Hey mamas! Welcome to July – can you believe that half the year is gone already? 😲 Time flies!

At Haakaa, it’s part of our mission to protect the environment for the future of our little ones. That’s why it’s vital for us to keep coming up with innovative, sustainable products that help to replace single-use plastics and reduce the impact we leave on the environment. 

Plastic Free July is a global initiative that encourages and challenges people to reduce the amount of single-use plastic in their lives every day. By cutting down on plastic waste and relying on eco-friendly alternatives instead for a month, we can hopefully form some better, greener lifelong habits that will help preserve our planet instead of slowly destroying it. 

Here are some of our ideas and tips to help you take on Plastic Free July!

What is Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July is a yearly initiative in which millions of people all around the world participate! This campaign aims to raise awareness about the amount of single-use plastic in our daily lives. It encourages us to look for sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives in the place of plastic so we can have cleaner streets, less polluted oceans and beautiful communities. Every little step towards a greener future counts, and collectively, our efforts can make a massive difference in helping to protect the planet!

What are the environmental impacts of plastic?

According to scientific studies, many plastics take hundreds (or even thousands!) of years to degrade. It doesn’t simply just disappear once you’ve finished using it – it breaks down into billions of tiny particles that litter our beaches, pollute our landfills and fill our oceans.

It’s not just the accumulation of plastic that harms our environment either – it’s also the fragments and toxins released by plastic during the process of breaking down. These nasties pollute our soil and water and end up harming human health as well!

Plastic leaves such an enormous, devastating and wasteful impact, especially considering that around 50% of plastic is only used once and then thrown away. The battle against single-use plastics has seen countries all over the world, including New Zealand, step up to eliminate single-use plastic shopping bags. But there is still so much we can do to cut down our dependence on single-use plastic in our day-to-day lives!

How can I go plastic-free?

1. Single-use plastic breast milk storage bags are super popular among pumping mamas. They’re convenient, handy to keep around and easy-to-store – but they can leave quite an impact on the environment, especially if you end up using hundreds of them throughout your breastfeeding journey!

Made of 100% food grade silicone, Haakaa’s Silicone Breast Milk Storage Bags are the perfect alternative! They’re super durable and can be easily sterilised for reuse over and over again – just boil in water for 2-3 minutes. The Silicone Breast Milk Storage Bag is fridge and freezer safe and can be stored laying down or standing up. It also comes with a leakproof stopper to keep your milk secure when you’re on-the-go!

2. We all know there’s so much waste with conventional period pads and tampons – from the product itself, to the plastic packaging that it’s wrapped in. But do you know about the cumulative effect menstrual products have on the environment? 

The average menstruator bleeds for 3,000 days over a lifetime – this equates to approximately 12,000 pads or tampons used. This in turn accumulates to 120kg of period waste per person, which either slowly degrades in landfill or floats around in the ocean! Surely there’s an eco-friendlier alternative to managing our periods?

Haakaa’s Flow Cups are the perfect environmentally friendly alternative for those looking for a safe, simple and economical menstrual hygiene product! They’re made from 100% soft and flexible silicone, and are free from BPA, chlorine and other harsh chemicals that found in conventional pads and tampons. They can be worn for up to 12 hours and reused once your cycle has finished – simply sterilise with boiling water place inside its storage case, ready for next time. With proper cleaning and care, flow cups can last for up to 10 years!

3. Plastic straws are one of the biggest culprits in creating plastic waste that pollutes our beaches and oceans, with more than half a billion being used every day around the world!

If you want to cut down on single-use plastic straws, Stainless Steel Straws offer a fantastic alternative that can be used by both adults and kids alike, time and time again. Because they are incredibly durable, they are also super safe! To clean, use the brush that comes with the product and put the straw into the dishwasher. Our Stainless Steel Straws also come with an easy-carry bag, making them portable and convenient for when you’re on-the-go.

Silicone Straws are another convenient, eco-friendly option to replace plastic straws. Their fun, bright colours and soft bendy silicone make them perfect for children’s delicate mouths! 

4. Instead of buying bottled water while you’re out and about, bring your own reusable water bottle to reduce the number of plastic bottles going to waste. Be sure to choose one that’s made of safe, eco-friendly materials like stainless steel or glass.

Haakaa’s Thermal Stainless Steel Drink Bottle is a fantastic choice for the environmentally conscious. These bottles are 100% non-toxic, durable yet lightweight, leakproof and great for both your health and the planet! The wide neck for drinking makes it easy to stay hydrated, and they keep liquids hot or cold for up to 6 hours. They are perfect for when you’re on the move and need to keep things at a particular temperature.

Be sure to check our Instagram @haakaanz for more posts about how to reduce your plastic consumption this July. Together, we can make all the difference in helping to protect Mother Earth!