Plastic-Free July is a great way to bring awareness to the harm plastic is doing to our planet, but let's not stop there.
As consumers, we all know it's important to reduce, reuse, and refuse single-use plastic and opt for reusable items, made of natural and compostable materials when possible, in our daily lives... but how do we make broader systemic changes?
Keep the momentum going with these 7 things you can do to affect environmental policy change:
1. Vote with your money
Buy from brands that use natural and recycled materials and use plastic-free shipping materials. Here’s a list of sustainable fashion brands in the USA and Canada. The more demand there is, the more companies will adopt sustainable policies.
2. Contact your favorite brands about their shipping materials
Tell them how you feel about their plastic packaging, tell them you’ll be shopping elsewhere, and suggest compostable packaging options.
3. Vote with your ballot
When elections come around -- from local to federal -- do your research. Take a look at candidates’ environmental policies. Fewer people actually vote for their local governments than in the nationwide elections, but your province/state/city controls your local recycling efforts and more.
4. Sign petitions
Support local environmental efforts such as improved recycling efforts and plastic bag taxes and bans. You can find petitions to sign on any topic at change.org.
5. Call your local and federal representatives
Voting during elections isn’t the only way to change governmental policies. The government is, ideally, here for the people. Put the pressure on by speaking your mind. Find your representative in the USA and Canada.
6. Donate to environmental causes
Here are 6 organizations recommended by Outside Online.
7. Volunteer for environmental organizations
You can use a website like VolunteerMatch to find local organizations that need your help. You should also be able to find local organizations in a Google search for “volunteer for the environment in [your city]”.
What are you going to do for the environment after July? Do you have any favorite sustainable brands you buy from? Or environmental organizations you donate to or volunteer for?
Let us know in the comments below.