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5 Key Strategies for a Plastic-Free Life

  • October 21, 2011
  • 6:01 pm


#4: Slow down.
Plastic exists to support the go-go-go lifestyle that we all think we need to maintain. Committing to cutting back on plastic gives you a reason to insert some helpful speed bumps into your day. So enjoy them! Take 10 extra minutes to eat breakfast at home, for example, or use a full 30 minutes to eat lunch at a restaurant, off glass plates using real silverware, rather than grabbing something packaged in plastic to eat at your desk. Along with the benefits of avoiding plastic, you’ll gain an opportunity to catch your breath, enjoy your food, and let go of some stress.

#5: Don’t be a jerk about it.
None of your plastic-addicted friends wants to hear a lecture about the evils of plastic (ours sure didn’t). Be relaxed and nonjudgmental when you talk about your decision to cut the plastic cord. Focus on why the alternative is better, not on why plastic and the people who use it are evil. And let your deeds, rather than your words, be the strongest argument.

Every time you tell a cashier you don’t need a bag, and walk out of the story carrying your carton of milk in your hand instead, you’re planting an idea in the head of everyone around you. And that’s how new norms are created.

Related:

Kitchen Plastic: Easy Greening
5 Tips for Plastic-Free Cooking
Which Plastics Are Safe?

 

 

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Rodale

Rodale.com is a new original source for daily news, information, and advice on personal and environmental health. Rodale.com focuses on “Where Health Meets Green” topics, providing daily news stories and breaking news along with easy-to-follow, high-impact tips and advice.

701 comments

+ add your own
1:46PM PST on Dec 12, 2012

Good article, thank you.
Also agree with Pepper H.

1:46PM PST on Dec 12, 2012

Good article, thank you.
Also agree with Pepper H.

4:44AM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

here in south Australia plastic bags are no longer given out.You can buy them at 10 or 20 cents each, and this is to encourage people to bring their own bags. Our plastic drink bottles have a deposit on them and so someone will take them back to get the refund. These two simple acts have reduced our waste by thousands of tonnes each year.Reusable takeaway coffee mugs are commonplace as well.Despite that it is still hard to get people to join in when they think its too hard or if it makes them and /or their lives uncomfortable.

6:16PM PDT on Mar 15, 2012

Thanks for this. I'm trying to be more mindful of the amounts of plastic we use in our house.

6:11AM PST on Dec 21, 2011

I've been practicng all noted for a while, and it helps life being less stressfull (reducing all the junk surrounding me). Thank You for the article!

6:26PM PST on Dec 10, 2011

To Pepper H.: You hit the nail right on the head! The REAL problem is that plastic is an unnatural compound – that is, man-made. All natural compounds have bacteria or a substance that will naturally recycle it but obviously plastic does not. Scientists have to create a bacteria or chemical compound of some sort that will decompose all or most plastics. That would solve the entire problem. The lesson for future chemists is: Don’t invent a new compound that cannot be naturally decomposed or if you do, create a bacteria or substance that can decompose it!

7:45PM PST on Nov 30, 2011

I read this a month ago and it's still bugging me. Trying to live plastic free is absurd. First, get your fingers off that keyboard,it's plastic! Second, wake up! Plastic is not the enemy! WASTE is the enemy! Items meant to be thrown away after one use, wasteful packaging (both plastic and paper), stupid "have to have it" plastic junk nobody needs, but advertising makes everybody want - These are the enemy. You want somebody to blame for the mountains of trash threatening to engulf our world, look to marketing and advertising.

5:58AM PST on Nov 13, 2011

Excellent article! Too much pre packaged crap everywhere! What happened to sitting down and eating rather than taking food to go. Hate those plastic bags too!!

7:49AM PST on Nov 11, 2011

I always try to remember reusable bags or to just not use the plastic bags from stores. Thanks!

5:33AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

Yes, just talk to the cashier you don't need a bag and take the carton by hand. I always do so when I go to a night market for vegetables I would do so to the vendor (food stand).

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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