It all started when my mom called me up and said she wanted to collect my empty makeup containers to take over to Nordstrom because they had a Terracycle bin there. My response was," I can't just put it in my regular Recycle Bin?" Her answer was a resounding no!
I mean, of course I knew plastic ruled my life, and everyone's life, but it's something that lives in the back of my mind, not something I actively think about. More likely I am thinking "I recycle, I'm doing my part." But then 2020 hit, and my takeout and delivery orders skyrocketed, and then our microwave broke and we weren't able to get it fixed for several months, so then we really were only eating takeout, or getting groceries delivered. Everything came packaged in styrofoam, plastic, single use forks and napkins, not to mention flimsy plastic bags galore. Half of it I couldn't recycle.
I couldn't deny that I was part of the Plastic Club. I felt horrible to be honest. So, I decided to do some research and once I scratched the surface and realized that less than 10% of the items I put in my Recycle Bin actually got recycled, I was now angry. I mean, I'm part of the generation of kids that went through the whole Reduce-Reuse-Recycle campaign in the 90s, and that's stuck with me ever since. I honestly thought everything I put in that bin was getting recycled.
So now, being faced with the facts I had to make some changes. I had to find ways to drop as much plastic from my daily life as possible. One of the websites I read made a good point though, that the goal shouldn't be for everyone to be 100% plastic free, because that is an unrealistic expectation for many people, as these products can be 2x to 3x times more expensive (ironic!), and for many, especially now, that isn't feasible. So, even if you only replace one thing for something plastic free, that is better than nothing!
So, my family's goal is to reduce plastic as much as possible in 2021 and beyond. We started in early December. I've been making slow purchases here and there, slowly replacing my most often used products with plastic-free ones (that also have plastic-free refills, and low-to-no plastic packaging).
Here are some of my favorite shops:
I will keep adding to this post as I test out products. Please comment here or on my socials if you find anything you like, or want to join me in this #plasticfree journey!
p.s. When it's safe to travel can you imagine how easy it will be when 80% of the stuff I bring on a plane will no longer be liquid???? Amazing!
This list of resources is ongoing, so please check back!
If you have more resources to share, please comment, email, or find me on socials!
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I'm Mae and I am an Educational Technology Coach who supports Kinder through 8th grade teachers; I am Thinking Maps trained, with a Master's Degree in Elementary Education!