How to Properly Part with Plastic
Over the past two years we’ve witnessed this incredible movement towards a plastic-free lifestyle, but what happens when we want to adapt that lifestyle, yet our homes are seemingly filled with plastic?
From the containers we have at home, to nearly every product that we buy, the beast is there, and that beast is plastic.
In the 1950s plastic became more widely used and available, from pre-packaged tv dinners to children’s toys, and it didn’t stop. our phones, clothes and cars all contain some kind of plastic for the most part. so how do we get rid of it? where do we start?
First, don’t get rid of the plastic you have. yup, you heard me right! all those Ziploc food storage containers, the bags, wraps, all of it. why just get rid of a perfectly good item that it literally going to last hundreds of years? repurpose it. i will say try your best not to use it for food, even if it’s marked as BPA-free, it’s still leeching plenty of toxins into your food. if you want to start fresh, and go all out check these containers out from seed & sprout co. if you’re like most of us, sufficing for a pyrex container is better than nothing.
But then what to do with the old containers?
Chances are you may have some nick-knacks that need sorting, maybe paper clips or craft supplies, organize it! if you truly have no purpose for the item, then put it in the recycle bin and pray that it finds new life.
Now it comes to the hard part. being a conscious consumer and saying “no!” to new plastic. perhaps it means cutting down on tv dinners, or opting for spices and oils that would usually come in plastic (like vinegar, spices and olive oil) small changes can make a big impact, and guess what? companies really do listen. trader joe’s recently announced they’re going to be reducing their pre-packaged plastic-wrapped produce, and already have bio-degradable produce bags to use if you forget your reusable ones.
Below i’ve provided a few helpful lists on how to make small changes with big impacts throughout your home. collectively, even the smallest changes can have a huge impact.
Believe me, i more than understand the ‘sticker shock’ on some of these items. the thing about low/zero waste living is picking products that best suite your lifestyle. pick what you waste the most of and replace that with a better alternative first. this is a process. don’t feel you need to do it all in one go.
(disclaimer: i don’t get paid if you click and buy on any of these links, i just like giving product shout outs to products i love!)
Kitchen / grocery shopping
reusable bags, these ones are strong, cute and compact!
reusable produce bags., you can get a few different sizes in this set.
buy in bulk, if you tend to consume a lot of a certain grain, coffee, nut or non-perishable, look for bulk friendly stores near you and byogj (bring your own glass jar)
have a single cup coffee maker? ditch the one-use pods, and use these.
read up on ways to make your produce last longer so it doesn’t go to waste
compost the scraps, you use veggie cuts to make your own broth.
say bye to wasteful sponges and clean with these instead
reusable razor. i can personally vouch for this product, it takes a little more time but the results are always great.
solid shampoo bars
solid (body & face) soaps
solid toothpaste tabs, easy to use and perfectly portioned!
reusable makeup remover, bye bye wasteful wipes!
bamboo toothbrush and other oral care
Around the house
Go chemical free and try making some of your own cleaners, pinterest is a great resource for this, as is the library and internet. here are some of my personal favorites to narrow it down: