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Plastic-Free July — Reducing our Reliance on Plastic

By Larraine Roulston:

July has been declared “Plastic-Free Month.”Since the invention of plastic, we have been provided with many of its conveniences. During this decade, however, we have come to recognize its harmful consequences and are now striving to reduce the amount we use. Biodegradable plastics do not degrade, and much of what we use does not survive the process of being recycled. 

Below are seven links illustrating how seven young people, beginning with Erin Rhoads, are managing to live without disposable plastics. Their anti-plastic tips together with their passion to facilitate change demonstrate their commitment and determination.

Erin Rhoads details a plastic-free life on her blog the Rogue Ginger. Erin is a guest speaker, and offers workshops and cooking demonstrations. Presently, she is creating a childrens book on the zero-waste concept.

 Lindsay Miles writes Treading My Own Paththat specializes in being a minimalist. Her published ebookThats a Wrap: Practical Tips, Tricks and Inspiration for Living Plastic-Freeis a guide to reducing our reliance on plastic.

 Beth Terrys blog, My Plastic-Free Life, began in 2007. Beth has published a book on discarding plastic, and has been successful in targeting corporations about becoming better stewards.

 Mary Kat touts tips for a plastic-free kitchen. She specializes in methods for obtaining the basic ingredients of foods without using packaging.

 Taina Uitto encourages people to rethink the use of plastics. In partnership with her brother, Taina produced a documentary entitled From the Waste Up — Life Without Plastic. This film explores the life of six families and their quest to lessen their use of plastic.

 Lauren Singer, with a zero-waste audit approach, promotes her sustainable lifestyle.

Anne Marie from the blog zero waste chef has 9 tips for a successful plastic free July

 Jack Johnson, dedicated to marine conservation, is committed to sustainable local food systems and plastic-free initiatives through the All At Oncecampaign.

 If you havent already become part of the Super Sevens plastic-free movement, reinforcing some everyday tips can propel you onto the road toward a healthier lifestyle and help create a sustainable planet.

  •  Provide your own bags when shopping. At the supermarket, use your own small reusable ones to hold loose produce.
  •  Utilize large glass jars to store leftover foods.
  •  Purchase various fruits rather than sugary bottled juices.
  •  Reuse glass jars at bulk food stores. This requires a clerk to weigh them in order to deduct that extra weight once filled.
  •  Ensure that all your cooking and eating utensils are made of wood, bamboo or metal.
  •  Use a glass jar, a bottle with a stopper or a thermos to carry tap water.
  •  Purchase new toys made of wood, textiles, wool or paper.
  •  Obtain metal lunch containers for waste-free lunches or to fill if stopping at fast food service spots.
  •  Remind restaurant servers to skip the straw and offer it only upon request. Inquire whether they would switch from serving foods/condiments in little plastic containers to using permanent containers or pouring milk into ceramic/glass pitchers; or putting tartar sauce/cole slaws, etc., on the plate; and providing jars of jam.
  •  Experiment with a shampoo bar.
  •  Try DIY natural lotions and cosmetics.
  •  Use cloth diapers instead of plastic-covered disposables.
  •  To stem the tide of plastic waste, join One Green Planets #CrushPlastic Movement!

Related Links:




 Larraine writes childrens adventure stories on composting and pollinating. To order, visit www.castlecompost.com

About Larraine Roulston

A mother of 4 with 6 wonderful grandchildren, Larraine has been active in the environmental movement since the early l970s. When the first blue boxes for recycling were launched in her region, she began writing a local weekly newspaper column to promote the 3Rs. Since that time, she has been a freelance writer for several publications, including BioCycle magazine. As a composting advocate, Larraine authors children's adventure stories that combine composting facts with literature. Currently she is working on the 6th book of her Pee Wee at Castle Compost series, which can be viewed at www.castlecompost.com. As well, Larraine and her husband Pete have built a straw bale home and live in Ontario.

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