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ZERO WASTE

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Plastic Free July

WHAT IS PLASTIC FREE JULY?


Plastic Free July is a global movement that provides plastic alternative suggestions to those who wish to reduce plastic pollution. This summer, GreenTown Los Altos is developing a local Plastic Free July campaign so YOU can get more involved! Join us during the month of July and beyond to eliminate single-use plastics from your life and your community. Suggestions, resources, and challenges are coming soon!




WHY GO PLASTIC FREE?


It is easy to prioritize convenience over sustainability. But many do not realize the long-term effects single-use plastics have on the planet. From production to purchase to pollution, single-use plastics serve one short-lived purpose, but remain as litter for millions of years. Instead of decomposing, they break into pieces called microplastics, which make their way into water, soil, wild organisms, and even our bodies. Our planet cannot afford more plastic pollution. About 17.6 billion pounds of plastic enter the ocean each year - that's equivalent to one full garbage truck emptying trash into the ocean every minute of every day ( The Story of Plastic ). Fortunately, there are many easy ways to reduce your plastic consumption, such as using durable, reusable grocery bags rather than plastic ones when you shop. With our current plastic crisis and a multitude of plastic swap-outs, why wouldn't you go plastic free?




WEEK 3: BROADEN YOUR IMPACT


Week 3 tips and information on how to broaden your impact and take action against plastic pollution at the City, State, Federal, and Global Levels! Individual action is important, but legislation is even more so! Learn about local ordinances you should support, important state bills and federal acts, senators you should contact, and petitions to sign.




WEEK 1: THE PLASTIC POLLUTION CRISIS


Week 1 tips and information on how to be plastic free! See documentaries, books, videos, and podcasts on the plastic pollution crisis and learn how you can make meaningful changes at home.




WEEK 2: EASY SWAPS TO REDUCE EVERY DAY PLASTIC USE


Week 2 tips and information on how to easily swap single-use plastics for sustainable and plastic-free packaging! Learn about different everyday items that could easily be swapped out for something more sustainable: pulp egg cartons instead of plastic ones, compostable bamboo brushes, bar shampoo, and more.




WEEK 4: KEY TAKEAWAYS


This July, GTLA joined the global Plastic Free July movement and hosted its very first Plastic Free July Campaign. Thanks to everyone who participated! Dozens of members from the GTLA community pledged to learn more about plastic pollution, its health and environmental effects, and how to be part of the solution. Here are the key takeaways from the campaign. We hope these efforts will continue!





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RESOURCES

Plastic Free July Website

Registered for GreenTown’s Plastic Free July Challenge? Consider joining the global Plastic Free July Challenge too!

Limited time? Here's a short version of The Story of Plastic.

SUSTAINABLE SHOPPING
LOCAL

FillGood
Shop at the store in Berkeley, or pickup at delivery sites, or have items shipped to your house. Use your own containers in the store, or use their containers that get returned and reused!  Home, bath, personal care products, plus office supplies, pet products, kids’ stuff, travel stuff and more.

The Ecology Center’s Eco Store
The store is open!  Plan a visit to this eco-marketplace (COVID guidelines permitting). Great gift ideas, books, toxic-free toys and children’s products, environmentally and socially responsible products, cookbooks, gardening guides, and recycled paper products. The ecology center operates 3 farmer’s markets, and their website has tons of educational material on zero waste and sustainable living.

The Berkeley Bowl
Two large full-size grocery stores with bakery, deli, bulk foods sections, etc. Lots of reusable items for sale; also with personal care products section and cleaning section offering organic and eco-friendly products. 2 locations in Berkeley.

The Source Zero
San Jose’s first zero-waste shop and soap refill store.  Shop for holiday gift packages, bath and kitchen products, home goods, and cleaning supplies, all with refillable containers or zero-waste packaging.

Ethos
Walk-in store in Santa Cruz for low-waste living that also ships items purchased online and has an in-store drop-off TerraCycle recycling box. They also deliver locally by bike. Find products for home, kitchen, pets, personal care, garden, laundry and more. They have a “Made in Santa Cruz” section too.

Staff of Life
What started as a small natural foods bakery, Staff of Life has grown to become a large natural foods supermarket and a Santa Cruz landmark. The store hosts a bakery, butcher and seafood section, deli, and a GIANT bulk foods section. They even have a garden and gift section. And . . . Staff of Life is the ONLY City of Santa Cruz Green Building certified market in Santa Cruz! Bring your own containers to refill! Think laundry powder, dish soap, shampoo/conditioner, etc. GTLA Board Member Kim Jelfs loves this store and makes monthly trips to shop and refill.

ONLINE

No Trace
No Trace offers online shopping for bags and wraps (personal, shopping, lunch, tote, food storage, etc.) handmade in Santa Cruz.  They also offer online DIY courses and kits and zero waste sewing patterns.

Planet Renu
Eco-friendly products include: home and kitchen items, clothing and jewelry, pet care, shopping, and more. “Starter kits” available.

EcoRoots
This small business was founded in Aspen, Colorado, to inform people about the real and negative impacts single-use plastic has on our health and the planet. EcoRoots offers high quality and affordable products that help you reduce waste.  Be sure to check out their Zero Waste Blog for terrific suggestions for gifts and for reducing waste during the holidays.

Made Trade
Online retailer that sells carefully selected eco-friendly and ethically sourced products made in the US or in fair-trade businesses around the world.  They offer elegant and simple home goods, furniture, gifts, clothing and accessories—all sustainably made and ethically sourced.  Made Trade values artistry over efficiency, and fair wages over profits.

Package Free
This is the retail space for Trash is for Tossers, filled with excellent suggestions for your zero waste shopping and gift-giving.

Earth Hero
Compiles a wide variety of eco-friendly, sustainable household, office, and kitchen items, plus toys and clothes from a variety of merchants. Great site to browse and get ideas!

Eartheasy
This family-owned and operated business is based in the US and Canada. Its mission is to help people improve their quality of life by offering information and products for sustainable living. Much of their focus is on education as well as products—be sure to see their LEARN pages, full of “how-to” articles (e.g., The Easiest Way to Start Composting Now; Plastic-Free Grocery Shopping Made Easy; Non-Toxic Cleaning and Disinfecting…)  They sell great products for home, garden, camping and they have incredible gift ideas!

Trash is for Tossers
Comprehensive resource for learning how to reduce your waste, live plastic-free, AND reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals in store-bought products by making your own or by shopping at recommended sites. This is a great place to get DIY ideas for making your own cooking and self-care products from natural ingredients, which also make great homemade gifts! Has terrific ideas for holiday gifts and greener gift wrapping. If you’re not a DIYer and want to purchase items,  see the Trash is for Tossers Package Free shopping site.

Made Safe
A program of Nontoxic Certified, Made Safe provides products that are ecosystem and human health safe. Their website provides links to products (clothes, baby and personal care, household, etc.) that are certified free of known toxins. Their website also provides educational material for consumers and businesses trying to be more toxic-free.

SOCIAL MEDIA