Ever since a stint living in Germany in the 1990s, I’ve tried to be thoughtful about my use of plastic. Twenty years ago, cashiers didn’t know what to do when I brought my own reusable bags to stores. One even called a manager! Could you imagine that happening in 2018? I average one case of plastic bottled water a year. I do keep some in the house (and in the car) in case of emergency, but I never drink it at home (unless there is a drinking water emergency) and I rarely buy water out because I use a refillable water bottle. I buy resealable plastic bags for school supply lists, but lunchboxes I use these sandwich bags and other refillable containers.
With China’s announcement that they will no longer accept the world’s plastic for recycling, I’m looking for more plastic alternatives. I’ll share a few things I currently do, a few changes I’ve started to implement, and a few wishes. I’d love to know how YOU reduce plastic.
WHAT I DO (in addition to those above):
- refuse straws
- use glass containers for storage
- skip plastic in home decor items
- seek out clothing and other fabrics made from recycled water bottles. If you are in the market for a new purse or backpack, I love Haiku bags. I recently bought a second one – not because the first wore out, but because after 6 years, I wanted a different pattern.
- shop the farmer’s markets. Less packaging = less plastic.
WHAT CHANGES I’M MAKING NOW:
- Switching back to bar soap. This one hurts. I love body wash and hate slimy soap, but I love our planet enough that I’m giving up the bottle.
- Bamboo toothbrushes.
MY WISH LIST: (Can you help?)
- Alternative to plastic wrap in the kitchen. I want something to protect oddly shaped food (say cut avocados) from the air and to cover bowls of rising bread dough.
- A peanut and tree-nut allergy safe place for buying food in bulk. Every single place I’ve seen has potential for cross contamination and I won’t risk my daughter’s life.
- plastic free toothpaste.
- Lip balm in non-plastic container.
- antiperspirant in non-plastic container.
I would love to hear ideas and suggestions from you. How do you reduce plastic in your life? I’m on the lookout for new ideas.