The ever-growing list of inspirational resources and ideas for the reduction (or elimination) of plastic in our everyday lives...

 

NOTE:  

For a much more extensive list of ways to generate less waste and consume less plastic and other packaging, check out my 2016 100 Days Project portfolio!

 

Cool Alternatives to Plastic:

There are too many plastic alternatives to list individually here, but a few of my favorite examples are included below to spark your imagination. Check out the blogs in the next section for much more comprehensive information.

Try using re-usable beeswax & cotton food wraps instead of saran wrap and tinfoil- they're pretty, they smell amazing, and they last for ages while keeping your food fresh. I recently discovered the Bee Wrapt brand at a food show in Auckland.

Use face washes and body scrubs WITHOUT micro-beads in them- my favorite brand is St. Ives, with 100% natural exfoliants. There are plenty of alternatives on the market!

Branch out with your dental care by purchasing non-plastic or less-plastic toothbrushes and floss. A couple of examples:

Give your patronage to ecologically responsible stores and restaurants- there are more out there than you might imagine. For example, check out Sandwich Me In, a zero-waste restaurant in Chicago.

Skip buying bottled water and instead carry a reusable bottle with you - preferably made of metal or glass! If you're addicted to Seltzer like I am, get a Sodastream to reduce your plastic consumption (and save money). If you're a coffee or tea drinker, break out your reusable, transportable mug or thermos at your favorite local vendor - many places will offer a discount for bringing your own receptacle, and you can make a big difference by reducing even your individual use of disposable mugs. 

 

Work in an office? Bring your lunch from home- in a reusable container, of course! Rather than stocking up on traditional plastic Tupperware, try supporting the circular economy by purchasing recycled products such as Preserve containers, which are made from recycled bottle caps! Better yet- go for glass or metal.

And, of course, this wouldn't be a proper "eco-list" without a reminder to cut it out with the plastic bags already. Use cloth (or other reusable material) shopping bags- they're not just for grocery stores!

Blogs and other Resources:

Rather than re-invent the wheel, I'm going to direct you to several blogs already dedicated to informing people about how to reduce plastic consumption.

  • Life Without Plastic (store and blog)
  • My Plastic Free Life (offers a Plastic-Free Guide)
  • Plastic Manners
  • Plastic is Rubbish
  • Bag It,  a documentary about the over-use of plastic in the U.S., particularly with respect to plastic bags
  • Salvage, a very cool company that diverts building materials from landfills by finding them new uses! This is a must-see if you are a homeowner or construction contractor. Apparently, over 40% of waste in landfills in the U.S. comes from construction projects!

Organizations doing great work on this Issue:

Got suggestions? Let me know!

3 Responses

  1. […] you’re excited to learn about ways you can make less waste in your life, check out the Reduce the Use page for tips & ideas. As the project progresses, I plan to flesh out this page in more detail […]

  2. […] Minimize your consumption of plastic. There is an enormous amount of plastic (and other trash) polluting the sea. In fact, so much has accumulated in certain areas that an "island" twice the size of the state of Texas, composed entirely of trash and known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is currently floating in the North Pacific Gyre between Hawaii and California. You can make plenty of responsible choices as a consumer to alleviate the build-up of marine debris: use re-usable grocery bags, try to buy fresh produce and food that isn't individually packaged, opt for real silverware and plates instead of the disposable kind, etc. For more information, see my three-part series on plastic pollution in the oceans, and refer to Reduce the Use! […]

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