Before you say, “no way, that’s too hard!” listen up: the planet may not need us, but we sure need it. Not to mention, the animals that are suffering from our lack of respect for the planet have no voice or way of stopping the millions of man-made chemicals from polluting and punishing our beautiful, damaged Earth. But, don’t get discouraged just yet, because we, the humans, do have a voice! And we have the power to stop polluting the world. What goes up, must come down–if you will. If we don’t bring down the plastic, the plastic will bring us down. And that’s the simplest way I can say it.
Now I know it’s hard to even think of where to begin or how you could possibly succeed at this kind of thing, and even though it’s overwhelming, we are right there with you! And that’s why I am going to take you through your own personal plan for a 31 day plastic domination. Vinas, we’re in this together! It only takes three weeks to create a habit, or break a bad one. Imagine what we can do with four! You will be unstoppable.
The first rule of a plastic-free life is as follows: don’t be too hard on yourself in the beginning. This is not a quit cold-turkey process. This is a day by day journey. So first off, we want to eliminate the big offenders; the more obvious stuff.
Carry your own glass or stainless steel bottle! They are trendy and reusable! Refill your water by using a drinking fountain or sink. This will help to conserve water and save you some money!
These bad boys are causing quite the uprising in our world right now, but hey, at least they have our attention! When you order a drink at a restaurant, always ask for no straw. But, if straws are a must-have in your life, buy your own reusable glass, stainless steel, or bamboo set of straws. They are way cuter than plastic straws and bonus: most come with their own cleaning brush and carrying case!
This one is admittedly pretty hard. You don’t want to risk a wooden toothbrush growing mold, and even if you did, they probably still have nylon bristles. Lucky for you, I have just about the best option you’re going to get: The Source Toothbrush made almost entirely of recycled wood, paper, and U.S. currency. Other than that, go electric! Another cost saving option and will still cut down on plastic use.
The healthiest and cheapest fix for this one is to pack your own food, but we know that sometimes that’s just not how the situation works out. So to remedy that, keep a set of silverware in your glove box for on-the-go meals, ask for paper cups or use your handy reusable water bottle, and opt for places like Panera Bread that use paper wraps and boxes rather than plastic.
Bring your own canvas bags or paper bags when you go shopping. This saves a crazy amount of plastic bags and they have some really cute reusable bags!
PLASTIC FOOD PACKAGING
Bacon, cheese, milk, bread, vegetables, chips, you name it. As you probably realize, a large percentage of our food is packaged and preserved by plastic. So how do you get around that?! Well, this one is more about time and energy than anything else, but after some shopping around you will find your favorite products are sold in more health and earth conscious environments. Shop local as much as you can. Farmers markets and privately owned shops for produce and meat, grow what you can, and everything else: look for the paper and cardboard packaging.
PLASTIC “EVERYTHING ELSE” PACKAGING
You know the stuff batteries come in? Or your new phone case? The stuff that is impossible to open. Or what about the plastic flap inside a Kleenex box? Or the packaging around toilet paper? Plastic is literally woven into the fabric of our lives. It’s kind of impossible to get away from it completely, but not impossible to reduce it drastically. For all of these products, your best bet is going to be online. I would suggest Amazon or eBay to do the bulk of it. You can always find alternative options to plastic packaging online. Think ahead and buy your toiletries online in bulk, and yep that’s right, another money saver! In some cases, you can even request to have your items shipped in the least amount of containers and packaging as possible. Sometimes, stores will even give you discounts for this. Other than the big corps, here are some eco-friendly shopping sites to get you started: Made By Radius, Bambeco, Buy Green. You can even use databases like Happy Hippie, Greener Spots, and Eco Friendly Emporium to search for stores within the exact category you’re looking to shop in.
THE LAST STRAW
The craziest part about all of this has always been and always will be that if enough people stop or start doing something, sooner or later, it will become the law. Not in a legal sense, but in more of a bandwagon sense. If everyone refuses straws, there is no market for straws, therefore restaurants stop ordering them, supermarkets stop carrying them, and eventually, the last straw is made and they no longer exist. This is the last straw you guys, it’s already happening.
Looking for some eco-friendly vinas? Look no further then Hey! VINA!