Plastic Challenge: Part 2
Time to take on the more “difficult” parts of the 11 ways to kick your plastic habit challenge (11 easy ways to kick the plastic habit).
4. When buying supplies for school or the office, choose plastic-free options. This actually might not be that difficult. Small things like CD cases, and badge holders might be difficult to find non-plastic replacements for, but notebooks and three ring binders without plastic are easy enough to find, you just have to make the effort to look for the alternatives. A company called ReBinder sells a large number of options (http://www.rebinder.com/). I’m going to pass this information along to all the schools and organizations that I have affiliations with. Sadly even my PEA board member “bible” came in a standard plastic made 3-ring binder.
5. Eliminate the need for plastic wrap or plastic “ziploc” bags with reusable sandwich wrappers and snack bags, find a number of options on Etsy.com, just search reusable sandwich bag. I understand how these will allow me to reduce my use of Ziploc bags, but so would the to-go containers I mentioned in my previous blog post. What I don’t know how to replace is the cling wrap. Any suggestions? I need to get some of those glass storage containers that Terry mentioned in her comment on the last post. Maybe those will be in the family budget in February.
6. The next suggestion is for women only. Women can jump on the plastic-free train by choosing reusable cloth menstrual pads, or reusable mentstral cups. (GladRags.com, Lunapads.com). I’m not ready or willing to tackle this one myself. Even as an undergrad who started and ran a student environmental organization I promoted these as an option, but they never quite felt like something I wanted to do myself; maybe someday. At least you know they are an option.
7. When you purchase a cold beverage to go, refuse to accept a single-use plastic straw. The green American blog suggests using a glass straw (GlassDharma.com), but I say go without a straw. You can use this tip when you are dinning out as well. You know they wash their glasses at restaurants right? Ask your server to save the straw for someone else. I haven’t used a straw at a restaurant by choice in years, and it pains me when they bring out your drink with a straw in it already. I’m talking to you Willow’s Bistro (but I love your food)!
8. Find minimally packaged beauty products. Some good options can be found at GoodEarthSoap.com, www.lush.com, and RMSBeauty.com. This is one I’m excited to get behind. Lush Cosmetics has a deodorant bar without any packaging. I may give those a whirl in the near future, when my current stock runs out. Also keep in mind that face soaps with microbeads contain plastic in the actual product and those microbeads end up in our water stream with virtually no way to remove them. So pick an option with natural alternatives or get yourself a facial exfoliating loofah (try the bodyshop.com). Of course you can try writing to your favorite companies to ask them to minimize the use of plastic and other packaging, but for those items you are not stuck on a particular brand, it might be time to ditch the excess plastic in favor of a more green beauty option. Green is the new black.
What do you think? Admittedly these changes might be a little more difficult than the first three I laid out last week, but change can be difficult and rewarding. I’ll tackle the last 3 steps next time.
This week I am going to start collecting all my plastic waste as a part of the myplasticfreelife.com plastic trash challenge. I’m scared of the first week of the challenge, but I think it will be eye opening. The idea for the first week is to shop and consume as usual, but I predict that like when I start a food journal I will be more aware and may consume or purchase with this challenge in mind. Take the challenge with me at (http://myplasticfreelife.com/showyourplastic). I’ll post a link to my page on their site as well as a picture of my collected plastic trash next Monday.
Also next week I’ll start my first series, Meatless Mondays complete with recipes and ideas to reduce your footprint through diet changes.