Going plastic-free can be great for your personal health and your personal space.
- Bring your own bag. When making your shopping list, always add a reminder to bring your own bags with you to the store. Even before heading to the mall, remember to bring a bag so you don’t have to use any of the plastic store bags. I found this great tip from Rodale.com: “If you forget your reusable bags, carry your items out by hand. After doing that a few times, you’ll probably NEVER forget your bags again.”
Of the 380 billion disposable plastic bags used each year in the U.S., only 1% are recycled.
- Make your own food. When you cook from scratch, you avoid all the plastic packaging from premade and processed food. An added benefit: Making food at home is typically healthier and costs less.
- Avoid sodas and other beverages bottled in plastic. There are so many ways to avoid bottled beverages. Bring your own bottle whenever you leave the house. I have stainless steel bottles filled with filtered tap water always ready to go.
Americans buy an estimated 34.6 billion single-serving (1-liter or less) plastic water bottles each year. Almost eight out of 10 end up in a landfill or incinerator. Hundreds of millions end up as litter on roads and beaches or in streams and other waterways.
- Buy milk in returnable glass bottles. Most areas have a local dairy that provides milk in returnable glass bottles rather than plastic or plastic-coated cardboard. I buy Crystal Ball Farms milk, which is available at a local natural grocery store in my area.
Keep in mind that recycling is no substitute to reducing what you buy in the first place.
— Beth Terry, myplasticfreelife.com
- Use glass, stainless steel or wood dishes and utensils. We have always used “real” dishes and avoided plastic since my girls were old enough to give up breastfeeding and their glass baby bottles. And instead of plastic, we use stainless steel straws. Reuseit.com has a wide inventory of reusable items, as the site’s goal is to help eliminate disposables from everyday life.