Small local businesses are tough to run and business owners are generally mega-busy. They often feel stretched and don’t have time to put environmental issues at the top of their to-do list even if they are a concerned citizen. Your job in July is to make this easy for them. Contact your favourite local cafes, bars, shops about plastic free July and send them an email with the most appropriate PDF poster from the Plastic Free July website. You could even offer to print out a poster for them. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce too and suggest a widespread campaign throughout your area.
Here are three simple suggestions:
1)Ask them to put up a poster encouraging their customers to bring their own reusable to-go mug.
2) Encourage bars, cafes and restaurants to stop using plastic straws as a default option.
3) Suggest to local businesses (who have the facilities) that they set up a water refill station to avoid plastic bottles or let customers know that they are happy to refill them for them.
4) Ask cafes to train their staff to accept reusable coffee cups so customers trying it for the first time don’t feel awkward. People have to feel confident that they will be served or they won’t bring their reusable cup.
Be respectful if they decline and don’t get disheartened – there are many dynamics to running a business and right now might not be the best time for them to try something new. Your suggestion alone might sew the seeds for future action or at least make them conscious of the eco-footprint of their business.