Hacks to Make Plastic Free July a Breeze

Plastic free july

Hacks to Make Plastic Free July a Breeze

As our wonderful community of environmentalists, zero-wasters and sustainability-champions grows, Plastic free July is becoming a well renowned event globally. Thankfully, with pop up bulk stores and ever more options available to us, we can make this month a little easier! Here are just a few helpful life hacks from TreeTime to make your Plastic Free July as smooth as a babies bum.

Plan ahead this plastic free July

Putting a bit of thought into how you want to tackle plastic free July will ensure your success. Or, at the very least make it a little easier!

Going entirely plastic free isn’t easy. Saying that, even cutting back isn’t easy.

Our busy lives demand so much time and energy, little is left to take on additional challenges.

We want our lives to be easier, right? Not harder.

Here’s a few considerations before you roll up your sleeves and take on PFJ with the Gusto of an Olympian.


1. Set goals with yourself, do you want to eliminate entirely, or reduce? Try to be realistic, setting out of reach goals will only lead to burn out and stress

2. Research local bulk shops and greengrocers. Or really, any store you feel you’ll need throughout this month

3. Consider your meal choices – If you live from frozen packaged meals, how do you get the same simplicity without plastic packaging?

4. Run through your house, what items are you likely to run out of? Create a list, the last thing you want is panic buying more toothpaste because you can’t find an alternative!

plastic free july

Where does plastic crop up the most?

A snappy whizz around your home will answer this question for you.

What are your habits? What items do you simply love but arrive on your doorstep neatly packaged in reems of plastic?

Let’s quickly run through some of these offending items, and their plastic-free alternatives! Please bear in mind, we’re based in New Zealand, so you may need to do your own research to find local items.

Hair and Beauty Products

1. Shampoo

Swap from bottled shampoo to bars. Or, if you’re lucky you can grab your empty bottle and head to a local refillary.

On a worldwide perspective, lush do amazing shampoo and conditioner bars! Well worth checking out.

Shampoo bar

2. Shower Gel

Luckily this one is an easy swap. Most supermarkets will sell bar soap options, wrapped in cardboard. A simple alternative to the usual plastic bottle.

The bonus point to bar soap is cost effectiveness. It’s a miracle item, this little bar of soap lasts forever, saving you money! Win, win!


3. Razors

Be gone with plastic disposable razors this plastic free July!

There are many great options out there to have a silky smooth bod. Depending on your location in the world, laser hair removal is pain free and cost effective (in the Southern Hemisphere). If this is of interest to you, of course, we’re totally in support of au naturale!

Another consideration is the reusable metal blades, like this one from Caliwoods. They offer a return service for the blades too.

reusable razor


4. Vegetables

The supermarket dangles the tempting carrot. In a nice big plastic bag, with many other carrots. And daymmmm it’s so cheap.

Put the bag down, and slowly walk away.

Accept this journey incurs more money, but not too much more!

Opt for veggies that come singlular and without packaging. If you’re local supermarket is an offender when it comes to plastic, hunt out a farm shop. Greengrocers tend to be more reliable on the less-plastic-is-used front too.

Produce bags are awesome too for loading up on mushrooms and potatoes!

Produce bags

5. Meat and Fish

For your meat and fish needs, you’ll become reliant on butchers and deli counters this plastic free July.

Quite often they will be happy to accept your own containers to store the meat you purchase.


6. Snacks

Our kryptonite. Also, pretty confident this is everyone’s kryptonite. Perhaps, this is the motivation we’ve been looking for to kick the chocolate habit? Orrr, maybe it’s more of a reason to try out paper wrapped chocolate. We’ll guess the latter is true.

Options like Tony’s Chocoloney are truly fabulous. They actively fight against child slavery in the Cacao trade, and no plastic. Bulk store’s such as The Source, have the best options for snacks too. So you can load up, without the guilt, cheers guys!

tonys chocoloney



7. Online shopping

Pandemic and online shopping, a match made in (a strange but realistic) heaven.

You know what, it’s okay to want to treat yourself more often. We’re living through the oddest of circumstances.

But how do we evade the plastic upon plastic upon plastic, deliveries come with?

A challenge, but not impossible. Do your research, email companies and ask the question. If you can, head into store to collect yourself – the only sure-fire way to avoid plastic.



Cleaning products


8. Household cleaning

We’ll dive straight into this one by mentioning the eco store. They offer many great options for plastic free in bulk stores. Keep a hold of your used bottles and top them up in store.

Detergent plastic free july

9. DIY

Little feels more rewarding than cleaning the house with items you can eat. Catapulting your way to eco-god status.

Vinegar, lemon, and bicarb – there’s not much they can’t do. Plus, it’s possibly the most cost effective method of cleaning and no toxins.


