This is probably something that’s never crossed your mind, but think about it for a minute.  An entire day without plastic? Can it be done?  

The minute you get-up and hit the bathroom you are more than likely going to encounter an enormous amount of plastic…the toilet seat, your toothbrush, shampoo bottle, etc.  Then you go to the kitchen to eat some breakfast.  More plastic…bread in a plastic bag, coffee machine, yogurt container, your drinking cup, etc.  Then it’s off to work. Whether you drive your car, ride your bike, or take the bus you are more than likely going to encounter plastic.  I think you get the picture; the list goes on.  

Now, you might be wondering…what is so bad about plastic?  Check out a blog I found that does a great job at explaining the negative health and environmental effects of plastic… http://green4u.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/why-plastic-is-bad/

 So what?  You know it’s not good for you or the planet and you know you can’t avoid it.  The truth is you can reduce the amount of plastic in your life and it’s surprisingly easy.  Here are some simple ideas of changes you can make today!

 - bring your own cloth bags with you to any store (they are not just for the grocery store)

 - avoid drinking bottled water 

 - recycle your plastic bags (most grocery stores and Target have locations for recycling bags)

 - reuse plastic bags (even zip-type bags can be reused, rinse them out and hang to dry, just like new!)

 - buy beverages in glass bottles

 - bring your own cup for hot drinks or stay and ask for a ceramic mug (plastic lids on those cups will never breakdown in landfills)

 - you can also bring your own cup for cold drinks as well!

 - avoid produce bags (bring a small, cloth sack…or simply don’t use a plastic bag)

 - buy bread from bakery that uses paper or make your own bread

 - clean with baking soda and vinegar (reuse your plastic spray bottles for cleaning)

 - put leftovers in glass containers

 - ask for your leftovers at restaurant to be wrapped in tin foil or a cardboard container

 - buy bulk and use your own container (coffee, nuts, flour, dried fruit, rice, grains, and peanut butter)

 - choose items in glass containers over those in plastic containers (clean and reuse the glass or recycle)

 - reduce overall trash in your home and at the same time reduce your need for plastic garbage bags…saves you money too!

 - buy bamboo, glass, or recycled cutting boards

 - avoid bubble wrap (use junk mail or newspaper when wrapping and shipping items)

 - use real silverware whenever possible

 Spread the word…Ask questions and talk to friends and family about plastic.  There are countless ways we can reduce our plastic consumption!

Thank you!

Nina Grout
Sustainable Communities AZ Foundation
 

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