A few years ago when I was starting this blog, I thought to myself, “I need a stunt.” The first stunt that came to mind was spending a year without buying or using any plastic. That thought lasted about 15 minutes. And I launched this blog without any stunts, just me and my crazy recipes and ideas. But alas, it is the final days of the Plastic Free Challenge at Rodale.com, so I want to do my part to help out. Today I will share my thoughts for eliminating plastic. And next week, I’ll share my list of challenges that we need some creative entrepreneurs to figure out.
But let me just start by saying the bane of my plastic existence is Polly Pocket, the completely unnecessary and yet totally beloved teeny-tiny plastic doll and toys that my 4-year-old discovered from her older sister, long before she reached the choking-hazard-free years. I am constantly yelling at her to Take That Plastic Out Of Your Mouth Right Now Or I Will Throw It In The Trash! And cleaning up cat vomit that has Polly Pocket outfits in it; there is clearly something orally stimulating to cats about the little princess outfits and shoes the size of ants. Well, I will be a totally evil mother if I ban Polly Pocket. So there is a Polly Pocket Exception to my plastic-reduction efforts.
Here are my top 10 tips for eliminating plastic—other than Polly Pocket—from your life:
1. Use food storage containers made of glass and stainless steel. These are getting easier and easier to find; some containers may have a plastic lid, but the plastic won’t touch the food.
2. For outdoor dining, use enamel plates and cups and stainless steel utensils. So what if you have to wash them? They won’t break if they get dropped or knocked over. And they make dining outside feel like an old-fashioned picnic, rather than a plastic trash fest.