Looking at my garbage bin and recycling, you would think I was failing at my attempts to reduce plastic use in honour of Plastic Free July. Go on, and take a gander, I know you want to. You will find plastics off all kinds in there. I would almost feel guilty BUT… I came up with an idea a couple years ago. Instead of looking at my abundance of plastic bits and pieces in the refuse bin and feeling rather glum about just how much plastic I bring into my life I decided to make a few changes that would be sustainable in reducing my plastic use for the whole year!
Ta Da! Fanfare please! This year I decided to buy two sets of washable cloth sanitary napkins and a set of stainless steel straws. I also started using a washable bin to take to the gleaning project I volunteer for so that I can carry home my rescued produce without squishing it into single use plastic grocery bags which later would need to be thrown out. Woot! I think that this is very exciting and sustainable news!
In past years I bought stainless steel coffee mug for when I was in the States and able to use it at the coffee shops I frequented, I also had cotton bags for buying my bulk products in and upcycled bag made of polyester sheers to replace single use plastic bags for produce. I have a stainless steel container for takeaway leftovers, and I have converted most of my food storage containers to glass mason jars. I no longer buy plastic cling wrap (and the wrap I do have has been the the drawer forever. I use reusable containers for leftovers instead of baggies (still plastic but no longer single use and they will eventually be replaced with glass as I can afford it). I also stopped using Teflon pans for cooking and switched to cast iron instead. I make my toothpaste from scratch (eliminating plastic microbeads and packaging) and I use baking soda to wash my hair. I buy bar soap that is not wrapped in plastic packaging as well. I also buy my lentils directly from the supplier in paper sacks.
What are my future plans? I would love to find a place that sells goat’s milk in glass, and I am going to contact the company that makes my coffee and ask them if I can buy beans directly from them in bulk.
Are you feeling inspired? What changes big or small can you make to reduce the amount of plastic that is taking over our planet?