Do! Reduce Your Plastic Footprint

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Do! Reduce Your Plastic Footprint

I’ve spent a month learning more about plastic pollution, particularly the waste that makes it into the ocean. Earlier, I shared with you what I learned. Exploring this topic has made me sad yet hopeful that I now know how I can help, even in small ways. One way is to drastically reduce my family’s consumption and use of plastics.

Kreateedoo Plastic Pollution Pickup

To help get plastics out of my home, I showed you how we can make reusable food wrap out of cotton fabric coated with beeswax.  I created a vegan recipe for leek and potato soup that you can make with minimal to no new plastic waste coming into your home.  

Getting Plastics Out of the Kitchen

I’ve spent the last month looking around my home with fresh eyes, seeing opportunities everywhere where I can get plastics out of my family’s life.  As a result, there are no more plastic cling wrap, plastic zip top bags, or plastic food storage containers in my home. There are no more plastic water jugs or bowls or cups. I’ve dragged some large canning jars up from the basement, cleaned them up and bought new reusable lids for them.  They’re working great for food storage and to haul drinks to work!

Kreateedoo glass storage jars as a replacement for plastic storage

and Out of the Bathroom

We’re using up the last of our liquid soap and shampoo and I’ll begin making my own when those are gone. That will be challenging, but I’m up for it! I do recognize there are some things we can’t do without that is traditionally packaged in plastic.  For those things, I’m going to seek replacements packaged in sustainable materials instead.


Most important:

Completely avoid the big three single-use plastics –  

Bags, bottles, and straws.

Reduce Your Plastic Footprint

For Storage

  • Choose reusable totes. Sign up to become a K’dooer to get a free pattern to make your own!
  • Use glass canning jars or other glass or metal containers for food storage, not plastic containers.
  • Make or purchase muslin bags and get your dry staple foods from bulk bins.
  • Choose cloth diapers, never disposable.

On the Go

  • Choose refillable metal bottles and metal or bamboo straws for drinks on the go.  
  • Have your coffee shop refill your own mug.
  • Take your own containers to the deli counter and ask that they use them instead for your selections.
  • Keep spare metal utensils at work and in your vehicles and avoid plastic silverware.
  • Take your own doggie bag containers to restaurants.
  • Give up gum – it is made of synthetic rubber, derived from plastic. Or chew natural gum like this.

In the Kitchen

  • Use loose tea instead of tea bags.  (This electric tea kettle is my favorite ever! Works great with loose or bagged tea!)
  • If you use a single-serving coffee maker, use the refillable pod and not the wasteful plastic pods.
  • Make or purchase reusable food wrap and avoid plastic cling wrap.  
  • Make your own bread or purchase or make a bread bag and have your bakery use that instead of a plastic bag.
  • Avoid frozen foods.  Nearly all are packaged in plastic or plastic coated cardboard.

In the Bathroom

  • Switch to bamboo toothbrushes and metal razors.
  • Switch to bar soap with no plastic packaging in the bathroom.  
  • Avoid face and body washes with microbeads (which are plastic!) and look for products with no plastic packaging.
  • Don’t use those body scrubbies made from tulle (fine plastic netting); use a sea sponge to bathe instead.  (My absolute favorite is the the sustainable and humanely harvested sea wool sponges, like those found here.)
Kreateedoo glass jars for takeout food

For Cleaning

  • Buy powdered or make homemade laundry detergent rather than liquid in the plastic bottles.
  • Use baking soda, vinegar, and castile bar soap for cleaning yourself, your dishes, and your home.
  • Buy reusable glass spray bottles to store your own cleaning solutions (unfortunately, all that I’ve seen so far have plastic spray heads).

Take a fresh look at everything in your home and if it is made of plastic, try to come up with a sustainable replacement!

Activists Working on Plastic Pollution

There are many terrific organizations working on plastic pollution.  Here is a list of just a few:

Ocean Plastic

  • 4Ocean (4ocean.com)
    • 4ocean is a global movement actively removing trash from the ocean and coastlines while inspiring individuals to work together for cleaner oceans, one pound at a time.
  • 5 Gyres (5gyres.org)
    • The 5 Gyre Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council since 2017. Our mission is to empower action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, education, and adventure.
  • Surfrider Foundation (surfrider.org)
    • Our model is to engage environmental experts to create solutions, unite local and national resources to protect the coast, and leverage our local chapter network’s knowledge with a national perspective.
  • Plastic Oceans (plasticoceans.org)
    • Our Mission is to inform, inspire, and incite on the issue of plastic pollution
  • Parley for the Oceans (www.parley.tv/oceanplastic/#parley-air-strategy-1)
    • Parley AIR is the strategy to end the fast-growing threat of marine plastic pollution. We believe plastic is a design failure, one that can only be solved by reinventing the material itself. To create change, we can stop producing more plastic right away and use up-cycled marine plastic waste instead. Everyone has a role to play.

Plastic Pollution

  • The Story of Stuff (storyofstuff.org/plastics)
    • A great organization that produces short films and other resources to educate and mobilize around plastic pollution.
  • Plastic Pollution Coalition (plasticpollutioncoalition.org)
    • Plastic Pollution Coalition is a growing global alliance of individuals, organizations, businesses, and policymakers working toward a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals, waterways and oceans, and the environment.
Kreateedoo plastic pollution
  • Kokua Foundation (kokuahawaiifoundation.org)
    • The Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that supports environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawaiʻi.
      Our mission is to provide students with experiences that will enhance their appreciation for and understanding of their environment so they will be lifelong stewards of the earth.

I hope you have learned as much as I have during our exploration in this theme of ocean plastic pollution. If we each take steps in our home and in our purchases to reduce plastic waste, think how much better our world could be.

Thank you so very much for stopping by here at Kreateedoo! I hope you will come back next month when I’ll be taking a deep look at a special blend of minimalism that focuses on the environment and on frugality!

Peace and be well,

Marin

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