Living a near zero plastic lifestyle

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It has been a slow process but definitely moving forward. As we try different products and ideas out, we will offer comments. The the rest is up to you.

I wanted to get rid of large bulk plastic containers now that I know they are not being recycled.

Laundry – Well we tried the dry laundry strips. Seemed to do the job and super easy to use. Great customer service Tru Earth. I finally settled on home made laundry recipes and Borax. Clothes are super clean with no plastic waste generated. Very happy.

Shampoo – Got rid of all those shampoo bottles and went with shampoo bars. Love them. Very luxurious. No more plastic waste from spent shampoo bottles. My hair doesn’t seem to know the difference, but I do.

No cling wrap – To be quite honest, I never used it much. The beeswax cloths are great. The internet is full of companies offering them for sale.

No straws – The hardest part has been to quickly remember to tell the waiter not to put straws in our beverages at sit down restaurants. We have travel mugs to fill up at the pop dispenser, for casual dining. Some raised eyebrows from customers but full support from the food establishments.

Water filter – This has been our biggest investment. By this action alone, we have decreased our micro plastic pollution by 50%. The filter is designed to trap all the artificial cloth filaments (micro plastics) from the laundry machine discharge. We went with a Canadian company, Environmental Enhancements. We found out about this company through the university of Toronto water lab. They are conducting water filtration tests on 2 Ontario cities and their discharge waters into the Great Lakes.

Toothbrushes – Did you know there are over 1 billion toothbrushes in North American landfills? And they stay there for hundreds of years. We found an alternative – bamboo! The handle is extremely biodegradable. Simply snap the bristle head off and toss the bamboo handle into the compost. Again, there are all kinds of choices out there but it is all on the internet – no main stream stores offering these, yet.

Dental floss – I hate the plastic floss that is only available in main stream stores. You used to be able to buy dental string coated in wax which did a far better job. When you were done flossing, the string went into the compost. Completely biodegradable. Well, if you go online you will find the wax dental string – so happy.

Even when traveling we can reduce our plastic wastage.

Say no to the hotel soaps, etc. I am as cheap as they come and would use these and bring home the rest. Horrible plastic wastage. We used our shampoo bars and body soaps, wrapped in our beeswax cloths, and it worked great. Absolutely no plastic wastage. Avoid the pitfall of carrying travel sized items.

Sunscreen – Did you know our conventional sunscreens are toxic to our oceans? In fact, Hawaii will be the first state, this year, to ban these sunscreens in stores. Only reef safe sunscreens. Here is the brief. The oxybenzone and octinoxate cause coral bleaching and death once they rinse off our bodies from our sunscreens and into the ocean water. The titanium dioxide is not biodegradable and reacts with warm sea water to form hydrogen peroxide which is toxic to marine life. We actually found reef safe sunscreens on line and they were actually on sale and cheaper than the conventional screens.

Dishwasher detergent – When you actually investigate the ingredients of main stream dishwasher pucks, it is scary. We definitely should not be adding these chemicals to our precious water. We switched to Nature Clean, sold out of Longos, that are 96% natural. The remaining 4% is the silly plastic container it comes in.

Ditch the cotton swabs – Yup, the convenient Q tips are found in 1 of 10 beaches, worldwide, as plastic garbage. We found a simple solution. Organic cotton buds! 100% biodegradable. Of course, you have to go online – main stream stores aren’t offering them yet.

Remember we are all in this together on our journey to a near zero plastic lifestyle.

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