Is Plastic, the New Smoking? TOP TIPS TO QUIT

Plastic Straw CigarettesQuitting plastic is a necessary growing trend, like quitting smoking became decades ago. If you aren't on board, you are hopefully feeling shame for not being socially responsible and doing your part for our planet and future generations.

If you can't quit, you will increasingly feel the pressure to cut down as the movement to reduce plastic waste becomes the norm and regulations increase. Hopefully, you are conscious of the alarming issues and are eagerly participating already. It doesn't take much effort to make a big difference as there are more and more alternatives to plastic becoming available. 

Did you know that A Whopping 91% of Plastic ISN'T Recycled!? (Nat Geo) 
Please Promote the NEW Plastic Pledge:
1. REFUSE, 2. Reduce, 3. Re-use, 3. Recycle


Kind4Earth's Top Tips to Quit Plastic:

STOP BUYING WATER AND OTHER DRINKS IN PLASTIC BOTTLES

Just stop it! Sure it's convenient, but plastic drink bottles are the #1 global polluter as almost 1 million are sold EVERY MINUTE with only 9% being recycled! You do the math - we have to stop! With just a little planning, it can easily be a rare event that you ever drink anything from a plastic bottle.

First - get a METAL WATER BOTTLE for everyone in your home - NOW! Fill them with ice and filtered water before you leave the house, and you are set. Get a good-quality WATER FILTER that fits on your kitchen sink or separate WATER PITCHER. You can also get these great CHARCOAL WATER FILTERS you put right in your bottles that eliminate toxins and release minerals. 

If you run out of water during the day, more and more public places have refillable-waterbottle-friendly water fountains. At the office, suggest getting a water cooler or filter on the sink. In a pinch, look for drinks sold in glass bottles or go to a restaurant that serves drinks in glasses or paper cups. Most restaurants don't mind filling up water bottles for customers.

GETTING YOUR COFFEE FIX RESPONSIBLY

FRENCH PRESSThe daily plastic waste generated by our morning caffeine fix is staggering! But it's medicinal, I know. It doesn't mean it's ok to pollute the world with your plastic lids, cups, K-cups, plastic stirrers, cream pots etc.  Get a METAL TRAVEL MUG and go old-school by making a pot of coffee at home and taking a fresh mug of coffee with you. A FRENCH COFFEE PRESS makes a spectacular coffee any connoisseur would love. If nothing else, take your mug with you to the coffee shop and get it filled there - most shops sell their own reusable mugs and cups and often offer a discount if you bring in your own mug.

REUSABLE K-CUPSFor those still using Keurig or Nespresso machines (*sigh*) - PLEASE grow a conscience over the billions of plastic K-cups still going into landfills. You NEED to feel ashamed for contributing. Also, you really should heed the concerns over the likely toxins in every cup.

We DID source metal, refillable K-cups for both KEURIG and NESPRESSO machines. If you can't bring yourself to say goodbye to your beloved machine, at least use these metal K-cups guilt-free (and save a heap of money)!

STOP USING PLASTIC BAGS

It is VERY simple to always have cloth shopping bags in the trunk of your car and/or shop at a grocery store that offers paper bags. NEVER accept the plastic bags for your groceries or other shopping. If you must, at least re-use the ones you end up getting. More and more places are banning the use of plastic bags or requiring stores to charge customers for each bag they use. If you aren't using cloth bags yet, PLEASE start!

 
CANVAS SHOPPER COTTON MESH PRODUCE BAGS SHOPPING CART BAGS

Luckily, there are A LOT of great options for re-usable shopping bags and even produce bags. Get some of these and not only shop in style, but guilt-free.

DON'T BUY FOOD IN PLASTIC PACKAGING

While you are at the supermarket, pay attention to how much food is packaged in plastic. It is ridiculous! Where possible, choose items packaged in glass, paper, and cartons. Buy loose fruits and vegetables and put them in cloth bags (above), not the plastic produce bags provided. Also look for items sold in bulk and bring your own reusable containers if you can.

