Happy Plastic Free July! This is the best month to pause, think about the way we buy and consume, and reboot our lifestyles to embrace a more sustainable living.

Plastic Free July, the global movement to reduce plastic pollution, is finally upon us. And as the perfect kickoff, it’s also London Climate Action Week, another good reason to celebrate and reflect on our environmental impact. While it’s already a way of life for many of us, going plastic-free for a month is the best way to see first-hand the amount of plastics (and specifically single-use plastics) we usually consume. Reducing our consumption of meat and imported foods is also a great way to reduce our lifestyle’s carbon footprint.

Whether you are taking on the Plastic Free Challenge, or focusing on living a 1.5 degree lifestyle this week, this is the occasion to become more conscious of what we purchase without thinking, and our real impact on the planet. Many people we talk to are eco-conscious but have habits that are hard to break, but going meat free or plastic-free for a little while quickly shows that with a bit of planning and mindful buying, it is not that difficult to lead a sustainable life.

Here are 3 ways to live sustainably and have the best Plastic Free July this year:

Use Apps to Make your Life Easier

Copyright Giki Badges 2019

You don’t have to go through Plastic Free July and London Climate Action Week alone. Luckily in 2019, there are helpful businesses and apps making life easier for conscious consumers.

Giki is a mobile app that informs users about the UK supermarket products they buy and the companies they buy from, by awarding badges to products based on sustainability, health and fairness. Giki’s aim is to drive sustainable consumption by connecting consumer values with their shopping decisions, allowing them to scan products’ barcodes through the app and see which badges have been awarded by the social enterprise. Giki encourages full transparency and sustainable consumption by drawing on a number of different data sources such as product information, government guidelines and scientific research.

The Social Enterprise is committed to making it easy to find sustainable, healthy and ethical products. Giki just released their updated Low Carbon Footprint badge, now available on the Giki app. The Low Carbon Footprint badge is one of the smartphone app’s 13 badges (alongside Better Packaging, Animal Welfare, and Healthier Option) and sorts product categories into low, medium, high and very high carbon footprints. The latest update of the badge marks Giki’s support of London Climate Action Week (1-8 July 2019), making it easy for consumers to find products which are fully aligned with a 1.5 degree lifestyle for food and drink, and are also often healthier options.

Buddy Up for Local Eco-Friendly Events

Copyright Pixabay 2019

Sustainable Living can be fun, and movements like Plastic Free July and London Climate Action Week are all about community. Both websites show local events happening throughout the week or month, where you can celebrate, exchange ideas and listen to like-minded people share their experience of sustainable living.

In honour of Plastic Free July, we will be organising an eco hike around London on 20th July in Shoreditch Park from 3pm, and we would love you to come join us. When it comes to sustainable living, the more the merrier!

Everyday, on our commute to the office, we pass in front of countless plastic trash left on the floor. It is very painful to witness, and while we are always picking up the obvious bits, we can’t do it all ourselves. So symbolically and because we are truly dedicated to a cleaner, healthier planet, we decided to organise an eco hike where everyone sharing our ethos can join.

This eco hike is for anyone who, like us, believes in a more conscious and sustainable world. Also for anyone who wants to see cleaner streets and feel like they’ve contributed to something positive, even if just for a couple of hours. Buddying up for these local eco events is the best way to build your sense of community and realise that every little step counts when it comes to reducing your footprint. Seeing plastic trash in a park is also a good eye-opener on our actual impact on nature, and we look forward to doing our bit.

Enjoy the Benefits of Sustainable Living on your Mental Health

Copyright Nappy 2019

A surprising added bonus to sustainable living is that it is a total mind booster! When you do something you’re proud of, or when you finally start something you have been putting off for months (like going plastic-free or meat-free), you start feeling pretty good about yourself.

According to Giki users, reducing their carbon footprint has had long term effects on their mental health, partly because of lowering the feeling of guilt coming from buying certain products, a newly acquired peace of mind, and an overall boost good feeling about themselves.

This makes sense to us as we have embraced sustainable living for years. It is also better for your wallet as you will cross a lot of un-necessary products from your list, better for your plate as you tend to eat healthier products, and of course better for the environment. Once you know your impact and become in control of your purchase habits, it becomes really rewarding on a personal level. Sustainable lives are happy lives!

A word of caution though: Don’t overwhelm yourself if this is hard to achieve. The whole point of movements like Plastic Free July and London Climate Action is awareness, not to judge, preach or stress you out. If you’re going to make a change, make it mindfully. As mindset coach and wellbeing retreat host Puja K McClymont explains on her blog, when it comes to change, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. “The key to knowing what will and won’t work is to understand you specifically, research what’s out there that might be able to help and see what you enjoy most. Whatever you enjoy, whatever is easy will be what sticks when making change” she explains. “This is mindful living. When you are consciously aware of your actions. This is where success comes from. This is how to win at life.”

We couldn’t agree more! For more tips on sustainable living, mindful business, and upcoming eco-friendly events, visit the Dare PR blog.