Thursday, January 3, 2008

Plastic Free New Year's Resolutions

It's a new year! Here are my plastic-related resolutions for 2008.
  • Continue being as plastic free as possible : I've been mostly plastic free for the past three months and have nearly eliminated the purchase of products made of plastic or packaged in it. I plan to continue doing this during 2008, and hope I can be even more successful at it in the new year.
  • Stop consuming plastic-packaged junk food at work: There are always candies and sweets lying around in open plastic packages at my office that I've been letting myself eat up-til-now. I guess I figured that since I didn't purchase the food and I wasn't consuming the whole package, it was okay. I've decided to formally change my mind on this since, by consuming even part of the package, I am still contributing to plastic waste, and also because these snacks are totally unhealthy. Office snacks--away with thee!
  • Eat fewer plastic-packaged snacks when I am visiting friends and family: Most of the snacks that my friends and family offer come in plastic, and since I don't need snacks in the first place I plan to stop partaking. Note that I am still willing to consume meals that involve plastic packaging on social visits since I don't want to be anti-social or become a horribly annoying house guest.
  • Try making homemade toiletries and beauty products: It's very hard to find plastic free toiletries, and there's lots of recipes out there for natural, homemade products that might be good replacements for things I already use. I'm excited to try recipes for things like conditioner, toothpaste, and face mask to see how they work.
  • Shop at thrift stores and garage sales to find plastic free replacements for home items: Examples include my plastic spatula, measuring cups, measuring spoons, and the plastic jewelry box I keep in the bathroom. I'll be sure to donate all of my old plastic items back to the thrift stores where I buy my new-to-me plastic free items.
  • Grow a plastic free garden: I plan on growing a vegetable garden again this summer, but unfortunately, seedlings usually come in little plastic pots. That means that in the near future I'll need to figure out how to grow plants from seeds that I would normally buy as seedlings. Note: Since my dad says tomatoes grown from seed never grow that well, I think I'll still purchase my tomatoes as seedlings.
Notes and Exceptions
Now that I've had a chance to figure out what parts of being plastic free work for me, I have decided to continue purchasing:
  • Select canned goods: I am going to allow myself to buy vegetable broth and the occasional can of coconut milk.
  • Tortilla chips: To keep my cute boyfriend happy, I'm also going to continue buying El Milagro tortilla chips, which are packed in a brown paper bag with a thin plastic lining.
  • Medicine: As you might remember, I am not avoiding plastic packaging associated with medical items such as ibuprofen, claritin, and eye care products since it's nearly impossible to find these items without plastic packaging.
  • Food at restaurants: In order to prevent myself from being miserable and completely anti-social, I am going to continue dining in restaurants, even though I know most of the products used in the kitchen probably come from plastic packages.


Cue-Ball said...

I noticed that one of your goals is to replace plastic things that you currently own with non-plastic alternatives. In the case of long-life items like measuring cups, jewelry boxes, etc. you may want to reconsider. By replacing these items which you already own and which serve their purpose you will only be adding more plastic to the waste stream, which I think is the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish here.

LifeLessPlastic said...

Nope. This isn't true.

I obviously plan to donate the plastic items I don't want anymore straight back to the same thrift stores I buy my new items from. I'll basically be making an exchange so I won't be sending any plastic into the trash.