Plastic Pollution – Part 2 A Near Zero Plastic Waste Movement

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So how do we travel towards decreasing our dependency on plastic? When one truly looks at the usages of plastic in our lives, it is more about convenience than necessity. But, bottom line, the less plastic we all use the less plastic will end up in our precious water.

The web is full of information from David Suzuki Foundation to NOVA to personal testimonies. We have started the transition in both our family and business lifestyles. Our guiding factors are as follows:

  1. Refuse to use single use products both at home and at business. Replace single use products for reusable ones.
  2. Reuse.
  3. Give up on non recyclable plastic disposables.

I thought the easiest way to help transition you to a less dependent plastic lifestyle was to chronicle our journey. So here is what we have done, so far.

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AWAY FROM HOME

A) Refuse plastic bags. Carry reusable shopping bags. Easy enough. The only embarrassing point is having your groceries on the conveyer belt and realizing your bags are still in the car. Within a couple of years, these plastic bags will be banned.

B) Refuse the plastic produce bags for your veggies and produce. I don’t know about you but I find these baggies quite useless anyways. They tear just looking at them. I now have a canvas tote bag just for the veggies. I unload it at the register and repack everything back into it.

C) Ditch the use of plastic straws. Do you really need to sip that pop with a straw while you are enjoying your hamburger? In fact, do you need to use that plastic lid for your pop? For the iced latte lovers out there – there are cute reusable steel straws with a brush cleaner packaged in a convenient pocket sized travel container. So you can enjoy your beverages through a straw – just not a disposable one.

D) Use travel mugs. In fact, why don’t we take the restaurant conversation up a notch? Why not use a travel mug or beverage container when you go out? Can you imagine how many plastic cups, straws and lids we could avoid using? We now have a cloth bag with all our goodies in it. No need to feel embarrassed. In fact, this is a great conversation starter about plastic pollution and what can be done. All it takes is engaging people to spur them to action. Be that hero.

AT HOME – IN THE KITCHEN

E) Ditch the cling wrap. I don’t use it but I can see the convenience of it. We have made beeswax cloths to cover bowls and containers. These beeswax cloths are wonderful molding covers. The internet is full of companies offering these innovative cloths.

F) Get away from plastic dish scrubbers. Gravitate towards natural cleaning cloths

G) Try reusable lunch containers. There are so many companies offering stainless steel lunch and snack containers.

H) Give up bottled water. We are blessed, here, to have some of the best water in Canada. Why would you want to drink it from a plastic bottle? Use a stainless steel reusable bottle. There are amazing water filters that can even remove the horrible taste of chlorine. I stagger to think how much money could be saved by buying a really good water filter vs non stop purchasing of bottled water!

AT HOME – IN THE BATHROOM

I) Get away from liquid soaps. Why not switch to bar soap?

J) Try shampoo bars. We are experimenting with this. We are getting away from liquid shampoo. In fact, we are experimenting with different ingredient formulations and will be launching a shampoo bar on our company website.

K) Get rid of disposable razors. Let’s get back to using a steel safety razor with replaceable blades. It is more cost effective in the end.

AT HOME – GENERAL HOUSEHOLD

L) Ditch the liquid laundry detergent. There are so many alternatives. Tru Earth makes dry laundry strips (like dryer sheets) that you toss into your laundry machine. 1 sheet per load. Or there are natural recipes, such as soap flakes or Borax, that you could access on the David Suzuki Foundation website.

M) Eco Friendly cleaning products. Again, tons of recipes out there for eco friendly cleaning products. Did I tell you how cheap it is to make these products? A great website is environmentalfence.ca/cleaning.

N) Seek reusable vs disposable cleaning products. Did you know they manufacture reusable Swiffer pads? Check out juniperseedMercantile.

I found most of these changes quite painless. Next article, I will share some more of our lifestyle changes and share any information we come across. Remember we are in this together – One plastic free footstep at a time!

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