Here at Saint Clair Family Estate we love taking on a challenge, especially when it benefits the environment. So when Plastic Free July rolled around this year, we knew it would be a great opportunity to further educate our staff on eco-friendly practices in both the workplace and their homes.
Plastic Free July started up as a personal challenge for one person, Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, in 2011, and is now one of the most influential environmental campaigns in the world.
Each year millions of people from around the globe take part in the challenge, choosing to refuse single-use plastics and work towards living a plastic free life. Their ultimate vision is to see a world without plastic waste.
At Saint Clair Family Estate we have already made it our mission to ensure that our environmental footprint is as light as possible in our day to day practices. However we believe there is always room for improvement and hoped that Plastic Free July would bring about a new awareness to the team and encourage staff to make plastic free choices.
To add a bit of competitive spirit to the challenge we decided to award prizes to the top three people who had made the biggest changes in their lives and the most significant contribution to reducing waste.
Initiatives such as those listed below were among the many changes for individuals:
- Converting from store bought bread to home baking.
- Using reusable coffee cups.
- Changing from traditional toothpaste to toothpaste tablets.
- Forgoing shampoo in plastic bottles and choosing concentrated bars instead.
- Creating homemade cleaning products.
- Making yoghurt at home and ordering milk in glass bottles.
- Choosing groceries from the supermarket that are unpackaged or packaged in reusable materials such as glass.
- Removing rubbish bins from work desks to encourage better consideration about rubbish rather than mindlessly throwing things out.
- Printing on both sides of the paper and reusing pieces to write notes on.
- Refusing plastic containers from takeaway shops and instead using own containers.
- Ordering groceries from ‘Good For’ who package their products only in paper bags.
- Sort, wash and dry all recyclables before taking to the Recovery Centre.
- Planting and using vegetables and herbs from home gardens.
This is just a small sample of the changes our Saint Clair team have made. We even had those that did not enter the competition but still decided to make their own changes to reduce their impact on the environment.
The prevalence of plastic in our everyday lives meant that the Plastic Free July challenge was not an easy one, but one we hope has shone a light on the choices we make and how they affect the world that we live in.
A huge thank you to everyone for your contributions and to the Saint Clair Green Team and the Saint Clair Mana Ake Team for their support and encouragement setting up this focus for July.