A few years ago, I watched an episode of Broken titled Recycling Sham, and one of the comments that stood out for me was “we can’t recycle our way out of this mess.” Sadly, only about 9% of the plastic we use can be recycled – which means the other 91% ends up in landfills, by the side of the road, in parks, and in our water.
While I’ve always been the lady who brought my bags to the grocery store for more than 15 years, or paper if I forgot mine – I am always looking for ways to reduce or eliminate my reliance on single use plastic. Here is a few things I’ve done over the years to try to reach that goal:
Toothpaste – Switched from tube toothpaste to Bites – Not only is the product environmentally friendly, but they also have a commitment to replant trees. https://bitetoothpastebits.com/
Toothbrush – Switched from a plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one https://amzn.to/2S0Ct4E – Bites now also sells them too
Laundry Soap – Stopped buying the huge jugs of laundry soap from Costco, even though the content was environmentally happy, to Dropps – which comes to me in a cardboard box, great for fire kindling, and carbon-neutral shipping. They also make dishwasher tablets https://bit.ly/2M3IQAh
Shipping Supplies – Changed from padded plastic envelopes to recycled cardboard ones to send out books & other items. https://bit.ly/38PNOdE
Trash Bags – Changed up the kitchen trash bags from the normal white plastic ones to compostable green ones https://amzn.to/2PRVljL
Deodorant – I found this company and like their products – sfsustainable.com In the winter I make my own in a spray form.
Shampoo/Conditioner – Simple to use bar soap like product – delivered in a cardboard box – https://viori.com/
Toilet Paper – Lowes sold this for a while, and often still does. It’s all in a box, no plastic at all. If I can’t get it at Lowes, I buy it online and it’s delivered to my door. https://gono2.com/
We also use straws that go in the dishwasher and have purchased metal refillable cups – only buying bottled water when there was a hurricane scare several years back.
I’ve even kept many glass jars, like pasta sauce, and used them for other things around the house – even to hold homemade bath salts as Christmas gifts. (Just a little paint on the lid and they are totally transformed.) This year I also painted tin cans and used them in the garden to grow herbs in them.
I even bring small ones to the mall and sort of freak out the clerks at Macy’s with my quirky bags. One such clerk said “what a great idea, I’ve never seen anyone else do this, but I think it’s great.”
Small changes can help turn this around and leave our world a better place for future generations. Together we can do it.
This blog has been created to share some of what I learn – I’ll update it or write a new one as I discover new products. My goal is to help make it easy to create new habits that are environmentally better for us and our planet.