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“The secret of it all, is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood, of the moment – to put things down without deliberation – without worrying about their style – without waiting for a fit time or place. By writing at the instant the very heartbeat of life is caught.”
— walt whitman

A Simple Guide to Reducing your Plastic Consumption

How to reduce your plastic consumption and limit your waste output every single day

HOME

  • Opt out of single-use flimsy plastic bags for carrying grocery store veggies and fruit and invest in a handful of hemp or cotton mesh bags.

  • Invest in bulk items like laundry detergent, dish soap, and body wash so you consume their plastic containers less frequently.

  • Buy condiments and miscellaneous goods like peanut butter and honey in glass jars whenever possible.

  • Replace home goods that use plastic handles (toothbrushes, hairbrushes, kitchen sponge brushes) with ones that use wood (they last longer as well).

  • Buy loose leaf tea instead of individually packaged tea bags.

  • Avoid using Keurig machines and other instant coffee makers that require an abundance of plastic cartridges. Opt for a fresh brewed cup of Joe in a French press, which requires nothing but beans, or swap your traditional coffee filters for reusable ones.

  • Replace plastic food bags at home and use glass mason jars and recycled containers for storage.

  • Find local bulk stores that sell reusable containers or allow you to bring your own to buy cleaning supplies, bath products, snacks and supplements.

  • RECYCLE. An obvious one but still worth mentioning. Keep in mind that not everything can be recycled so minimizing your waste output to begin with is best practice :)

    BATH

  • Buy glass bottles and plastic-free containers for makeup and beauty products whenever possible.

  • Replace plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner with glass ones or re-fillable bottles from a bulk store. Also try Lush's shampoo bars, they work great!

  • I only buy bars of soap for bathing that are wrapped in paper now and most grocery stores and local markets will have a great selection of these.

  • Eco dental floss! One of those little items you don't even think about as being a pollutant for the planet. This one features compostable floss in a glass container.

  • Eco-toothbrushes! I picked this little guy up from Whole Foods, a soft-bristled toothbrush with replaceable brush heads so you don't waste the entire handle.

WORK

  • Bring your own plate, coffee mugs, and silverware if your work does not provide these. It is so much more enjoyable to eat off of quality dishes than flimsy paper or wax-coated throw-away dishes.

  • Avoid single-use coffee cups in the office.

  • Avoid using a plastic bag for your trashcan at your desk and start using a communal trashcan nearby.

  • Package your lunches and snacks in DIY beeswax paper instead of plastic baggies or containers wrapped in plastic wrap and tinfoil. A friend made me one and it is a super convenient and resourceful alternative.

ON-the-GO

  • Opt out of single-use flimsy plastic bags for carrying grocery store veggies and fruit and invest in a handful of hemp or cotton mesh bags.

  • Always bring your own grocery bags or use paper bags when needed and re-use around the house.

  • Bring your own re-usable plastic bags (clean) to grocery store to re-fill your spice containers like pepper, cumin, and cinnamon. Sprouts and Whole Foods both have bulk spices so you can buy as much or as little as you need.

  • Kick the habit of plastic straws today! Try a a glass or stainless steel option.When you are out at a bar, ask your mixologist or server to skip the straw and if you think your drink is best served with a straw, well, order something better! A whiskey-ginger should do the trick.

  • Invest in a glass or stainless steel water bottle and don't leave the house without it. Use it at coffee shops, juice bars, and for on-the-go cocktails.

  • Pay attention to how much plastic your to-go orders use and try requesting they wrap your food up with as little packaging as possible—forego the plastic bag and don't take plastic silverware when it is an option.

  • I am truly obsessed with my bamboo cutlery set. I use it everyday at work and they are fantastic for traveling.

  • When out in public restrooms, always use the hand-dryer over paper towels.


The power is in the purchase! 

Begin paying attention to what your favorite retailers are using for packaging and distribution. Let the brands know that you would shop with them more if they limited their plastic packaging and compliment them if they are taking steps to mimimize their carbon footprint. Any company who is transparent with their customers is one you should get behind. Your appreciation and feedback to local and big box brands goes a long way! 

Please let me know if you have other constructive ideas to add to this page! We can all learn from each other and perpetuate this positive action.