We are already in the midst of the climate crisis. As Greta Thunberg, 16-year-old Swedish climate activist said, “Many people say ‘I would want to get involved in this climate thing, but I feel like I’m too late’ … But if you start now then you are one of the pioneers.” The most important thing you can do is to be aware of how much single-use plastic is a part of your daily life and find alternatives to eliminate a majority of it. Plastic Free July is a global movement where people refuse single-use plastic for a whole month. Feeling up to the challenge? 

If you are just getting involved in this whole ‘climate thing,’ then welcome! Here are some documentaries to watch and tips to follow to assist you to be plastic-free. 


This documentary follows Colin Beavan as he takes on the challenge to go “green,” giving up all the comforts of modern living for a full year. Funny and heart-warming, Colin and his family become closer as he shops local, gets rid of the TV, and focuses on the immaterial beauties of life.  

Where to watch: Amazon Video, Vimeo 

“A Plastic Ocean” is a documentary highlighting the mass amount of plastic entering the oceans. Viewers are taken across the world to understand the severity of the plastic pollution problem. Not only are our beaches and the ocean’s inhabitants affected, but so are we. Plastic is not only in our yogurt cups and toothbrushes, but a part of our food chain. 

Where to watch: YouTube 

This Netflix documentary gives an insight into Dr. Sylvia Earle, oceanographer, marine biologist, environmentalist, and National Geographic Explorer, on her mission to protect marine sanctuaries. A ‘speaker for the ocean,’ her goal is to make people aware of the problems occurring in the deep blue and to inspire action. 

Where to watch: Netflix

Some easy tips to follow:

-Let your friends and family know you are doing this plastic-free challenge and why (so they can understand and not accidentally buy something for you in plastic!)

-Refuse. If a cashier is about to put your products in a bag, say no and explain you have your own. (We have yet to meet someone that has become upset for refusing single-use plastic. Most people are very accommodating; after all, you are the customer!)

-Limit ordering take out (as most to-go containers are made of plastic). If you do order take out, ask if they have a plastic free alternative or bring your own containers.

-Plan ahead! If you are going to be out all day, pack some snacks to save money and avoid buying snacks in single-use packaging (the snacks you bring will most likely be healthier for you than what is offered!)

-Buy bulk and bring your own bags/containers (make sure to have cashiers weigh them first for  the tare weights!)

-Carry a filled reusable water bottle with you so you are never tempted to buy a plastic bottle!

-Bring your own! If you know you are going out bring a cup or reusable bag, just in case. 

-Keep all glass jars you have to reuse for later (can be used to store leftovers, bulk food items, etc.)

-Find plastic-free alternatives or DIY (shampoo bars rather than shampoo in a plastic bottle or DIY toothpaste)

Remember not to beat yourself up if you accidentally purchase a single-use plastic item or can not find an alternative to something you are in need of. This challenge helps bring awareness to the single-use plastic in our daily lives and inspires alternatives. Once you know better, do better and forgive yourself for the things that are out of your control!

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