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Earth Day Read: Reducing Plastic

Earth Day Read: Reducing Plastic

Posted by Emma on April 22, 2019

With Earth Day approaching on April 22nd, I found myself asking - what is a change that I would like to see in the world?  And my answer came to me immediately...reduce the amount of plastic that we use.

Making this decision was based on many factors. We read about the sea turtles killed by plastic straws, about the whales washed ashore with pounds of plastic bags in their stomachs, and the oceans filled with so much plastic that will take lifetimes to decompose. But what can we do that would make a difference? I decided to start by making changes in my own home and lifestyle.

My first stop was, of course, the library, and I found the following books to be very helpful:

1. Plastic Purge: How to Use Less Plastic, Eat Better, Keep Toxins Out of Your Body, and Help Save the Sea Turtles! By Michael SanClements

2. Green Enough: Eat Better, Live Cleaner, Be Happier (All Without Driving Your Family Crazy) by Leah Segedie

3. My Zero-Waste Kitchen: Easy Ways to Eat Waste Free by Ruth Jones-O'Rourke

4. Green Housekeeping: Save Money and the Planet by Alice Alvrez

5. Live Green: 52 Steps for a More Sustainable Life by Jen Chillingsworth

I loved these books and really enjoyed reading them. The first thing that I learned was that it is next to impossible to completely get rid of plastics!  Almost everything is made of plastic in today's society. Computers are a great example of something plastic that is unavoidable. So I had to narrow my focus, from completely eradicating plastic to how can I reduce plastic use in my own home and lifestyle? 

All of these books were full of great tips, and the biggest take away was STOP buying single use plastic anything.  No more water bottles, no more Tim Horton's coffee cups (they line them in plastic) and I had to start making big changes in my home.  I started with my kitchen. I donated all of the plastic Tupperware, plastic cups and dishes, plastic kettle, and even our plastic coffeemaker to the Beaver Valley Outreach. I then sourced out glass and stainless steel alternatives. Yes, I spent a bit of money but I plan to use these products for years and years. 

I then moved on to cleaning products and bathroom products. I used up the rest of my shampoo  and vowed to never buy a plastic bottle again.  So how do I find body/hair wash and home cleaning products that do not come in plastic? Again, the books gave some great tips and I visited 2 new local stores – The Daisy Market and Rocky Shores, which both have "refillery stations" allowing you to bring in your own glass or stainless steel bottle and fill up...they also sell other amazing, eco-conscious products, and I highly recommend a visit to both. 

My new less-plastic lifestyle is still a work in progress, but I feel good about the changes that I have made to reduce the plastic and waste in my life. This New York Times article was also helpful and made me realize that I am not alone in my pursuit. 

So if you have any interest in living a "greener" life, join me in the plastic-free movement!

Happy Earth Day.

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