Creating a sustainable life is an ongoing effort. Eliminating plastic is one of the greenest actions you can do to lower your eco-footprint. For many of us cutting back on plastic is a massive shift that may require breaking some long-standing habits.
Why go plastic-free?
According to Rodale.com, “there are plenty of reasons to cut down. It’s made from either petroleum or natural gas, two nonrenewable resources extracted in ways that pollute our air and water. Plastic manufacturers add chemicals to certain types of plastics that can be highly toxic, like bisphenol A and phthalates. And very few types of plastic are widely recycled.”
I was intrigued to learn that the staff members at Rodale.com are taking on a challenge to live without plastic.
Here are the plastic-free ground rules:
1. No buying or acquiring new plastic.
2. No cooking with plastic or storing food in plastic.
3. Minimize all other plastic use.
Leah Zerbe, Rodale’s online editor explains why they chose to go plastic-free:
“Our editorial meetings have kept circling back around to issues surrounding plastics…We wanted to take huge environmental problems and break them down to figure out how they affect people every day. Plastic is one that we can do something about that has a huge affect.”
Rodale is calling on bloggers and readers to join the challenge and cut plastic out of their lives. So, I thought I would give the challenge a whirl. As you might surmise, I live a pretty low-impact life. I will confess to forgetting my cloth bags from time to time and taking a plastic bag (which I recycle as a garbage bag – but that still adds to the demand for more plastic production). Because avoiding all plastics is virtually impossible, as plastic is in everything from my computer keyboard to my car’s door handle, I’m going to focus on ditching the single-use plastic bag.
In an effort to get the word out and join Rodale’s challenge, I’ve also been making changes based on a fun, interactive assessment tool from Practically Green. It focuses on the quantity and intensity of our green actions. On the Practically Green site, I created a customized, manageable list of green things that can make my life even greener (including not forgetting my reusable bags). I’ve even learned a few new green actions. View my plan along with other well-known Inspiring Action Planners, and take Practically Green’s quiz to find out how you can go greener.
Next: 3 DIY Bags
3 DIY Reusable Cloth Bags That Never Go Out of Style
Keep a well-stocked stash of these stylish, reusable cloth shopping bags, and you should have no excuse not to go plastic-bag-free:
2. This sewn Linen Shopping Bag is so stylish. What is so great about linen (besides being eco-chic) is linen is antibacterial and antimycotic, which suppresses the growth of fungi making it perfect for carrying food.
3. Recycled Sweater Tote Bags (main image) are soft and simple to make. Repurpose sweaters that are either old, torn or no longer fit. The sweaters are felted to make these cute bags.
Photo: Canadian Living