Plastic Free July

July is plastic-free month
Work to reduce your plastic footprint

It is hopeful that some states and countries have made important laws on the regulation of single-use plastic in the past six months. Where I live the corporations and lobbyists have so much power over the decisions and law making that plastic pollution continues. The first committee where I worked on plastic bag legislation was over 25 years ago!! But I am thrilled with the legislation of other places.
We are living in a time when people don’t want regulation, OK then, take personal responsibility, and reduce your plastic footprint by reusing washable containers, bags and water bottles.

As I write this I am traveling in Ontario, Canada. I was at the grocery store and everyone had their reusable bags. At a restaurant I said, “No straw please!” the waiter response was, “Our straws are made of paper!” WOW! Also, Canada has passed legislation to ban single-use plastic in a few years.

Other places have recently passed single use plastic bans. Read about it at: Maine and Vermont, and California works to regulate all types of plastic packaging. Oregon has bans on plastic bags, and New Zealand has began their bag ban. The European Union is working on single-use plastic bans, and even Thailand is trying to make a positive difference. Maine has passed a Styrofoam container ban that I think is huge!

Bring your own reusable bags.

We can all take personal responsibility and reduce our plastic footprint. Always bring your shopping bags and eliminate those take-out containers unless they are compostable. Everyone making a small effort adds up to an enormous difference!

Here is the Dorset family and their effort to be plastic-free https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2150414795256894

Plastic-Free Day

 

Plastic-free shopping by filling your own containers

Reducing single-use plastic consumption is an important way we can make a positive change for our earth. We can make a big difference, and change the way we live our lives. Let’s start with One Plastic-Free Day, June 6. It’s not easy reducing your plastic foot-print, but it is possible. Becoming aware of all the plastic we purchase helps to start making change.

This cup is made of commercially compostable material.

It is my hope that if we don’t purchase plastic items corporations will realize they need to make bottles and containers out of something that decomposes and can be composted. The plastic and oil industry will do everything they can to stop progress. That is why the consumer needs to speak!

Plastics are found in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the fish we eat.  I think this raises the bar that we need to make changes to our plastic life-style and fast.

My plastic-free journey has taken several years, it has been challenging, but fun at the same time.  Filling bottles and containers with bulk item has just become habit. Food co-ops make it easy. It just takes a little organization to make a grocery list and figure which containers are needed for filling. I reuse the bottles and containers I have accumulated from earlier purchases. Also, we never eat at places that don’t use real dishes and utensils, but are still trying to remember to say, “No straw!” We never leave home without reusable water bottles and washable reusable bags. This past year we have begun making cookies, yogurt and humus with items from bulk shopping. Something I never wanted to take on, but now I make it fun, and zero waste cooking is healthy, rewarding and satisfying.

What are some items that are impossible to purchase in bulk and need to come in plastic?

Protein powder and vinegar need to be available in bulk

Here are a few quick easy zero waste ideas from my local county:  “There are many ways to avoid single-use items. Want a quick list? Pack your lunch in reusable containers. Forgo the straw in your drink. Bring your own mug to the coffee shop. Bring reusable bags, produce bags and containers to the grocery store. Support businesses that serve food on reusable dishes.” Hennepin County

Read Audubon’s easy ways to reduce plastic waste

https://health4earth.com/2019/04/18/boycott-plastic/

Entertaining? Be Real!

Planning a party for the weekend? How can you reuse what you already have? I have some easy ways to reduce landfill trash:

Use real dishes

First, always use real plates, glasses and utensils. I know your guests will appreciate eating with real utensils and plates.  Next, wash up your glasses to serve drinks into real glasses.

Serve ice water into real drinking glasses
Cloth napkins are the best!

Third, find table napkins that might be stored away. They don’t need to match and they are easy to borrow from friends.

 

What’s better than being real? Good Luck

Bring you own shopping bag

Finally, bring your shopping bags with you shopping, and reduce plastic packaging if possible.

 

 

** Get in the habit of using reusable table napkins. Make your own napkins from remnant pieces or shop at Goodwill. 

**Bonus points: Compost your food waste!

Ten Days of Love

Every aspect of our lives is, in a sense, a vote for the kind of world we want to live in.” Francis Moore Lappe

Love our earth

What better week than Valentine’s week to show love for our earth. Take the 10 for 10 challenge. Can you score a perfect 10 by completing these initiatives? Maybe you already do these things? Take a breath, slow down and think how you can positively make a difference. It’s easy, and I hope you learn something. Let me know how you do. Good luck!

Day 1 Go meatless, extra points if you also go vegan!

Day 2 Go plastic-free, no straws, plastic utensils, water bottles or containers, unless of course they are reusable.

Day 3, Reuse Day. Bring your lunch in a reusable containers, and remember your

Bring your own water bottle

reusable water bottle.

Day 4, Leave your car parked day. Walk, bike, car-pool or use public transit.

Day 5, Take a walk day. Enjoy the outside as you walk, listen for birds, the wind, water? What nature sounds do you hear?

White-throated sparrow

Day 6, Water-Use Day. Become aware every time you use water. Is there a way you can reduce your water use?

Day 7, Cut Food-waste Day, Clean out left-overs and produce. Make a soup, a stir fry or wraps with your left-overs.

Day 8, Chemical-Free Day. Use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning, and shop for organic produce. Read about chemicals and air pollution here.

Day 9, Reusable-cup day. Bring your re-usable cup to the coffee shop, to meetings, and to work.

Day 10, Gratitude. Be thankful for our beautiful planet. What was the best thing about the past week? Could you complete 10 for 10?

“I have my own bag, thank you!”

No bag please!

Please recycle plastic bags at grocery stores!
Please recycle plastic bags at grocery stores!

An important thing you could do for the earth this week is recycle those plastic bags and plastic wrap, but DO NOT place them in your regular recycling! They need to be recycled at the stores that issued them.

Landfills are full of plastic bags.  The best thing is not to take a plastic bag at all, but sometimes they are hard to avoid.  Most groceries and big box stores now have places to recycle bags.  Ask if you don’t see plastic bag recycling.

Read about landfills full of plastic here.

“No bag, I have my own!”

wpid-20151101_155242.jpgCan you go plastic bag-free this week?

Get in the habit of bringing your own bags shopping.
Get in the habit of bringing your own shopping bags.