July Sustainability Tips – Reducing Plastics

plasticsReducing plastics is easier than you think—and it can help keep you healthier, too.

Buy wool, cotton and silk: This is obvious, and that’s why it’s first. You also get the advantage in that these fabrics are generally less flammable than modern synthetics.

Get a smart shower curtain: Vinyl off-gasses compounds into the air in a process—that can be a problem in a small bathroom. Buy a flax-based linen shower curtain from Gaiam.com and find out more at Gaiam, too.

Go for natural flooring: Carpet and vinyl contain the carcinogen PVC and often use glues with formaldehyde. If you’re putting in a room or redoing a floor look for low-emission bamboo, cork, linoleum, ceramic tiles or hardwood.

Look for cardboard: Bathroom products generate large amounts of plastic waste. You can get non-toxic beauty recipes at motherearthliving.com in their Health and Wellness section. You can also buy products with cardboard or minimal packaging, and avoid plastic bottles of soap which can’t be recycled.

Opt for powder: Use powdered laundry detergent packaged in paper boxes or make your own soap using washing soda and grated bar soap from old fashioned soaps sold by Lehmans.com.

Buy ceramic, metal or glass food-storage containers: Plastic food containers contain chemicals that can get into your food. With ceramic, you get great-looking containers you’ll want to display in your kitchen. Or use old glass jars you recycle. For a great list of containers at good prices visit theswglasslockeethome.com.

Do lids: Plastic wrap is difficult to recycle and may contain PVC. If you get non-plastic containers with plastic lids, toxins won’t leach into food so long as they don’t touch.

Choose local produce: Its Farmer’s Market season and not only does the food taste better, you’ll be cutting back on plastics. But remember to bring your own bags with you when you’re shopping.

Check the numbers: When buying food, remember that 1 and 2 plastics can be recycled.

Skip the straw: Gone are the days of the old fashioned paper straw. If you can, say no to the plastic straws at restaurants.

Recycle electronics: These are usually encased in plastic. And right now, you can raise money for several charities. To find out more, visit https://www.epa.gov/recycle/electronics-donation-and-recycling. It’s a win for everyone!


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