Plastic sucks. It literally lasts forever, is not recycled well, and is EVERYWHERE. For some of my past thoughts on plastic, check out my blog AMAZINGLY SIMPLE – Will Joan Rivers ever decompose? Do you eat plastic? And other important questions!
On this 9th day of lent, I invite you to say “no” to the next 9 plastics you encounter. Take a minute with each of your next nine purchases and ask yourself – Am I buying plastic? Let go of this plastic addiction! This may sound hard but it should be incredibly easy. Here are a some easy ways to do it:
- Choose the non-plastic option.
- If you want to buy some celery and find celery that comes in a plastic bag continue looking and there is probably celery that is without a plastic bag just a few feet away. But wait, don’t you need to use the plastic bags available? NO. You can bring your own (not plastic) or just go without. If you are going to wash it before you eat it anyway, what difference?
- If you want to buy applesauce, it is available in tiny convenience plastic containers or a big plastic jug or a glass jar. Buy the glass jar! I love to do the “tap test” where you “tink, tink” on the side of the container to ascertain whether it is glass or plastic.
- Buy clothes that are made of natural materials like organic cotton and wool.
- Buy toys that are made of real wood, natural fibers, and metal.
- Go electronic
- Opt for the electronic receipt (most receipt paper is covered in a BPA plastic).
- Sign up for electronic billing (no little plastic envelope windows)
- Shop differently!
- Shop at a farmers market. Even at a farmers market a lot of produce is in plastic containers, but it is easier to nicely refuse. I buy a container of berries and transfer them to my own bag or basket immediately and hand the farmer the container. If you did this at a grocery store, the container would probably be thrown away, but at a farmers market I have actually seen a farmer refill the container with more produce from his crates. I have even been given a discount because I have asked to do this.
- Look for bulk options available. Because of increasing demand, this is a growing market. There are often paper bags available in case you forget your containers. Don’t forget to tare your containers. Here is a quick how to video from Trash is for Tossers in case you are unfamiliar with this process.
- Bring your own bags and containers – You don’t have to buy anything fancy, just bring clean/ dry containers with you the next time you shop. Ask the butcher, fish monger, or the person at the quick serve counter to place your purchase in the container you brought.
- Go to a coffee shop and hand them your reusable container to fill instead of using a single use cup and lid.
- Go out to eat and bring your own containers for left overs. This keeps your leftovers fresher so you are more apt to eat them also.
- Just say NO! (Politely!)
- Go out to eat and say “no thanks” when you are offered a straw.
- Buy a shirt and say “no thanks” to a bag to bring it home in. You have a receipt to prove you paid for it.
- Refuse any “free” items or even worse bags of free items unless you REALLY NEED the item! (Hint – you probably don’t!)
- Explore plastic free or less plastic options.
- Find reusable (non-plastic) sandwich bags, plastic wrap, and lunch boxes.
- Buy a bar shampoo instead of a bottle. (This works great for everyone in my family – except me – I just have too much hair and a scalp condition that doesn’t mesh with bar soaps.)
- When you need something, do a little research first. I just bought a toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss all plastic free. Even the packaging and shipping was totally plastic free. (I just started using them, I will share the information and recommend this company only after I have used them long enough to know how well they work and how long they last.)
- Ask for plastic free or low waste packaging when ordering online. I have just started doing this and found that everything has still arrived safely. I have received items packaged mostly in tons of paper, but have also received plastic like bubble wrap and air pocket bags that are compostable (how cool is that?).
The AMAZIGNLY SIMPLE way to drastically reduce your plastic consumption.