Let’s talk about unfettered capitalism and our unhinged consumerism. First things first, when you start saying no to single use plastics you do actually need a reusable. The thing is you ABSOLUTELY DON’T need to buy anything new. I had zero travel mugs and a single reusable water bottle before my ZW days.
Here is the exact, well nearly the exact three things, I dropped and broke my first few jars I started to zerowaste with during my first Plastic Free July.
1. A glass jar with a fitting lid, ideally it does not leak.
2. Drawstring cotton bag
3. Tote bag
I did not buy any of these things, I dug around through my possessions to find these things. Possibly, still top three because of their multiple uses.
No you don’t need to buy a new water bottle, coffee mug, container, bag, etc. One of my drawstring bulk bags was a shoe bag in its previous life or you can sew up your own!
Many, not all, stores/brands/influencers are focused on selling you new shit during July. Opt the fuck out of that people. You need to focus on what you can sustainably replace with a reusable before buying a bunch of things!
A caveat of sorts, BIPOC and low income folks have been living the low waste life as merely a means of survival.
I am in no way telling you not to participate this but to acknowledge where these ideas developed from and to know race plays a part in every one of these movements.
That is why I think talking social justice, environmental racism, and human rights needs to run in tandem.
If you are a white person, like myself, bring your cup but also give money to mutual aid, intervene when someone is being a racist, and challenge the status quo daily.
It’s panny times still so BYOC is harder but I have started to ask my favorite places if they are accepting cups again. Ask one place this week, even if it’s a no! Feel free to send me a DM either way.