Plastic-Free July Recap with Eco-Friendly Alternatives

July has officially come to end. And with it, the end of the Plastic-Free July Challenge. Today, we’ll share with you our journey of reducing plastic as much as possible, and how we found eco-friendly alternatives for plastic.

Let’s get into it right away. We did better than we usual do, mostly because we are becoming more conscious of our daily decisions. However, we did worse than I had hoped. Things didn’t always go as planned and that caused us to rely on whatever was available – which was not always an eco-friendly option.

I was hoping I would be able to keep all the plastic we had used to show you a photo of our “failures,” but what with an impromptu move, it just didn’t happen. Nevertheless, I will list all the plastic products we purchased and/or used throughout the month of July.

Plastic Consumption

  • Dairy Queen Sundae – I bought a Sundae without thinking it came in a plastic cup; doh!
  • Tim Hortons Tea Cover – I was so tired at work and didn’t have a reusable mug to get tea.
  • Cat Food – Kovu is on a specific diet, and his cat food comes in plastic packaging.
  • Bulk Barn Plastic Bag – I blame Max, because I reminded him to bring a container, but he forgot and we really wanted a treat to bring to the movies so we caved and used a plastic bag.
  • Donair Sauce for Pizza & Garlic Fingers – Max absolutely loves Donair Sauce and could not do without, so we got 2 containers when we ordered pizza while we were doing repairs on Remi’s house
  • Subway Plastic Bag – With all the moving and construction, there were days when I had no lunch so I went to Subway one day for my lunch break
  • Sandwiches at Ayers – Everyone raves about these, and when our fridge was empty from moving, we caved and stopped for plastic-wrapped sandwiches. (They were delicious by the way!)
  • Grocery Food – Numerous grocery products were all wrapped in plastic.


Eco-Friendly Alternatives

Bread Bag

We always buy our bread from a local bakery now, Nana’s Bakery. I love that we can both support a local business and reduce our carbon footprint. Plus, this bakery is very environmentally friendly and encourages people to reuse their plastic bread bags. So for the beginning of the month, that’s what I did. And then I finally ordered a cloth bread bag on Amazon!!

Huge thank you to my friend Brittany for ordering me lots of eco-friendly goodies with her Amazon Prime account! We received everything in no time! (See link below if you want to get one for yourself!)

Glass Spray Bottles

These were also from Amazon, and I knew I would love them the minute I saw the link online. The intention was to replace our plastic bottles and cleaning products. To get these bottles, click on the link below!

Steam Mop

I splurged and bought a steam mop on Kijiji! It only came with one cleaning pad, and it was VERY well used, so I bought a new set from Amazon to clean the floors with nothing but water!

Mugs & Reusable Cups

I met up with a friend for a drink at Second Cup this month and had my drink served in a mug instead of a takeout cup.

Cotton Grocery Bags

I am finally (slowly) replacing my reusable grocery bags with cotton bags. Found two amazing bags at My Home Mercantile on Main Street, and I will surely be adding to the collection as our other bags slowly deteriorate. We ALWAYS carry at least a few bags in each of our vehicles, and I even keep a cotton bag in my purse or backpack so that we never need to use plastic bags.

Hand Soap in Bulk

It took me a while to get through our stock pile of hand soap, but we finally made it to the end. I headed over to Corn Crib to buy some hand soap in bulk. I brought my own hand soap dispenser (new, from when we did the Home Makeover for Renters in the Bathroom). I’m not sure if it’s because it was a big dispenser or that the soap is just more expensive, but I was a bit surprised by the total cost.

Containers for Take Out

I was so proud of myself for bringing my own container when I went to get lunch at the Moncton Farmer’s Market! It’s so easy to do, and almost any restaurant or food service provider will allow you to bring your own container. Don’t be shy to ask, the worst they can say is no (hopefully only for safety reasons).

Beauty Products in Ceramic Packaging

I desperately needed some stuff from The Body Shop but I was hoping to avoid plastic. I knew I wanted to get this Nail & Cuticle Oil, and possibly a bamboo or wooden nail brush if they had one. But as often happens when you go to the mall, the purchase was a bit different than planned. Fortunately for me, it actually turned out for the best! I ended up finding a day cream in ceramic packaging!

Other Efforts

Sometimes it’s not just about replacing a certain product with another product. Sometimes it’s really about making an effort to avoid products, to say no to things. This is something we often struggle with, but we’re continuously encouraging each other to do better. We’ve started refusing straws in drinks. We also are trying to avoid eating out so much so sometimes that means saying no to an invitation. Being eco-conscious is a round-the-clock job, but I think we’ll all be better for it.


Your Turn

Now it’s your turn! I would like to extend a challenge to all our readers and followers. For the month of August, we’ll be posting on social media about our continuous efforts to be more sustainable using the hashtag #tinyadventureschallenge and we want you to join us! Show us how you’re also doing your part to reduce your impact on the environment and use our hashtag so we can see what a difference we’re all making. Small changes create big change. Never forget that.

2 thoughts on “Plastic-Free July Recap with Eco-Friendly Alternatives

  1. I love these types of posts that document successes and “bumps” on the road to reducing plastics. I’m particularly interested in doing so while travelling. I travel with only one carry-on bag and in today’s world, it’s so difficult to pack light and avoid plastic. But, I’m doing better with eliminating single-use plastics and refusing wasteful food packaging. So, thank you for this insightful post.

    Carmen, have you shopped at Etsy? I’m encouraged by the number of sellers who make eco-friendly products. I’m also seeing quite a few who are committed to using eco-friendly shipping supplies. Also, Etsy’s filters allow customers to “shop local” and limit the distance between seller and buyer. I’ve found, and purchased from storefronts in Atlantic Canada. My latest purchases are from a seller in Halifax who makes reusable bags and wraps for sandwiches and snacks. In the event it’s useful, here’s a link to a post on shopping at Etsy (with links to the storefront in Halifax):

    1. Plastic-free travelling is quite challenging indeed! I think the most important thing is to be mindful – small changes make a big impact! Also, I don’t shop on Etsy very much, but I do love how you can find local artisans that you might never have heard of! I’ll definitely give your post a read and share so my Halifax-based friends can have some ressources. 🙂

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