Check out the seven creative ways Alden Wicker suggests that we reduce our plastic use. Maybe you'll be inspired to choose one that you can start implementing in your own home today. In my next blog post, I'll be sharing my family's experience as we kick our own plastic habit.
By Alden Wicker From The Huffington Post, 9/14/10
1. LEARN TO COOK
- No more plastic bags of plastic containers with takeout food, plastic-wrapped forks and knives, and mini plastic packets of soy sauce.
- No more plastic trays of microwave meals too.
2. FORGET ABOUT PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES
- This is one of the most worthless types of plastic out there. Until more towns start banning water bottles, we just need to get creative on how to cut them out of our lives.
- Encourage - no, demand – that public places like train stations, concert and sports venues, and especially parks install more water fountains so people don’t feel the need to shell out for a silly water bottle every time they’re caught without their own.
- Do what you can to protect tap water. Take action against polluting industries like coal and fracking so that you can fill up your glass over and over without fear.
3. MAKE YOUR OWN FOOD PRODUCTS
- For every thing you learn how to make yourself, you avoid purchasing a plastic-packaged equivalent, saving yourself money in the process. You’ll also know what is going into those food products, instead of the indecipherable ingredients on some processed foods.
- Peanut butter, mayonnaise, ketchup, pesto, salsa and guacamole, icing, or really any condiment at all is a cinch to make. If you’re feeling more ambitious, you can try tomato sauce, jam, or pickling.
4. GO VINTAGE AND HANDMADE
- Try the endearing mason jar for all of your drinking cup, food storage, and even hand soap dispenser needs.
- Snatch up old porcelain and metal hooks for your home, adorable kids toys that are free of the Made In China stamp on the bottom, and lovely worn frames.
5. SAY NO TO FREEBIES
- Every time you take a free plastic toy with your meal, a free pharma pen, or a free travel-size shampoo bottle, it's one more piece of plastic floating around in the world.
- Decrease demand for items like these with a "No Thanks!"
6. CARRY A REUSABLE BAG
- Plastic bags are wreaking havoc on the ocean and environment. Like water bottles, until they get fully banned or taxed, you’ll have to forge ahead in your own no-plastic-bag campaign.
- Reusable bags aren’t just for the grocery store; they’re for clothes shopping, the pharmacy, the liquor or wine shop, or carrying out the wrapped-up leftovers from your favorite restaurant. There are even reusable bags just for produce and bulk shopping.
7. KNOW THE RECYCLING RULES
- It pays to know what your local recycling municipality will take. I used to throw everything that looked plastic into the bin, thinking it would be sorted out in the end. Boy, was I wrong. Putting an unacceptable piece in there can ruin the entire batch, causing it all to get thrown out.
- Check out the number on the bottom, or get a comprehensive guide from your city or town that will tell you what items are ok. (Drink cups? Container lids? Toys?)