10 zero waste swaps to try for Plastic Free July

Summer is packed with travel, gatherings with friends and the great outdoors. Between road trips, vacations, camping, hiking, and all the summer activities, it can be a busy time. Creating sustainable habits ahead of time is the key to reducing your waste this summer.
Plastic Free July was started as a personal challenge and is now a global movement to refuse single use plastic and try different ways to reduce waste in your own life. Whether it's bringing your own coffee cup, buying unpackaged produce, bringing your bags to the store, shopping at the farmer's markets, learning new cooking or baking methods, or getting your food from the bulk section, you can make a difference by trying a new sustainable habit this July. Do it with friends or pick a fun new thing to learn or try, and you'll be on your way to a low waste summer and cleaner oceans, cleaner streets, and cleaner air for all of us.
Here's a list  we put together of our top favorite zero waste swaps for you to try this Plastic Free July.

Switch to reef safe sunscreen

Did you know that most sunscreens have chemicals that are damaging our reefs and hurting our sea life? When you buy reef safe sunscreen, even if you don’t live near a reef, you’re keeping harmful chemicals from getting into our water stream. Some ingredients to avoid include octocrylene, homosalate, octisalate, octinoxate, and oxybenzone. Reef safe sunscreen bases include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Try a reef safe sunscreen this summer! Ours comes in a compostable stick and it's tinted. Plus it has this wonderful coconuty scent!

Stay hydrated, purely

With the warmer weather, one thing I always have with me is my insulated stainless steel bottle for hydrating on the go. I use it for everything from water to coffee, and I even use it for cocktails or beer gardens. When I’m hydrating, I like to purify my water with a charcoal filter to make sure I’m removing all the toxins and metals. With these filters you get a better taste and they’re 100% plastic free. I like to keep a charcoal filter in a carafe at my office and one at home and I keep a portable filter in my water bottle for daily use.
Charcoal water filter

Simplify your coffee routine

Cooling off with a homemade cold brew? Mix up a batch with our reusable cotton filter that’s organic and easy to use. It makes the cold brew taste great, and it’s a super affordable DIY to start your week off powered up.
The other thing you can do for plastic free July is commit to bringing your own reusable coffee mug every time you get coffee. That one swap has a huge impact!

Put together a waste free picnic basket

Picnics are one of the best parts of summer! Grab your cloth napkins and real silverware from home and hit the park or the beach or wherever you fancy. Stainless mini containers are perfect for carrying snacks, fresh fruits, olives, or crackers. Bring some real glasses too if you plan to enjoy some wine or kombucha. Mason jars work great and you can find them at most large thrift stores. With this zero waste spread, you’ll be prepared to avoid single use plastic, not to mention you'll have the most instagrammable picnic around.
Zero waste picnic

Carry your own utensils

Whether you invest in a bamboo utensil set so you can take it through TSA or you bring your own silverware to work for lunches, this is a great way to refuse single use plastic on a daily basis. A mini spork is a handy tool for when you’re out and about at concerts, festivals, food trucks, and fairs. You can take this one through TSA too, and it's super space efficient because of its small size and versatility. Simply store it in your wallet and whip it out at your next meal so you can say no to single use utensils.

Travel with toothpaste tablets 

Headed on a summer vacation? Solid forms of household goods and personal care are all the rage right now and toothpaste tablets do not disappoint. With these minty tablets, there’s no mess, no waste, and no need for a travel size to get through security. Store them in a glass jar or the compostable pouch they come in. Bite, chew, and voila!

Try sugar wax

Hair removal can get pretty wasteful, and pretty expensive! If you’re a person who likes to have smooth skin for the summer, check out our organic sugar wax you can use at home. It’s not as scary as it sounds, and it gives great results. Your skin will stay smooth for 4-6 weeks. We also carry a stainless steel razor with refillable blades that's perfect for summer!
Organic sugar wax

Ditch the straw

Seattle is well aware of the straw problem. Single use straws are so lightweight that they blow out of trash cans and end up littering our oceans. Instead of using a single use straw, opt for a metal straw for your next cocktail or coffee! It's an easy switch and there are so many fun colors to brighten your drink.

Rock a string bag at the farmer's market

Plastic free produce is a great step toward a zero waste lifestyle, and organic cotton string bags are perfect for picking up produce and other groceries from your local market. I’m always amazed at how much mine fits and I get compliments wherever I go.

Throw a zero waste party

Cool down with zero waste refreshments at your next party. Our stainless steel ice tray is so chic and a great conversation starter. Try freezing herbs or edible flowers in your ice for a fun spin on your drinks. For big salads and sharable dishes, our nestable food container set is a lifesaver. They're perfectly sized for entertaining, transporting food, and storing the leftovers. And at the end of the day, they all nest together, lids and all, to fit back in the cupboard. Who knew food storage could be so simple?
We hope you have a wonderful time doing Plastic Free July and exploring new sustainable ways of doing things. Tell us your favorite earth friendly swap in the comments!