Once again, we are pleased to have Annemieke from Plastic-Free Tuesday blogging for us today. Today she shares tips on how to talk to friends, family, and strangers about the practice of skipping plastic one day a week. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of plastic we use and aren’t sure how to start eliminating it from your life, starting with one plastic-free day a week is a great idea! So if you’ve already begun this practice, read on to learn how to convince others to join you. If you’re still new to Plastic-Free Tuesday, be sure to read the 7 Tips to Get Started with Plastic-Free Tuesdays.
On Plastic-Free Tuesday, hundreds of people around the globe refuse to buy plastic and do not throw any plastic away. This means, for example, that you #BringYourOwnCup for to-go coffee on the way to work, buy unpackaged veggies at the local farmers market, have your own reusable water bottle, and of course #BringYourOwnBag when you go grocery shopping.
Since the launch of Plastic-Free Tuesday in spring 2014, thousands of people have shown their support. It would be fantastic if even more people would join the movement and cut down on plastic consumption and plastic waste. To help you spread the word, here are five tips to introduce Plastic-Free Tuesday to others. Will you help us convince people to try a day without plastic?
- Lead by Example
Don’t preach, but lead by example. Simply don’t buy any plastic on Tuesday and don’t throw any plastic away. Instead, bring your own shopping bag when you go shopping, get a reusable cup for coffee at work, and only buy those veggies and fruits that are not wrapped in plastic. So choose, for example, plastic-free pineapple instead of plastic papaya. Be flexible. If you can’t find what you’re looking for plastic-free, try another shop or check out the local market. If you need more tips for plastic-free living, check out this guide by Don’t Mess With Dahab.
- Ask for a plastic-free alternative referring to Plastic-Free Tuesday
I love this strategy. I use it frequently on Tuesdays.
A few weeks ago, for example, I was looking to buy some nails to put together my pallet compost bin. In the store, I asked for packaging free nails. The sales person showed me a plastic box that was way too big and had way too many nails. I told him I couldn’t buy it, because it was Plastic-Free Tuesday. Surprised, he apologized: “I didn’t know there is such a day. You’re the first one to mention it.” We talked a bit about plastic and then, he suddenly remembered that the shop does sell screws in bulk. I bought a handful.
Mentioning Plastic-Free Tuesday as if it is the most normal thing in the world is a great conversation starter.
- Share your plastic-free activities on social media
Be a Force for Good. Share pictures of your reusable cup, favorite tote bag, strawless cocktail, jars, and lunch bags on your social media. Pictures are an easy way to draw attention to the problems of plastic consumption. Focusing on the solutions rather than problems is especially powerful.
Sometimes I question the effect of my plastic-free campaigning, wondering why I spend so much time on an issue no one seems to care about. But frequently, people tell me that what I share online has made them pay more attention to their plastic consumption.
In fact, people have told me that they have started to bring a reusable bag when grocery shopping and that they got themselves a lunchbox and reusable water bottle. Most of these people I meet very infrequently in real live. The influence has really been through social media.
So keep sharing your plastic-free solutions on social media! Make sure to use #PlasticFreeTuesday.
— PlasticFreeTuesday (@PlasticFreeTues) May 28, 2015
- Hang Plastic-Free Tuesday posters at work, school, libraries, and shops
To get people to reflect on the vast amounts of plastic consumption and waste in our society, we have created posters that challenge the audience to try live a day without plastic. To reach as many people as possible, the posters are available in ten different languages, including Arabic!
You can download the posters by surfing to our website and clicking on “download posters.” If you put up a poster, please take a picture and share it with us. Leave a comment on the website or share your poster experience on social media, using #PlasticFreeTuesday.
Buy plastic-free gifts
Often people comment positively on my plastic-free tools. I frequently hear things like “nice bottle!” and “those reusable bags look such much nice then plastic, where did you get them?”. Following a similar comment, I bought a family member a reusable snack bag. The person, in turn, showed it to others who then also started to reconsider their own habit of using plastic-bags for snacks.
Help us spread the word!
Only with your help can the plastic-free movement grow bigger. Please support us by introducing Plastic-Free Tuesday to others. Remember to be kind and avoid preaching. I would love to hear if and how you discuss your plastic-free habits with others. Any tips on how to go about bringing up this topic in conversations with family, friends, and shops are very welcome. Wish you a happy #PlasticFreeTuesday!