Decluttering Our Home Of Plastics

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Did you know eight million metric tons of plastic ends up in the “garbage patches” of our oceans every year? That is equivalent to five grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world.

Um What?! I knew that plastic waste in our oceans was a big problem, but this visual is completely unfathomable to me!

If the current trends continue, it’s predicted that by 2050, plastic will outweigh fish in our oceans.

As a fish lover and an ocean lover I am compelled to do my part! 

In honor of Earth Day this month, I’m aiming to use less plastic at home in effort to help preserve our planet. I have a ton of room for improvement and am by no means a composting queen. {Can someone please come over and teach me to compost BTW?!} Currently I’m guilty of using Ziploc bags for freezer storage and transporting our snacks (so convenient!), paper towels to clean, paper napkins at meal times, and the occasional paper plate. I’m putting together a plan to make reduce, reuse, recycle a bigger party of our lives. Here’s the plan…

Cut Back on Disposables:

It sounds daunting to completely ditch plastic sandwich bags, paper napkins, paper towels and snack bags entirely. But I certainly have room for major improvement!!

I plan to upgrade my dining table, and commit to using cloth (washable) napkins & towels at home more often! It is fun and fancy to use my Gram’s gorgeous, hemstitch napkins during our family dinners! For paper towels, I found a fun re-usable version by Birdseye Cotton. They are 100% cotton, easy to wash, well absorbent and come in a colorful rainbow collection. Perfect for spring!

I plan to store my “un-paper-towels” upright in a large Mason jar on my kitchen counter for the month of April and see how it goes. {See ya paper towel rack!}.

I’m also digging these reusable Stasher Bags to replace my plastic snack bag habit. They are made from non-toxic silicone, and are dishwasher and microwavable safe! Total Game changer! Lunchskins makes similar bags in fun prints & colors. Perfect for Zander & Zia’s plastic free lunch or snack. I’m loving the green, strawberry print.

Source: Dotandarmy.com

I’ll replace plastic food wrap with Bees Wrap. It’s reusable, and made simply of beeswax, organic cotton, organic jojoba oil and tree resin. Soften the wrap with your hands, and watch it mold perfectly over your bowls, cheese, fresh fruit and baked goods.  I also REALLY love Food Huggers! They come in multiple shapes and sizes depending on your need and are so easy to clean. You can find these items locally at Natural Grocers. 

Source: beeswrap.com

Reduce Waste by Increasing Mindful Snacking:

One of the simplest things I can do is start eating more zero waste snacks!!! Fruits and veggies are nature’s perfect snack. Hydrating, delicious and they leave no waste! Plus they are so much better for my body! How easy to simply grab a banana, orange, celery or an apple and head out the door!

1. Craving something salty? Instead of buying pre-packaged popcorn. I’ll buy it in bulk and use my popcorn maker {or saucepan} for a homemade stash! (Hard boiled eggs with salt is another simple, waste free snack!)

2. Craving something sweet? I’ll  plan to bake cookies, waffles and muffins at home instead of buying pre-packaged, goods at the store! I’ll store treats in the freezer in glass containers so they are ready to fly out the door at a moments notice! 

3. Buy snacks in bulk as much as possible! Instead of the pre-portioned, single use products like yogurt, applesauce, cheddar bunnies or trail mix, I’ll buy the largest container possible and store in glass jars. 
For on the go, I’ll pack it in a mason jar or re-usable snack bag!

Rethink How I Shop!

  • Rule #1 ABOB (Always Bring my Own Bag!). Such a simple and easy way to reduce waste! I’m good at doing this while food shopping, but why not every store?
  • I’ll also skip the provided plastic bags at the grocery store. So easy to toss the fresh produce in my cart and shop along.
  • Seriously reduce pre-packaged fruits & veggies! I’m guilty of buying pre-packaged spinach. Why not buy the fresh spinach without the plastic packaging?? Such an easy swap!
  • Limit online shopping! I know, I know! But seriously, how many boxes with goods wrapped in plastic were on your doorstep today?? Even by reducing online shopping I am seriously cutting down on waste!
  • Head to the Farmer’s market more! Nothing better than fresh, local produce with limited packaging! Plus it’s so much fun!

Upgrade my Recycling Game

It turns out I’m really good about recycling goods in the kitchen and then taking them out to the bin….but outside of the kitchen…. I get a major fail

For some reason the recycling habit hasn’t translated to our office, or the bathrooms or the playroom. Most of our waste in these rooms end up in the trash…out of convenience!!!! (Ugh!) I plan to buy 3 more recycle bins and place them around the house to catch the goods before they end up in the garbage! According to the Environment Protection Agency, recycling just 10 plastic bottles saves enough energy to power a laptop for 24 hours! I can easily contribute to that! Probably in 3 days!

Well there you have it! I hope this posts inspires you to change just one thing about your plastic use. The Earth has taken such good care of us, let’s treat her with the same kindness!

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