“Plastic Free July” was originally developed in 2011 in Western Australia, and the movement went worldwide in 2013. It has continued to grow each year and now has over one million participants in 130 countries.
The goal of Plastic Free July is to raise worldwide awareness of the quantity of single-use disposable plastics that we consume in our everyday lives and to help inspire us to do something to change it! You could partake in this challenge for a day, a week, all of July, or longer – whatever suits YOU!
With a name like “Plastic Free July,” it can seem daunting. Some people may feel that the burden is too great a task and it can’t be achieved, therefore it shouldn’t be attempted. But Plastic Free July is what YOU make out of it.
The simple challenge is to refuse, or to at least greatly limit, your use of single-use disposable plastic during the month of July, and hopefully continue the habit. Many people get the impression that one person’s actions are so small that they don’t make a difference, but that is false! Especially during a time like Plastic Free July where over one million “individual people” are doing their part – that makes waves! A great way that one person makes a big difference is by sharing his or her habits and ecofriendly tricks with others.
When you are beginning to monitor your plastic consumption and want to start using less disposable plastic, it can be intimidating to take the first step. I suggest starting with an assortment of the “Top 4” that are listed below to get started!
“The Frightful Four” (as I coined them): plastic bags, disposable water/soda bottles, takeaway coffee cups, straws
Fossil Rim staff is proud to say that we avoid single-use disposable plastic in multiple ways across our facility. We are continuing to do more and follow our mission in the conservation of natural resources. A few examples of things we have done within our facility are listed below.
We do not offer plastic bags at our retail locations, but give our customers the opportunity to purchase a reusable souvenir tote that hopefully will go on to save other plastic bags in the future.
We have water bottle refill stations at the Admission Office, the Nature Store and Wolf Ridge Nature Camp to support reusable water bottle use.
Like many zoological institutions, we do not allow plastic straws or lids in the Overlook Café.
We offer natural compostable options at the Overlook Café instead of cheaper plastic alternatives.
I believe we are all in this together, and when each of us gives a little, a lot gets done in the conservation of natural resources and our world’s biodiversity. In the words of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
To learn more, check out http://www.plasticfreejuly.org/.
-Caitlin Pyle, Recycling and Waste Conversion Coordinator