Lauren eats on The Alliance Center's patio

The Alliance Center went all in for Plastic Free July! We recruited tenants, employees and our community as we joined forces to eliminate plastic products. 

Who Participated? 

  • Blind Institute of Technology
  • U.S. Green Building Council
  • Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
  • Rocky Mountain Wild
  • Sierra Club
  • Conservation Colorado
  • Pivot Energy
  • The Alliance Center 
  • Local Community

What Did We Give Up?

Everything from to-go containers and plastic wrapped food to toiletries like deodorant and shower gels. We chatted with participants along the way. 

Check out what they had to say about the challenge!

Cara, from the Blind Institute of Technology, joined this journey. She eliminated water bottles and non-recyclable drinking cups. “Change isn’t always easy, and my habits tend toward grab-and-go convenience. That means more plastic or wax lined cups than I’d like to admit. But if I prepare ahead of time with a reusable bottle and sliding a washable to-go cup in my bag, perhaps I can make a small difference by taking this challenge in the form of a new, healthier eco-habit.” Thanks for your participation, Cara!

Tips and Tricks to Go Plastic Free

What can we learn by going plastic free? How can we continue to be plastic free when it’s everywhere? Our challengers have some advice. 

Shay, The Alliance Center Interim Communications Specialist, has a few essentials. For toiletries, she makes sure she always has her bamboo toothbrush and metal refillable razor.

At the grocery store, or more preferably the farmers market, she arrives armed with reusable shopping and cotton bags for produce and bulk items. If she doesn’t have her mason jars or Nalgene, someone should call a doctor!

Anne, Programs Manager for The Alliance Center, is all for Lush Cosmetics and their shampoo bars. Interested in ordering some online? Anne loves the compostable and recyclable packaging the products come in, including compostable packing peanuts (for municipal facilities, not your backyard)!

Tehri from Rocky Mountain Wild and Amelia from the Sierra Club turned their backs on plastic straws and Josie from Pivot Energy bought spices in bulk. Ready with mason jars, her bulk shopping is plastic free! She tosses her spice jars into her reusable grocery bags. Another tip: buy the bags that pack into a little keychain so you NEVER forget them, like these

Plastic Free July and Beyond

We’re thrilled about the engagement from this challenge, but what about the rest of the year? How do we continue to reduce our plastic use on a daily basis? 

Don’t feel guilty about occasionally cheating. It happens! Be sure to challenge that guilt and remind yourself every action helps. Hopefully, this challenge has helped you develop new ongoing habits. Remember: 

We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”

-Anne Marie Bonneau

Pat yourself on the back and kick that green guilt aside! Thank you for joining a larger environmental movement and making individual change in your daily life.