10 ways to go plastic free

By: Analiese Arle

You may notice the word “learn” scattered a lot throughout this post, as the first step to changing a habit is to learn its alternative. A lifestyle change won’t happen overnight, but don’t get frustrated. This is about the long-term benefits of choosing better habits to positively affect ourselves and the world. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

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  1. Stop using plastic straws, bags (including ziplocks), bottles (water, juices, gatorade, sodas, teas, soaps, etc.). Bring your own glass containers everywhere you go. I have a stash in my car next to my reusable shopping bags.

  2. Buy loose leaf teas rather than bagged.

  3. For feminine products, research the mahina cup or other menstrual catching system. Or use zero plastic, organic cotton tampons.

  4. Buy dry foods (pastas, rice, granola, etc.) in bulk and bring your own reusable bag or container to fill.

  5. Avoid purchasing “packaged” foods. Think about it--your breads, tortillas, nut butters, frozen foods, etc. They are packaged in plastic bags/containers. Buy fresh made and from farmers markets to cut down on unnecessary packaging. You’ll also aid in your local economy.

  6. Bring your own container to restaurants.

  7. Learn how to use a straight edge razor rather than continue to purchase disposables.

  8. Eco-Mom’s and Dad’s use cloth diapers to reduce your carbon footprint and save money. The EPA estimates that 7.6 billion pounds of disposable diapers are discarded in the US each year. And they never go away.

  9. Learn how make your own juices, condiments, household cleansers, cosmetics, soaps, etc. All of these come in single use plastic bottles. Learn to become self sufficient and hop aboard the DIY train. Read LiveHIWell for recipes and tips.

  10. Choose reusable cotton rags, natural sponges, copper scrubbers, and coconut coir tools. Say not to plastic scrubbing tools.

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It may seem overwhelming because these sources aren’t cheap or readily available. Its true, which is why we need to push this into policy--we have to show our local politicians that this is something we as a society want to move forward with together, and hold corporations accountable for their actions. Ready to join the fight for our Earth?