July marks the beginning of #PlasticFreeJuly, a movement that began in Australia and is now recognized in over 150 countries with over 2 million participants. With our office and our homes in the San Francisco Bay Area, rockflowerpaper is extremely passionate about protecting our oceans from plastic pollution. To keep us all motivated and provide a few quick tips for #PlasticFreeJuly, we put together a list of 5 easy steps you can take to have a plastic-free beach day and make the best of your summer. The very simplest way to keep plastic out of our oceans is to start refusing to use it.
1. Bring Reusable Bags
Keep plastic out of your beach day by bringing your food, snacks, and beach gear in reusable bags. Our blu bags are machine washable, can hold up to 50 lbs, and come in tons of cute colors and prints! Being earth-friendly does not have to be boring. We also donate 20 cents from each blu bag sold to Ocean Conservancy, and we’ve donated $50,000 to date. If you need something bigger for your floppy hat or giant beach towel, our jute tote bags are made out of a renewable vegetable fiber with AZO-free dyes.
2. Keep Biodegradable Bags from the Grocery Store
Some grocery stores, like Trader Joe’s, provide biodegradable bags in the fruit and vegetable section. Save them the next time you go grocery shopping and reuse them on your beach day to wrap sandwiches, portion out snacks, or collect your compostable beach garbage.
3. Bring Reusable Water Bottles
Americans use over 2.5 million plastic bottles every HOUR, and only a very small percentage of those bottles gets recycled. Invest in a water filter and collect a few of our fabulous blu bottles. They’re made out of stainless steel, keep your drink hot or cold for 12 hours, and we also donate 20 cents from each bottle sold to Ocean Conservancy. Remember, you can also put lemonade, punch, or iced tea in there!
Do your best to avoid using drinking straws. Americans use over 500 million straws a DAY, and straws are one of the top 10 types of plastic litter found at the beach. Drink straight from the bottle or purchase a variety of more sustainable drinking straw options such as paper straws, glass straws, or stainless steel straws – they even come with a little cleaning brush!
4. Wear Cotton Clothing
When we wash synthetic clothing - like polyester or acrylic - tiny plastic fibers shed into the wash cycle. This micro pollution can end up in the ocean, inside sea animals, and in our food chain. You can help reduce the creation of these fibers by wearing natural fabrics like cotton. Our beach dresses, beach tunics, and kimono cover ups are all made out of super light and soft 100% cotton. So you'll look great at the beach and also feel great about lessening your impact on plastic micro pollution.
5. Clean Up
Last but not least, we can all make an effort to recycle, compost, or throw away the trash that we see on the beach. If each person makes a small dent, then everyone could make a huge dent together. Our beaches are beautiful havens. They help us relax, bring us closer to nature, and give us a reason to go on vacation! But they can’t stay beautiful without our help. For #PlasticFreeJuly, let’s pledge to clean up!