Friday, September 28, 2007

Starting Out: Some Tips

So I haven't been in need of anything from the grocery store quite yet. I'll probably end up going out on Saturday afternoon, but I can already feel the fear growing, especially since the one thing I really need to buy is toilet paper. I know some toilet paper is packed in waxy paper, but I'm pretty sure that's the really harsh stuff that's usually made out of recycled office paper. How funny is that? I mean, there's something hilarious about the idea of wiping with someone's old TPS Reports, but I'm not sure I would wish that stuff on my worst enemy...and I might end up buying some on Saturday. Help!

Anyways, since I don't have any kernels of wisdom about shopping, I figured I'd provide a quick list of things that we can all start with in our mission to reduce plastic consumption. Note that I got this list from the blog Deep-Sea News.

1. No plastic grocery bags
Obviously the easiest one and the one you already know about. Ask for paper at the supermarket. Better yet take your own bags. I like the ECOBAG made from 100% recycled cotton (double bonus) for its durability and size. Amazon has them for $8.99 a piece which is still a bet hefty.

2. No plastic "poop" bags
Biobag offers a lot of great products. One of the best is the 100% biodegradable dog waste bag. You can pick up a pack of them at Amazon for $6.99.

3. No plastic trash bags
But what about my trash bags? Biobag also offers a tall kitchen bag, so you are quickly running out of excuses. They come in 3 gallon and 13 gallon size. You can get them at Amazon.

4. No plastic produce bags
How do keep my pound of bean sprouts, my pound of tomatoes, and lettuce separate? Ecobags also makes produce bags and fancy net bags that are great for this.

5. No plastic silverware
Your work lunchroom is chock-o-block full of plastic utensils. You could take your own for starters. I know but you don't want to give up that spork? I don't either. Luckily, we don't have to. Vargo makes a lovely field-rated titanium spork avialable at Amazon. Additionally, you could get your company to switch to Biocorp's compostable cups, utensils, plates, etc. The utensils are made up of cornstarch and surprisingly are amazing sturdy. Biocorp makes it easy for you to order online.

6. No plastic cup or cup lids
I love coffee! The downside of my love is all those cups and plastic lids I generate from a Starbucks visit. Solution: Get a stainless steel mug and bring it with. And Starbucks actually gives you a discount for bringing in your own mug so eventually you'll earn your money back (for the mug, not the expensive coffee).

7. No plastic water bottles
You really don't want to be drinking out of plastic anyway. Plastic leeches bisphenol A, a well known endocrine disrupter. Your thinking I use a Nalgene, so I'm good. That's only true if you use one the "old school" opaque white pliable polycarbonate bottles. Klean Kanteen, a great small company, makes a stainless steal alternative. You can purchase them online and the company also supports the Breast Cancer Fund (double bonus).


Aliana said...


Thank you for the ECOBAGS mention! We appreciate all of your efforts to promote a greener lifestyle, including the BYOBag movement. Keep up the good work!



Anonymous said...

Ecobags also makes cloth produce bags which will keep produce very fresh is you dampen the bag before refrigerating.

LifeLessPlastic said...

I actually ordered some Ecobags just the other day and I'm anxiously awaiting their arrival! I got three produce bags and two net bags. I plan to use them for buying bulk at a nearby store with bulk bins and for buying things like green beans at the grocery store. Thanks for the tip about getting them a little damp before putting them in the fridge. How cool that the bags even help keep my produce fresh!

Anonymous said...

Hi. Are you sure that Evert Fresh bags are not petroleum-based? I can't find that statement anywhere on their web site, and it doesn't say it on the web site either. Both web sites mention the clay that is used in the bag, but they do not state that there is no plastic in the bag. It would be great to find out exactly what they are made of. I'll send them an e-mail and ask.

LifeLessPlastic said...

Hmm, I'm not sure. I just grabbed those tips from Deep-sea news. Thanks for checking it out. How ambitious!

[minus]plastic said...

The [minus]plastic team from Singapore says hi!

We have just launched a website and we are encouraging people to reduce their plastic usage.

We hope to garner more support from people over the world! so do support us & join us in pledging! :)

thank you!