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Tag Archives: month of no plastic
As you remember, it’s No New Plastic Month over here at Clean Hippie, as inspired by re-nest. Yesterday was my first day at my new job, and I decided not to bring my own lunch. You just never know if your boss will want to treat you to a “Welcome to the team,” meal! Well, that didn’t happen. Instead, I ran out to Au Bon Pain and got a cup of vegan bean soup with a plastic top, and – I’m not proud of this – a plastic container of brie and grapes. Healthy for me, but not healthy for the plant.
So here are my steps to reduce my plastic use today:
- Bring my reusable water bottle.
- Bring my own lunch in a reusable container.
- Bring a ceramic travel mug for my tea.
In times like these, it always helps to have a compelling reminder of why we have to stop using plastic. The TED Talk gods smiled on me and bestowed a short video about the plastic problem. It’s succinct and it’s convincing. I hope you enjoy:
I’m trying to cut down the amount of plastic in my life, and it’s proving to be difficult! (File that under, “no duh, Alden.”) Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- Even the most eco-friendly, organic companies still use plastic. I had to put back my bottle of kombucha the other day – it had a plastic lid.
- Plastic makes dispensing of your beauty products much easier. Can you imagine trying to get the last of your lotion out of a glass bottle with a tin lid? Ugh. It would be like trying to get ketchup out, every single morning.
- Saying it’s “compostable” doesn’t make it much better. Lots of companies use compostable plastic, which is great because it’s usually made of corn instead of oil, but that doesn’t mean it can go in your backyard. It is meant to be composted in a commercial facility, which are few and far between. So I had to put back my favorite raw food macaroons too.
- The best way to avoid plastic is to make your own food. And I’m not just talking about cooking up some potatoes. I’m talking about things like yogurt, cheese, and yes, kombucha. None of which I have done yet, because frankly, that scares me. Almond milk is one thing that is fairly easy to make, however.
- Aches and pains take some plastic. I needed Motrin the other day – don’t ask – and it comes in a plastic bottle. I bought it. Don’t judge.
- Avoiding plastic requires a toolkit. And it’s filled with things like a reusable water bottle, a fold-up reusable bag, a bamboo fork, and produce bags made from netting. I also use Abeego instead of plastic wrap in the home, and glass food storage.
- The easiest way to buy less plastic is to just buy less stuff. In a world where organic baby socks come with a plastic lid, where sponges have a plastic wrapping around them, and cleaning supplies are houses in plastic spray containers, the best thing you can do is to just give serious thought to what you really need. But you knew that already, right?
Also, check out this video set to “Empire State of Mind.” It’s the anthem of the month!
I was in the bathroom Friday night, getting ready to go out, and opened the medicine cabinet to a wall of plastic: plastic toothpaste tube, plastic dispenser cap on my Burt’s Bees face lotion, plastic natural self-tanner, plastic deodorant applicator, and a big plastic bottle of almond oil. I looked at my plastic toothbrush, and then at all of my makeup, including my plastic mascara tube and wand, my plastic lipstick, and my plastic tubs of mineral makeup. It seems even the companies that use glass containers have to use plastic in order to facilitate neat and easy dispensing of their product. The shower is worse: my shampoo and conditioner are plastic. The bright spot is that instead of using a plastic loofah, I use a a wood and natural bristle body brush. But still…darn it!
I’m thinking this through right now, and I’m wondering how I can have my beauty routine without plastic. Here are my ideas:
Dark Green: Chuck the beauty routine all together and go proudly natural. Makeup is for suckers! I laugh in the face of dry skin!
Medium Green: Only buy products that are in mostly glass containers, or in containers that are from post-consumer recycled content. (There is a drawback to this approach. Products that come in glass containers tend to be the more expensive products, not drugstore brands, with the exception of Burt’s Bees.)
Write a letter to your favorite products that come in newly made plastic and ask if there is an alternative they can use.
Buy frequently used products in bigger containers, which use less plastic per ounce. See what beauty products you think you can live without.
Light Green: Make sure to recycle all your beauty product containers.
Faux Green: Put all your products into pretty glass bottles so no one knows.
Do you think any of these strategies might work for you?