“I hate plastic,” I complained to my friend Sue. “I want to get it out of my life.”
“But it’s ubiquitous,” Sue answered.
“So’s crime,” I told her.
Ever since we had that conversation, Sue and I have been trying to pare down the plastic crap that invades both our lives.
Do you want to rid your life of plastic?
There are so many ways to rid your life of plastic, big and small.
I honestly don’t know how much it helps, in the long run. But I do know I have to try to rid my life of plastic. We can’t keep destroying the reefs, polluting the oceans, and clogging the landfills.
We humans will end up polluting ourselves out of existence if we keep destroying the environment the way we have been.
We need big policy changes from the top down.
We need to commit to the end of the plastic nation.
But we can’t wait for our legislators to fix what we’ve broken. We can start now.
Even if it feels like spitting in the ocean, you can rid your life of plastic.
The plastic nation’s time is up.
If New York City can greatly reduce its crime rates, can’t we greatly reduce our plastic consumption?
Here are 5 ways to get started on your journey to rid your life of plastic. Remember everything you do to rid your life of plastic, no matter how small, will help.
1. Bring your own spoon
I have 3 espresso spoons in my purse.
I use them every day.
If you carry your own small spoon you’ll never need to use a plastic spoon again.
2. Don’t buy plastic trash bags. You don’t need them!
I thought this was a weird idea too, when my friend Myra first suggested it. But our family stopped using plastic kitchen bags and black plastic garbage bags several years ago.
Turns out you don’t need a plastic trash bag for the trash in your kitchen.
You don’t need any plastic garbage bags in your life.
Go commando in the kitchen.
And then dump the trash from the waste receptacle in your kitchen directly into your curbside garbage bin, if your county permits it (most in Oregon do, but in some places it’s not allowed). Not suing plastic garbage bags saves you money and saves the environment.
And, voila!, you rid your life of plastic.
Some municipalities do not allow commando garbage. Check with your city officials to find out. And start a campaign to change the policy if going commando is not allowed.
3. Buy in bulk
It’s easy to buy in bulk, once you get in the habit of bringing your own mason jars.
Nearly every grocery store has a bulk section these days.
Think of the thousands of tons of plastic packaging saved.
We do our best to always buy the following in bulk:
Flour of all kinds
4. Forget the plastic produce bags
Even if you’re not quite ready to commit to bulk buying or bringing your own jars, you don’t need to put bananas in a produce bag.
Or vegetables like broccoli and bok choy.
If I had a dollar for every time someone used a plastic produce bag when they didn’t need it, I would be a rich lady today.
Granted it’s trickier with mushrooms and kumquats.
But can we please all agree to never use plastic produce bags when we don’t need them?!
I’m glad to see our local grocery store, The Ashland Food Co-op, is now charging .02 cents per plastic produce bag. Overnight consumers have changed their habits based on this new negative incentive. You can too!
5. Wrap presents in reusable gift bags, old newspaper, or maps
Did you know that wrapping paper is often made with plastic?
To say nothing of the single-use plastic film that coats those new roles.
Never buy wrapping paper again.
Use old calendars, magazines, and maps to wrap presents.
Or, best of all, put your gifts in reusable cloth gift bags that are completely plastic free.
Buy gift bags on-line or, better yet, make them yourself.
Here’s a tutorial for DIY cloth gift bags.
Do you feel like plastic has invaded your life? What are you doing to rid your life of plastic?
Published: October 19, 2011
Updated: January 6, 2020