Thursday, July 10, 2008

Unexpected Benefits of Giving Up Plastic

When I first decided to give up plastic, it was an experiment. I didn't know if I could do it, and I didn't know what it would mean in terms of my daily life.

Eventually, though, I learned that I really could do it. I just had to change the way I shop.

Now when I go to the grocery store, I do most of my shopping along the outer wall of the store. I buy tons of produce and bulk food items like rice, and nuts, and whole grains, and I don't buy pop since aluminum cans have a plastic lining. I also never buy pre-packaged convenience foods. Basically, giving up plastic has made my diet a lot healthier.

And now when I step into a department store or the drug store, I usually don't buy anything because almost every product available is either packaged in plastic or has plastic in it. Including clothes. That means that I avoid buying new things that I probably don't need anyways. Translation: giving up plastic means saving tons of money.

How unexpected.

When I went plastic-free I knew I'd be doing something good for the environment and I knew it would help me get potentially harmful chemicals out of my life, but I didn't realize that it would also mean eating healthy and saving money. What great bonuses!

And how inspiring to know that making one positive change in your life can lead to so many positive consequences for you and the environment.

9 comments:

Heather @ SGF said...

Good for you! And sometimes the unintended consequences are the best part. I've noticed the same thing as I cut out plastic, though not at the same level as you (we still buy a few food items like cereal with that plastic liner - i reuse it for other things - and our whole, raw milk comes in plastic; as for non-food items, there's shampoo, etc), but we've eliminated almost everything that isn't recyclable and in the end, we only have 1 bag of trash every 5 weeks. We're healthier, we're happier, and so is the Earth. It just doesn't get any better!

statia said...

You totally inspire me to want to go plastic free. I wanted to do it late last year, but with a toddler, it's a little tough. We've greatly cut back, but we're not perfect.

Sarah said...

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been really inspired while reading about what you've been doing:)It is true that one positive change an make a big difference.

Lovelyn said...

I just found this blog a week ago and wanted to let you know that it's really great. Keep up the good work!

warcrygirl said...

Hi there! I found your blog via Time magazine and I thought I'd check it out I recently purchased cloth shopping bags; sometimes I forget to bring them in the store with me but I've basically been using them. I've gotten lots of comments on them and I feel better knowing I'm helping reduce the number of plastic bags in landfills.

Now about everything else...well, I'm trying. I do drink sodas in cans but I recycle the cans so that's not so bad. I'll be back!

Patrick Arena said...

Great blog...I, too, have made a concerted effort to use far less plastic. I can add one more unexpected benefit today...the grocery store (HyVee) gave me a $0.05 credit for bringing my own bag. The check out clerk told me that they credit the customer a nickel if you don't use their bags. How cool is that? Maybe if I buy a banana an hour for the next twelve hours...but I don't think I could eat that many bananas...

lauren said...

Congrats on the Time magazine article!

Emily said...

What you are doing is truly mind opening. It has definitely inspired me to cut back on my plastic use. With the benefits you've listed, who wouldn't want to give up plastics? Keep doing what your doing; so people like myself (that are oblivious to the harm plastics cause) can get educated! Thanks!

Jonah said...

Read about you in Time magazine. You're still looking for a shampoo? Try Phytocyane by Phyto, a French company, but manufactured in the US (www.alesgroupe.com) It's based on grapeseed and Gingko Biloba and packaged in a GLASS bottle, would you believe it?

I'm going to cruise around in your blog some more. Keep it up!

Jonah