NO

YES

NO

YES

NO
YES
NO
YES

 

REFUSE PLASTIC CONTAINERS, STRAWS, AND UTENSILS

Are you eating out or getting take-out? With a little planning, you can greatly reduce the plastic you get with your meal.

Firstly, at any restaurant or food outlet, REFUSE THE STRAW!!

Plastic straws cannot be recycled and never decompose. Is there really any inconvenience drinking directly from a glass or cup? If you really think you need one, bring your own - there are several re-usable alternatives: METAL, GLASS, BAMBOO, PAPER. I have recently even seen an edible straw that is being developed. If you are a restaurant owner, how about switching to paper straws for those who feel they can't do without a one or start selling metal, glass or bamboo straws? I even saw one bar that switched to using pasta straws.

Travel Utensil SetTo avoid using plastic utensils (spoons, forks, knives), it's a great idea to get a few TRAVEL UTENSIL SETS made of metal or wood and keep them in your glove-box and bag. Give them to your friends and family. There are also a growing number of alternative single-use options NOT made of plastic. Try to choose restaurants who provide non-plastic options if you don't have your own travel set. If there is no alternative, at least COMPLAIN to the manager/owner and suggest they start choosing eco-friendly alternatives. Every business hates complaints and will do what they can to meet customer expectations. 

It's the same for plastic containers. Choose places that use paper containers and bags if at all possible. If they do use plastic (or styrofoam), don't leave without complaining or at least stating your disappointment and that you are likely not to come back as a result. The more people that speak up, the quicker they will likely switch.

For your lunch break, how long does your sandwich, sushi, or salad you pick up at the deli get placed in a plastic container you take back to the office and then toss? Hopefully, it can get recycled, but think how much plastic waste we could avoid by refusing single-use lunch packaging.

Take a look at the video below to see what trend one office worker in New Zealand started. Why not try this yourself and make the suggestion to your colleagues and places you buy your lunch?


IDEAS FOR PLASTIC-FREE GROOMING

Our daily lotions and potions we use for our daily hygiene are unfortunately largely packaged in plastic. If you search and are a bit creative, however, there are many plastic-free alternatives.

Shampoo BarBars of soap and even SHAMPOO BARS are a great way to stop buying liquid soaps in plastic bottles. It may seem old-school, but there are great quality products made with essential oils making them great for your skin and hair (and smell great). Check your local farmer's market, there is bound to be a local producer that needs your support.
Bamboo Brush
Bamboo products are great alternatives to BRUSHES, MAKE-UP BRUSHES, and TOOTHBRUSHES made of plastic. Bamboo is quick growing wood that is used as alternatives to many plastic products, and it is of course biodegradable.
ToothpasteWe did find a TOOTHPASTE packaged in glass jars. Look for other products packaged in glass or metal containers.

You could also try making your own products and put them in GLASS JARSGLASS JARS or containers. Give one of these Homemade Toothpaste recipes a try:

Recipe 1
Ingredients:
● 4 teaspoons baking soda.
● 1 teaspoon table salt.
Instructions:
● Mix the ingredients together. You can make some of this up in advance, just multiply and use 4 parts
baking soda to one part salt.
● Take some of the mixture and add just enough water to make a toothpaste.

Recipe 2
Ingredients:
● 4 teaspoons baking soda.
● 1 teaspoon table salt.
● 3 teaspoons hydrogen peroxide (3% solution only! Get from the chemist).
Instructions:
● Mix the baking soda and the salt then add hydrogen peroxide to make it into a toothpaste.

Recipe 3
Ingredients:
● 4 teaspoons baking soda.
● 1 teaspoon table salt.
● As much glycerine as you need to make a paste (from the chemist)
Instructions:
● Mix the baking soda and the salt, add glycerine to make it into a toothpaste

Recipe 4
● ½ cup of baking soda
● enough coconut oil to bind into a paste
● pinch natural salt
● ground dried sage/essential oil to taste