By Cheryl Frick, Hike Leader and Group Secretary
“If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.”
I fell in love with the convenience of plastic. I felt like a good citizen lovingly separating it from my trash to give it a second life via recycling, only to find out that only about 6% of plastic was coming back to me, while new plastic production climbs. Plastic is ending up in landfills, being incinerated or worse! The World Wildlife Fund estimates that by eating, drinking and breathing we consume up to five grams of plastic a week — the equivalent of a credit card. Yuck! With this knowledge, I have tried to become a more conscientious shopper and I am hoping you will join me in ending our deceitful relationship with plastic. Below are some easy wins.
Bottled water: This is a plastic catastrophe. A global study in 2017 found plastic fibers in 83% of tap water, and bottled water was FAR worse. Solution: get a Brita; buy a chic refillable that you can plop in the dishwasher and reuse. Easy peasy! You’ll save money and back strain from lugging water into your house.
Detergent: Those big plastic jugs are the worst. I switched to detergent sheets that come in a cardboard box and I love them! No spilling, measuring or pods, just toss it in.
Soap: Ditch the plastic hand and shower soap containers and go back to good old bar soap.
Instant Pot? Homemade yogurt is easy to make, saves money and is so much better than store bought.
Juice: Make your own or better yet, eat fresh fruit from the Farmers Market sans packaging.
Cleaning products: Save money by making your own.There are many websites with easy instructions.
Facial Scrubs: I learned mine has tiny plastic beads that swoosh down my drain. For a better exfoliator, mix a bit of baking soda with your cleanser.
Gum: Did you know chewing gum is often made with plastic? Ewww!
Plastic utensils, straws…nope! Use the good silverware; you deserve it.
Swap tissues for handkerchiefs: Small and large tissue packages contain plastic. Hankies save money and trees. Bless you!
Incorporating these ideas into your grocery trips can make a huge impact. We can do a lot more to reduce. Many websites are available to help you. (Don’t get me started on fast fashion!) Thanks for letting me share a few things I have done that have had little impact on me other than saving money and lessening the burden on our environment. I would love to know what you’ve done. Let’s keep the conversation going.
Sources: Detergent sheets–Ecos, Beyond, Sheets Laundry Club are just a few of the many that are on the market and you can get them at Target, Walmart, Amazon.