Sanitary Items


10. Period care

Sustainable period care has grown massively in popularity over the years. Especially as concerns over the toxicity of certain products to the body rise. Depending on your preference, you can go for period pants (also great for incontinence), moon cups, reusable applicators and pads. Limitless options exist outside of what sits on your supermarket shelves.

period underwear

11. Nappies

Don’t run away, tired and frazzled Ma’s and Pa’s. Society dictates much of how to raise a child, and we aren’t here to add to the load. However, if you’re interested, reusable nappies are a brilliant option for babies and oh my, they’re cute. They are also surprisingly easy to clean and keep on top of.

reusable nappies


Hot Drinks


12. Coffee

The greatest habit of the 21st century – take-a-way coffee. It gets us out of bed and on the track to success each day.

We aren’t about to try and take that away from you.

But we can remember to use a reusable coffee cup. This simple act alone will save tons of plastic heading to landfill each year.

plastic free july

12. Tea

We’re talking to you, our transatlantic friends. Yes we do love tea in New Zealand, but we feel this one really speaks to the heart of brits!

How frustrating that tea bags are so often made with plastic. Why, oh why!!

Thankfully, tea infusers exist, and loose leaf tea is available in most shops. You can find Tea infusers as cheap as chips.

Tea infuser


Rubbish (Or Trash)


13. Bin liners

Landfill is already a place of preservation. 50 years old newspapers turn out perfectly readable.

Our rubbish has no chance of decomposing sat in a plastic bag. So what can we do? Potato starch has the answer. Some very clever companies have started using vegetable based plastic for rubbish solutions.

Yes, they are a little flimsy. But this beats the alternative!

Bin liners
Relaxing woman

Slowing life down


Both a fantastic invention and a mammoth problem.

Plastic sits so prevalently in our life because it’s convenient.

It is entirely reasonable that we turn to plastic for solutions to almost every aspect of our lives.

Quick food, quick cleaning, quick everything.

We are men on a mission, and no one is here to reign us in.

But our lives are busy and full of stress and expectations, that is the truth of it.

Here is your reason, your excuse to slow the heck down. To stop and smell the roses.

How much sweeter does coffee taste, sat in a café watching the world go by. Opposed to gulping it down as you run to catch your train.

See if you can say no to commitments, and catch moments of slow joy. To bake cookies, rather than to buy them. Cooking a fresh meal, over take out.

You’ll eat better food, become ill less often, and decrease Cortisol levels in your blood.

And, we haven’t even mentioned the best part – you will SAVE money. Riding you bike, will cost a lot less than driving. Buying ingredients for a meal stretches further than food delivered.


There’s a few instances where plastic is okay, and you should by no means feel guilty for using it.

1. Medicines – Almost all medication comes in plastic packaging, and hopefully one day an alternative, better solution will arise. But in the meantime, don’t stress about the use of medicines. Look into means in which you can recycle blister packs.

2. Condoms – A baby will warrant more plastic than a prophylactic! You must always protect yourself from pregnancy and STI’s (if you aren’t looking to become pregnant of course).

3. PPE – Don’t shy away from PPE, and we aren’t only talking about face masks. We’re taking hard hats, protective goggles, aprons, the whole kit and kaboodle.

4. Shoes and Bags – Most have an opinion on ‘vegan leather’, due to greenwashing concerns. We tend to agree. But, if you’re vegan and don’t want to use animal products, plastic shoes fill a gap where leather once sat. There are other options however, such as Veja shoes, a bit pricey but much better for our planet.

5. Food storage – Whilst there are non-plastic options, there’s no sense in binning storage containers you already have. Utilise items you have, even if they’re plastic. But we will say try to avoid heating food in plastic containers, as they can leak chemicals into our food. Which is not ideal.

Man relaxing

Give yourself a break

You are probably going to slip up.

It will be almost inevitable and that’s okay. Perhaps in your planning allow 5 mishaps throughout the month to make it easier. Or, whatever speaks to you.

Be kind to yourself, the challenge of participating in plastic free July is admirable.

Commend yourself for your efforts! It’s better to be imperfect and try, than to not try at all!

Make it happen scrabble tiles

Keep yourself inspired this plastic free July

You are the result of the 5 people you spend the most time with.

So, if you’re consuming content from influencers whose values don’t align with your own. It’s easy to stray.

Find new content creators to follow, that inspire you and keep the boot up your bum to keep going.

Here are our top picks.














Talking of socials, we have an exciting challenge this plastic free July that everyone can get involved with! We’re teaming up with Cogo to create a plastic free nomination challenge. Head to our Instagram to find out more. It’s so easy and really spreads the good word!


Wrap Up

Good luck with your plastic free July challenge! We’re behind you 100% of the way. We hope this post will be a great help. We also hope you’re excited for the impending July! Connect with us on Instagram, as we would love to see your achievements.

If you want to find out more about TreeTime, scoot on over to the rest of our website!

Join our plastic free July challenge and let’s get as many people involved as we possibly can!

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