Welcome to the 30-day plastic and waste reduction challenge! Now that you have done an audit, or if you haven’t, try to do one, to see where your plastic waste is coming from here are a few suggestions on ways to reduce your plastic use.
1 Stop using plastic straws. Be proactive when going to a restaurant, or getting take out, say, “No straw please.” If you want a straw there are stainless steel or bamboo straws that last decades. As an action item, talk to the manager or owner of the restaurant, and ask that straws only be given out when requested.
2. Bring a metal or glass container for leftovers when you eat at restaurants. Ask that your take out order be placed in your containers as well.
3. When you are out bring your own refillable water bottle. Even if you are at an airport after you go through security fill up your water bottle to take on the plane.
4. When you are at a coffee shop, ask for a reusable mug or cup. No need for plastic lined paper cups. Also, bring your own traveling coffee mug with you. Frequently, coffee shops will tell you that their paper mugs are compostable. That is great but they are only compostable if they are sent to a commercial composting facility which doesn’t often happen.
5. Use metal of glass containers to store food. You can freeze in glass jars. Almost any glass jar, I.e. from jelly, peanut butter, sauces can be used. Just make sure you leave room at the top for food to expand.
6 Ditch the zip-lock bag, If you need a bag instead of a jar for storage, there are reusable silicone bags.
7. While you are ditching things, stop using plastic wrap. There are wax wraps or unbleached wax paper that you can use instead, or silicone toppers for bowls.
8. Use cloth produce bags instead of plastic bags that the store provides.
9. Always carry your cloth shopping bags. Make sure they are in your car where you can see them and not hidden in your trunk so you will remember to bring them into the store
10. By wine with cork stoppers instead of plastic. The corks can be recycled at Total Wine or MOM’s Organic Market
11. Carry a cloth napkin and reusable silverware. Keep it in your purse, backpack, or car for those times when you are getting take out food. Be proactive and say, “No plastic ware or paper napkins please."
12. Request zero plastic packaging, if possible, when ordering on line.
Try to implement as many of these tips as possible. You will be surprised at the reduction in your plastic use.
Each week, look for our dozen tips of the week to help you on this journey!