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Plastic Free July

The thing with anything that is good, is it is usually very hard work, and we are not here to tell you that going plastic free is any different but we are here to make it a whole lot easier for you.

From tips and tricks to plastic free household staples, Replenish Papamoa has you covered.

But first, what is Plastic Free July? I assume if you have landed here, you probably have some idea but on the off chance that you haven’t heard of it, let me explain.

To preface this, I would like to say that Plastic Free July is how I started removing unnecessary plastic and waste from my household… so, it works. And once you start it is almost impossible to go back. The age old, once you have seen you cannot unsee is so true here.

Plastic Free July is exactly what is sounds like – committing to an entire month of going plastic free. It is a global initiative that encourages individuals to become more aware of just how much single use plastic they're using – and how they can reduce it.

Plastic is everywhere – from vegetables wrapped in cling film and plastic bags to bottle water. Shampoos and body wash. Meat and grains… it ALL comes in plastic. But it doesn’t have to. It just takes the commitment and a little time, and you will be amazed at not only how much less plastic waste you throw out but how much easier it is on the wallet too!!

Here are a few examples of how you can begin to reduce single use plastics in your life:

  • Laundry and Household Cleaners – If you want to start somewhere I think this would be the easiest place to start as even the supermarket offers a good range of eco friendly products these days. However, they still come in packaging that often cannot be recycled or composted. At Replenish we offer bulk bins full of tried and tested laundry and household cleaning products and also have a range of jars to buy or borrow for free which means not only do you have no packaging you can also buy as much or as little as you like which reduces waste and also the cost to you! 
  • Water – Take a bottle with you. Most malls now have beautiful filter water for FREE. FREE!!!! All you have to do it remember your bottle. 
  • Fruits and Veges – If you buy seasonally, it is VERY easy to reduce your plastics as there are many wonderful small farms offering vege and fruit boxes these days. 
  • Meat - Post covid a lot of small businesses are struggling; butchers are no exception. Why not take your own containers and buy from your local butcher instead? Not only is the quality far superior, but you can also buy EXACT amounts of what you need and you can take all your own containers too! Your meat is then already in your own containers ready to pop in the fridge or freezer in perfect portions!
  • Sushi – We all love sushi; it is convenient and healthy but it is hideously packaged and you only have to take one look at the bins of your local sushi joint to recognise this. The great news is, if you take your own containers, they often give you a discount AND they make it fresh for you. Win win! Pro tip: try also say no to the soy sauce and keep your own little bottle on hand instead.
  • Grains – We stock all your staple grains – rice, pasta, flours, oats, cereals and all a wide range of dried legumes. 
  • Bread – A staple we cannot live without. Instead of the usual supermarket bread that is laden with junk and wrapped in plastic why not try some bread from our local bread supplier, Better Bread. In our store weekly on a Thursday - Saturday, this amazing bread is made with organic and sustainable ingredients and packaged in brown paper bags. Wanna give your own bread a try, why not try our Buckwheat Loaf recipe here.

  • Milk / Mylk – this is harder if you are an avid dairy drinker but NOT impossible. A few companies now offer cow’s milk in glass bottles, and some even have a swap a bottle situation meaning no glass is being sent off to be recycled. If you are into milk (or mylk) alternatives then it is easy to make your own, we recently made Hemp Mylk which is easy and really delicious. If you prefer to have the hard work done for you then why not try the MyklMade mylk pastes which are a fuss free way to make mylk at home! Try them here.

  • Straws – Probably one of the best yet worst inventions, right? Thankfully there are easy and cute alternatives these days, from glass to metal and everything in between. Chuck one in your bag, car and work drawer and you will never be caught out. It is prob one of the easiest changes to make to start your Plastic Free July journey. 
  • Coffee – OK, coffee is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Unfortunately, single use takeaway coffee cups are one of the biggest players in the waste game! This is where things get really fun because the reusable coffee cup market is full of amazing alternatives. From beautiful hand made ceramic cups to your trusty Keep Cup the options are endless. We like to keep one in our car and one at work as well so that we are never without one because what is life without coffee!!!??

  • Smoothies – Smoothies are an amazing way to get your 5+ a day in and for on-the-go meals nothing else really compares but just like single use coffee cups, smoothie cups and straws are massive contributors to the waste we produce. Places like Tank now offer reusable smoothie tumblers and metal straws (which in our opinion are actually better than the paper ones as they keep your drink cold for ages!). If you REALLY cannot commit to a reusable one, or you get caught out, why not just wash and reuse the plastic ones that iced coffees and smoothie usually come in these days.

  • Lunchboxes – I don’t know about you, but I get off on making my kids school lunches and making their lunchboxes look pretty. I use these lunchboxes and they are such a game changer. Stuck for ideas of what to put in their lunch boxes? Come in store or shop our range online – we stock lots of fun little things for kids lunchboxes from pretzels, nuts, wasabi peas, dried fruits or my kids favourite the Macadamia and Coconut granola clusters from Wild Flour OR our best seller choc covered pretzels
  • Crackers – crackers and cheese! They just go together like, well, crackers and cheese ha! Most crackers are highly processed and packaged in obscene amounts of plastic, but they are very easy to make yourself. Try this recipe, all ingredients are available at Replenish. So easy even the kids can make them! 

  • Sunscreen – OK I know it is winter BUT a lot of people are going away now that our borders are opened, hitting warmer countries to thaw out. At Replenish stock and personally use Seasick sunscreen which is probably the best sunscreen we have ever used. Absolutely no nasties, Broad Spectrum SPF 30 and suitable for even the most sensitive skins. Buy yours online here. 
  • Composting – In Tauranga we are lucky enough to have a roadside composting bin service which has been such a welcome addition to our rubbish service. If you are not in Tauranga, you could give composting a go anyway. The internet is full of resources to get your started but here is a great page full of easy to follow instructions on how to get composting in even the smallest of spaces: https://www.npr.org/2020/04/07/828918397/how-to-compost-at-home 
  • Dog poo – if you have a dog or know someone that does Salt Bags are a must. The ocean-friendly dog poo bags are made from all-natural materials that are from the earth, for the earth. Simply put them in a separate home compost and watch as the microorganisms break down the friendly fibres.  Please compost them separate to your food waste, here is a great resource for composting dog waste:  https://compostcollective.org.nz/composting-dog-poo 
    Note: they also do fab nappy bags too! 
  • Toilet Paper – Last but not least, secretly our favourite way to reduce single use plastic in our household is WITHSMALL toilet paper. They are so fun to look at, spice up a bathroom and are a very good talking point, funnily enough.  They also offer facial tissues and paper towels, all made of bamboo and sustainable ingredients. We recently did an interview with WITHSMALL which you can read here or flag that and just shop our range of toilet paper here.

As you can see, small changes add up so quickly without having to really do too much!

Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing all of our tips and tricks with you to get you started so keep an eye on our Instagram page so you don’t miss them @replenish_papamoa

If you pop in store our lovely team is always on hand to help you on your journey. To make it even easier on your wallet, if you shop with us for the month of July you will get a 10% discount every visit.