Recently, Funksteena posted 3 Things You Can Do About Plastic, and mentioned anti-plastic advocate Beth Terry’s Plastic Free Guide. This week for Trash Tuesday, we’re lucky enough to hear from the lady herself.
Beth Terry has taken on the gargantuan mission of living a plastic-free life. For two years she’s been collecting and tallying her own plastic waste, discussing how plastic affects us and our world, and advocating a new attitude toward wastefulness in our plastic-dependent world. She’s changing my mind about plastic, and hopefully can change yours.
To that end, I asked her a few questions.
Beth is right, the plastic issue (like any environmental issue) can get pretty doom&gloomy. There are plenty of easy ways you can avoid and reuse plastic instead of throwing it out. Here are some of my favorites from the Plastic Free Guide:
4. Say no to plastic produce bags.
They are generally unnecessary. What are we worried about? That our apples won’t get along with our broccoli during the trip home? Or is it that the produce will get dirty? Hey, it grew in the dirt, and we’re going to wash it anyway, right? I put produce directly into my reusable bag, whether I’m at the farmers market or in the grocery store.
10. Choose milk in returnable glass bottles.
Many areas have local dairies that provides milk in returnable glass bottles rather than plastic or plastic-coated cardboard (yes, all cardboard milk containers are coated inside and out with plastic, not wax.) In my area, I buy Straus milk, which is available in natural grocery stores. Unfortunately, the milk bottle does contain an unrecyclable plastic cap. But I would rather buy milk in a glass bottle capped with plastic than milk contained in plastic on all sides.
14. Carry your own containers for take out food and leftovers.
Request take out places use your container instead of their disposable one. If they won’t do it, give them a Take Out Without card to help them understand why they should.
29. Clean with vinegar and water.
I use a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water as an all-purpose spray cleaner (storing it in a reused spray bottle) and produce wash. I buy Spectrum vinegar which comes in a glass bottle. Only the cap is plastic.
63. Request zero plastic packaging when ordering online.
I’m trying to buy fewer things in general, but vendors do sometimes send me products to review for this blog. When that happens, I include a message to the seller requesting zero plastic or Styrofoam packaging, including plastic tape. (See my packaging policy here.) When this doesn’t work, I’ve started to send back unwanted plastic packaging with a letter of explanation. And I send back unwanted plastic I receive unsolicited in the mail or on my doorstep.