As we welcome a new month, we also welcome Plastic Free July. Started in 2011 by the Plastic Free Foundation, the goal is to take steps toward a plastic free world.
While Whispering Willow as a business is not plastic free, we evaluate our choices each year and push ourselves to try to be a bit better than we were the year before. Additionally, we are always evolving in our personal lives to be more eco-conscious.
While we know the thought of eliminating single use plastics can be overwhelming (it is for us too!), everyone can take little steps. Little steps each year lead to a large impact over time.
Plastic Free July has some great ideas and you can register to receive emails with more information. We thought we'd also share some choices we've made in our lives so far.
Choices we make personally:
- Reusable shopping bags - we're partial to Envirosax because they roll up relatively small, are crazy sturdy, and attractive to boot, but whatever floats your boat works. We stash them everywhere. In the car, by the front door, in whatever bag we're carrying. The trick is to always have them handy.
- Reusable bottles - every time we leave the house, we take a reusable bottle filled with water. Even if it's a short trip, you never know when you'll need it and it can be refilled when you're out. We have them in a variety of sizes/styles so they suit various activities. That way we never have to buy a plastic bottle of water.
- Reusable coffee cups - we try whenever possible to make coffee at home but when we do go out (and when it is permitted), we try to take our own cups to coffee shops.
- Reusable straws - We don't use straws often, but we keep silicone straws in the house and cars for the rare occasion. They work, don't taste weird or hurt the teeth like some of the metals ones can.
- We keep a set of bamboo utensils in the car. Snack happens. :)
- We have always struggled with laundry detergent and made our own for years because of this but recently started using Kind Laundry Sheets and are impressed so far!
- I am a huge fan of Nuud Deodorant. No fragrances so it doesn't bother Julia's super sensitive skin. You don't use much, it comes in a bioplastic tube made from sugarcane, it ships in paper packaging, but most importantly: it works!
We know we still have a lot more to do. For example, we still use toothpaste in a tube. I would like to try transitioning to a solid toothpaste option. If you have suggestions of brands, we'd love to hear them!
We do use ziplock bags once in a while and would like to buy a few Stasher bags and transition away from plastic bags completely.
Our countertop cleaner comes in a plastic bottle. Our hope is to start experimenting with recipes and making our own that we can put in glass. Stay tuned for news there!
Choices we make as a business:
- We sell as many items in glass as we can.
- We ship plastic-free. The rare time we include bubble wrap in our packages is when we have received it from another supplier (we would rather re-use it than have it simply become waste).
- We rely heavily on stainless steel, glass, and silicone during production.
- The plastic we do use, we try to re-use as long as is it feasible.
- We recycle all items that come to end of life (according to our county regulations of course).
We know we can do more as a business too and we have plans to continue making small shifts in our operations. As we mentioned before, small changes over time lead to a large overall impact.
One exciting note: Did you know that there are more refilleries starting to carry Whispering Willow products? That means you'll be able to take your own containers in and refill your products directly. Less waste AND supporting two small businesses at once - what could be better than that?
To see if one has opened near you, visit our stockist locator and click the "refillery" box when you enter your zip code.