Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Reducing your plastic consumption

Plastic - it's all around us. Whether you're picking up a prescription or a toothbrush, it's nearly an inescapable part of our society.

BBC reporter Christine Jeavans has done what so many of us cannot even fathom how to do: She attempted to go a month without any new plastic entering her home. While she wasn't perfect - and few of us who have undergone environmental challenges are - she managed to reduce her plastic intake by an impressive 80 percent.

Some tips from Jeavans and readers of her blog and her online reports:

Containing your container habit:
  • Switch to a reusable water bottle and a coffee mug. Keep reusable plates and silverware at the office.
  • "The idea of taking my own reusable containers to shops such as the butchers or even the local takeaway curry house - as suggested by some 'zero waste' enthusiasts on the blog - feels a little odd but it is logical and maybe something we will all be doing in future years, just like the way that reusable bags have taken off," Jeavans writes.
  • "Bring a to-go container/utensils with you when dining out to bring home leftovers. Yes, it takes some getting use to to remember to do it," Jeavans writes.
  • Buy bulk, and bring a reusable container to the store.

Eating right

  • "We found we prefer bread from the bakers rather than the pre-sliced loaf so we'll be staying with that on grounds of taste if nothing else," Jeavans writes.
  • Bake or cook at home.
  • Cut back on your soda habit.

Habits at home

  • "The wooden toothbrush, however, was not a winner for me and will be redeployed as a mini-scrubbing brush," Jeavans writes.
  • Use natural cleaning products like baking soda and vinegar - rather than buying a product for every cleaning use.

What other tips do you have?

1 comment:

eco 'burban mom said...

Great list! One step that eliminated lots of plastics in our house was the ban on buying all bottled drinks and juice boxes for both grown ups and kids. It was a tough habit to break, but once in the routine it's easy. We keep a refillable SIGG in the fridge for each member of the family and glass pitchers full of icy cold tap water, homemade lemonade and iced tea. Everyone can refill 'til their tummies are content. Once every couple of days, I toss the SIGGS into the dishwasher for a wash! Our recycling bin shrunk like it was on a crash diet!