Plastic Free Living (sort of)

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Plastic Free Living (sort of)

Last year my friend Julie gave me a book for Christmas – “My Plastic Free Life”.
I thought I did a pretty good job of being quite environmentally conscientious but
this book made me realize there is so much more that I can do.

Now my friend Judy says I have a newly discovered disorder OPD – Obsessive Plastic Disorder.
I think we all need a dose of OPD!

I’ve realized the term: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle got it wrong. We simply have to reduce.

Here are some of the changes I’ve made in the last few years.

Use organic net produce bags
Most of us have become very conscientious about the waste created from plastic shopping bags,
which are now banned in many places, and we bring our own bag to the grocery store.
But did you ever think about the waste we’re creating when we’re using those plastic produce bags, filling ’em up and then tossing them in the trash when we’re done!

Buy in bulk!
Many health food stores have bulk sections for grains, beans, nuts and seeds.
Use an organic cotton muslin bag and fill it up.
Bring them home and store the dry goods in glass jars with tight lids.

Canvas Tote bags for groceries
Along the same line as the produce and bulk bags I use canvas tote bags for grocery shopping.
I have some that are 20 years old! Quite sturdy (however a bit sad looking 20 years later but I don’t care!)

A friend just told me that most people don’t wash those reusable tote bags (which are plastic) we buy from the grocery stores.
They get pretty gross and moldy and then they are often thrown out.
More plastic waste in the landfill. Yay!

Reusable travel utensils
I love To-Go ware for the few occasions that I grab a bite to eat out and need utensils.
Rather than plastic forks, knives and spoons these reusable, washable bamboo utensils come in a great little pouch to fit in your purse, backpack or brief case.

There’s a set of chopsticks in the pouch also. Do you know that chopsticks in most Asian restaurants are used only once! Imagine how much landfill that is!

Many people do bring their own coffee mug when they are getting coffee out! Kudos for that however, much of coffee production is an environmental nightmare.
My preference is to make organic, fair trade coffee at home. Yup – I grind the beans and brew it. Hmmmmm – takes all of 5 minutes or so.

And then there’s the trash can
Okay – this last one is for the hard core conscientious out there.
Since I compost all my vegetable waste I don’t have anything wet that goes into the trash, except for the occasional bones from cooking for my clients.
In fact I have almost no trash.
You know those bulk grain, beans etc mentioned above?
They come in heavy duty large paper bags that fit in my kitchen trash can.
Guess what I use for my trash? Yup – those bags! No plastic!

Earth Day is coming up this month. I’d like to hear what you’re doing to make a positive difference in our environment.

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