Write Your Favorite Businesses For Plastic Free July

by - Saturday, July 07, 2018

from 3D Printing for Beginners
It's plastic-free July, and here at the blog, we are psyched. If you haven't done it yet, check out the Plastic Free July page and join the challenge!

Cutting plastics out of your life is essential for your health, happiness, and the future of our Earth. Plastics are poisons, and. I guarantee the next generation will be shocked and horrified about how we used these poisons for everything. So get packaging away from your food, plastic straws away from your drink, and plastic fibers off your clothes (and out of our water sources). Any plastic you can get out of your life is awesome, and we 100% support you and your awesomeness!

That said, I have another challenge for you this month. It won't take much time but can totally help us in the fight against plastics:

Write five businesses (restaurants, dentists, stores, museums, amusement parks, whatever!) and ask them to cut their plastic habit. 

Don't like writing letters? Write 10 quick yelp reviews instead.

Individuals cutting plastic out of their life is awesome for 2 reasons- first, it keeps plastics out of our landfills and oceans. Second, it sends businesses the message that you are looking for plastic-free and ethical options.

We know businesses are starting to notice. KFC is cutting plastic straws. So is McDonald's (but only in the UK... potential letter-writing option?). The whole city of Seattle is starting a plastic straw ban.

from zmscience
But we need to go faster. We know that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is somewhere between the size of Texas and Russia. We also know about 70% of it is microplastics, which sink down into the ocean (into fish and into our food). We know that water scarcity is a real coming problem, and we know that we are poisoning the water that is available. We also know that plastics are petroleum products, and they are connected to Climate Change in a number of really concerning ways.

Plastic is so much of a problem that National Geographic recently did a whole episode on it.

Plastic pollution is a big deal, and we need change to happen faster. If you or I give up straws, we keep a hundred or so straws out of the landfill and waters this year (this is NO SMALL THING). If a restaurant does it, that number is in the thousands. If it is a big chain, we are talking millions or even a billion.

So our job as consumers is to hold the businesses we love accountable. Get on Yelp and write five reviews that bring up plastic packaging. Write them a letter. Write on their facebook page. You have so many options for reaching out to people to let them know this matters to you as a consumer. If they hear from enough of us, change will happen, but we have to get proactive.

For this blog, we write a Letter to Get Better series, and we have actually had some successes! Last year, I wrote the Seattle Aquarium about their gift shop working directly against their mission, and they added some Green Toys for a better option! How cool is that!? I have watched a business go through the transition of losing plastic straws, and though they took some slack for it, I think people are coming around (and I don't think it cost them any business).

So it is worth doing and it can make a difference. Just like everything else in this battle, every little gesture and effort makes a difference and shifts the momentum towards the good.

My biggest advice is to write companies that you already love. They need to be worried about losing your money, and if you don't shop/ visit/ pay there, then what do they care what you think!? Start a mental list of the places you go most often, and then start to notice ways they could break up with plastic.

How to Phrase your Letter

I know that getting started is the hardest part, so let's do it together. I am going to do it for a restaurant, but use whatever business makes you the happiest.

Dear Management (or Owners or HR Department- try to have a good guess at who you are talking to and use names if you can!) at ....

I love your restaurant. We come here almost once a week, and I always get ...... As much as we love your food, I feel really uneasy about one thing at your restaurant- how much plastic you use.

When we come in, we get plastic straws and plastic cups. If we have food to take home, you use plastic take out containers and plastic bags. I am asking you to find better, more environmentally-friendly options for even one of these items.

We know that plastic is creating huge problems for our world. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the size of Texas, and all of that plastic is getting into the water and into our fish. Plastic straws and bags kill sea life from turtles to fish to sea birds every day. Since you serve seafood, you have to be concerned that this plastic is poisoning your product. We know all this plastic waste is bad for our planet, so why not have a huge positive impact by cutting it out of your packaging!

The average restaurant creates 100,000 lbs of waste each year. Much of that is food or other kinds of waste, but you could turn all of your plastic waste into something that is recyclable or biodegradable and have have a huge positive impact on the world and your community! Though the step might challenging or uncomfortable at first, you are just at the start of a wave of businesses breaking up with plastic.

Thank you for considering this, because I would love to have your sandwich without all the guilt!

Sunshine Guerrilla

That one too fussy? Here is the yelp review version. 

I love this restaurant's sandwiches, but I hate that everything is packaged in plastic. Now, if I want to order takeout, I will go somewhere else, because I don't want all the plastic. You guys are amazing, but I hope you get rid of the plastic bags!

It doesn't have to be super informative, bossy, or lengthy. Just tell them that you notice and you care. 

You could jump on Yelp right now, right 15 sentences, and have completed your mission. It may seem small, but it can be a huge step!

tell businesses to stop using plastic

I am so excited for this and to keep letting businesses know it's time to go Plastic-Free! Please take the challenge, and comment below to let us know that you are in!

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  1. I love how easy you make it!

    I have a request- I order all the promotional items and employee appreciation gifts with our company logo on them. What are some ideas you have for doing things that aren't just junky plastic from China? We did sprout pencils for one trade show but I need appreciation gifts that are nicer and worth more!



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