount of packaging you receive. It means fewer orders and fewer boxes to deal with. Whether stocking up on pantry staples like rice, pasta, or flour, opting for larger quantities reduces the frequency of shipments and the need for excessive packaging, making your life easier.

Options to Choose Minimal or No Packaging at Checkout

When you're checking out, choose minimal to zero waste packaging if it's an option. Instead of fancy boxes, go for just the essential shipping materials. If you're feeling bold, consider leaving a friendly note for the seller asking them to use as little packaging as possible. It's a small action that can make a big difference.

Tips on Reusing and Recycling Packaging Materials Received

Once your package arrives, you can make the most of what you've received. You can reuse sturdy cardboard boxes and packing materials for future shipments or as storage solutions around your house. Remember to recycle any paper or cardboard packaging appropriately to close the recycling loop and minimise waste.

Following these simple yet effective strategies can help reduce plastic waste generated from online shopping. This encourages you to be more mindful with your purchases, making a positive impact on the planet, one thoughtful purchase at a time.

Support Sustainable Brands

The Importance of Supporting Brands That Prioritise Sustainability

One powerful move you can make is to support brands that prioritise sustainability. By choosing companies focusing on eco-friendly practices, you're not just making a purchase – you're making a statement. Your decision to support these sustainable brands is a vote for a greener future, a future where products are good for us and the planet. Your role as a consumer is crucial in driving this positive change.

Are you looking for some stellar examples? QToys offers a fantastic range of children's toys made from sustainable and durable wood, ensuring they can be passed down through generations rather than ending up in a landfill. Another fantastic option is Merineo, which creates baby sleepwear from natural and organic materials. Their commitment to reducing environmental impact means you can dress your little ones in clothing that's safe for them and gentle on the planet. And for those looking to make small but impactful changes, Go Bamboo offers a range of biodegradable products, from veggie brushes to clothes pegs, helping you replace everyday items with more sustainable alternatives.

Benefits of Shopping with Eco-Conscious Retailers

Here's a bonus: Shopping with eco-conscious retailers often comes with a double dose of good vibes. These companies frequently offer top-notch products that are ethically produced, giving you the peace of mind that you're making a responsible choice. Some brands even reward your sustainable purchases with discounts or loyalty points.

Apply These Practical Tips for Plastic-Free Online Shopping

Utilise Filters and Keywords to Find Sustainable Products

When shopping for sustainable products on most online platforms, you can use filters and keywords to make your search easier. For instance, on Hello Charlie, you can look for terms like "eco-friendly," "plastic-free," and "sustainable." You can do this by entering these keywords into the search bar or using the available filter options.

Pay Close Attention to Product Descriptions and Reviews to Ensure Eco-Friendliness

When looking for potential products, it's important to dig deeper. Carefully read the product descriptions to guarantee they do not contain plastic materials. This extra effort may seem tedious, but it ensures you're getting an eco friendly product that's worth it.

Customer reviews can also provide valuable insights into the product's packaging and sustainability. Many online stores simplify this process by labelling their plastic-free and sustainable products. These labels save you time and help you make well-informed decisions.

If you're using Hello Charlie, you can take advantage of an even easier way to find sustainable products. Our eco online store offers a dedicated page for plastic-free products. This curated collection makes it simple to discover items while supporting your goal of reducing plastic waste.

Join millions of people in reducing their plastic waste through eco-friendly online shopping

With some planning and savvy searching, you can shop online with less plastic. Every time you make a plastic-free purchase, you show brands that consumers want change. Your small changes matter. When you choose to refuse single-use plastics, you become a part of a movement that makes a massive difference in our communities.

Take action today! Check out the Hello Charlie Plastic-Free Living collection and treat yourself to something sustainable.

If you found this article helpful, share it on social media to inspire others to shop more sustainably. Your actions can create positive change, making eco-friendly online shopping the norm. Remember, Plastic Free July will help you to find great alternatives that can become new habits forever.

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