Okay, so I've long known that plastic has some heinous effects on the environment, but when I learned that estrogen mimicking compounds are in most plastics, plastic and I were no longer friends.
Invigorated by my findings, I tore up my condo and performed my first serious plastic purge.
And that's when it hit me...
I couldn't make the change because I didn't know where to start
It was overwhelming.
And so, feeling defeated, I put all the plastics back into their hiding places and moved onward with my regular ol’ plastic-riddled life.
But, as luck would have it, my warrior status was renewed when I came across my first etee wraps, because they taught me that saying goodbye to plastic didn’t need to be a scary, hole-in-one type of operation.
Instead they offered a simple, daily reminder that there is another way to store my food. Plastic wasn't the boss of me. I had choice, and that choice got me pumped to make more changes that I wanted to share with you.
Bye bye plastic containers - hello glass jars
So, you bought that plastic container with the tight fitting lid because it was handy and served a great purpose. There’s no sense beating yourself up over that now, but it’s also a good jump-off point - this is where change can really take place. When it’s truly time to say goodbye to your plastic container, give it a scrub a dub dub and recycle it. Now that it’s gone, what can you replace that plastic spice container with? Make your go-to a glass jar with a screw-top lid!
Bring the revolution to your grocery store aisles
Picture your typical grocery store - it ain't always pretty - but this is where the revolution really begins.
First easy step? Ditch those plastic produce bags. Instead put your pretty fruits and veggies straight into your basket or reusable produce bag and have them weighed at the cash as is (I’ve not had a single cashier bat an eyelash when I don’t have my peppers all together in a bag - they go all old-school, weigh them on the scale and onward to the conveyor belt they go.)
Are you a Nervous Nelly about keeping those apples clean before ending up in a lunch box? I used to be too. See, produce from the farm has had multiple hands on it, has probably been sneezed on and may have even accidentally taken a nose dive onto the ground before being meticulously placed onto that display. So make sure you clean the produce that you have before you prepare it for eating, which I’ve learned should happen regardless of whether it’s been in a plastic bag or not.
Carry that bulk vibe into other areas of your grocery experience. Pasta, cereal, grains, seeds, crackers, and candy - these can all be purchased at bulk food stores, eliminating the plastic packaging that is included when buying each of them in their pre-packed form.
Reach for a box or tin of juice over a plastic jug. Even better, juice your own fruit instead of buying it! There’s really nothing better than a freshly squeezed glass of grapefruit juice, in my opinion. Making the switch to a box isn’t limited to the juice aisle, either. Change over to laundry and dish detergent that comes in cardboard boxes too!
When your grocery list is all ticked, and you’re ready to go, don’t forget to use your reusable shopping bags. Keeping one in your satchel, purse, car, bike carrier ensures that you’ll have one handy at all times, avoiding the needless use of a plastic bag. Reuse your bags, but always wash them between use to avoid bacteria buildup and contamination between shopping trips.
Finally - in your quest to rid plastic from your life, it’s really important to pick your battles, making conscious and wise decisions and being willing to bend. That freshly squeezed margarita that I am going to make this evening? Those limes are being juiced on a plastic juicer. Is it ideal? No. But am I going to kick myself for not having the budget or selection when I purchased that juicer? There’s another hard 'no’. Decision making that enables change in your life should be simple enough to encourage you to continue doing it.
See, now that wasn’t so bad, was it?
C’mon! We can keep this momentum of change going if we keep working at it together!