Ok, I know I’ve said it before, but I’m going to say it again. Plastic takes 1,000 to turn into dirt, folks. It is filling our landfills and polluting our oceans. It needs to be used moderately. Single-use plastic is so sad to me because it never has a chance to have a second life. Food packaging is the worst when it comes to single-use plastic, so this is why it is so important to evaluate this part of our life as a consumer.
Ever since I have become aware of plastic in my life, I have been trying to use less and less of it. I even stopped shopping at Costco as somewhat of a cultural statement– I want to be conscious of my plastic usage. I’m going to share with you some things I do to reduce my plastic consumption.
I don’t want you to think I am some zero waste goddess that never uses plastic, though. It is pretty much unavoidable to use some plastic. The point I hope to make, though, is that it is super important that we try to reduce our usage. My goal is to always be a little better than the year before.
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Use reusable produce bags
There are a lot of reasons I like reusable produce bags. First, they look cool. Second, they help reduce single use plastic consumption and garbage. Third, its just not cool to eat food out of a plastic bag. They are affordable and really handy. There are a lot of styles you can choose from. I bought these but I think if I could go back and choose different ones, I would get these or these.
Use reusable shopping bags
These really help cut down waste, and they are sturdier and don’t tear. Plus… they make you look super hip and cool.
Don’t buy processed food
Processed foods use so much plastic! It always amazes me how much they manage to use. The food isn’t good for you and the packaging isn’t good for the planet! This is probably the most important tip. If you can cut processed foods from your diet, you will drastically reduce your single-use plastic consumption, and you might find yourself feeling better too!
Grind your nut butter
Several grocery stores offer a on-site nut-grinding service free of charge. The store I visit lets me bring my mason jars from home, making it a waste-free situation! I always weigh the jars at home before I go. Once I’m at the store, I grind peanut butter right into the jars, then tell the cashier when I check out how much the jars weighed when they were empty. We eat a lot of nut butter, so it really helps cut down our plastic usage.
Use the bulk section
I make use of my reusable produce bags when I get beans and grains from the bulk section of the grocery store. Another alternative to this would be to purchase dry goods from a company like Azure Standard, where they often come packaged in large paper bags.
Lots of oils come in thick plastic containers, such as olive oil, coconut oil, and vegetable oil. A lot of times, these containers are also hard to reuse. By making lard, I am reducing my plastic consumption and giving my family a good-quality fat with lots of the fat-soluble vitamins our bodies need. Learn how to make it here.
I hope these tips help you get started on your zero waste journey!
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