A ‘Plastic-Free’ habit for life not just ‘July’

A ‘Plastic-Free’ habit for life not just ‘July’

Tracey BanksJuly 04, 2019

Heard about Plastic Free July?

Thinking about giving it a go but don’t know where to start? It’s easy to get paralysed by the size of the task at hand to go plastic-free…

A habit is for life not just for July

Plastic has become integral to the convenience in our lives and part of our everyday habits. Moving to plastic-free alternatives involves changing behaviour and forming new lifestyle habits

Research shows that it takes more than 2 months before a new behaviour becomes automatic.

So the goal for plastic-free July should be to start changing behaviour that is sustainable to become a habit – and have the intention for it to become for life, not just for ‘plastic-free’ July!

We’ve got some tips on how to get going and, importantly, how to keep it going beyond July.

Here's our week-by week guide to building a successful Plastic-Free habit for life, not just July:

Week 1. PLAN YOUR PLASTIC ATTACK

Know where you plastic waste comes from, research the alternate options, identify your plastic swap & declare it

Week 2. FIND YOUR TRIGGER & ADAPT YOUR ROUTINES

Get going, identify reminders and form routines

Week 3. KEEP GOING: ACCOUNTABILITY & CONSISTENCY ARE KEY

Check in with yourself, your buddies, keep your impact visible

Week 4. CELEBRATE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS, ADAPT TO THE FAILURES

Feel good about the positive results, plan for the bad days

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Week 1. PLAN YOUR PLASTIC ATTACK

Start simple – don’t try and remove plastic completely from your life; start by setting a goal to form just 1 new ‘plastic-free’ habit

Start easy - make your new plastic-free habit incredibly easy to start and impossible to fail

Choose wisely – pick a plastic swap that will have an impact on your waste, so that the rewards are tangible

Know your plastic waste and keep it

To avoid setting yourself up to fail from the start, it’s important to understand the benefit you’ll achieve in forming this new ‘plastic-free’ habit.

So, before embarking on any plastic-free swap, do a week-long plastic waste audit to baseline the amount and make-up of your current plastic waste.

Create separate 'bins' (bin, box or bag) for your plastic waste (landfill and recycling) so that it is visible - you can then comprehend a starting position to measure against as you change your behaviour. Keep records, take photos - get to know your waste and keep it visible as a reminder of your goal.

The makeup of your plastic waste will help you identify that first plastic swap that will be impactful FOR YOU - every household is different.

Research alternate options

To be a ‘no-brainer’ to start, the plastic-free habit needs to have an available and accessible solution that works for you.

Start taking a look at local stores / services for alternative sustainable options for your pesky plastic waste – we’re going to share a list for Hitchin.

Identify plastic swap and get the alternative

Take a look at the results of your plastic waste audit, and cross-reference with your available solutions. Pick the plastic swap that’s going to work for you. Time to secure the alternative option ready for action!

Declare it

Telling people what you’re doing has multiple benefits: you’re committing publicly so you now have someone to be accountable to; conversely you’ve got others to hold you accountable as well as keep you motivated if you feel like quitting. We’re happy to act as plastic-free habit buddies if you need us – tell us your swap & we’ll give you our support!

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Next up: Week 2. FIND YOUR TRIGGER & ADAPT YOUR ROUTINES

Get going, identify reminders and form routines

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