A few simple actions to diminish plastic use.

A few simple actions, beyond recycling, that decrease plastic use


*  Having multiple reusable grocery bags is not only popular, but a big bang for the buck.

*  On an individual, or especially family level, saves multi-1000s of plastic ones. 

*  Reusables are sturdy, hold more and heavy groceries, don't tear; strong handles, so easy to carry; long ones for over the shoulder. Buy enough for a large shopping trip.

*  100% cotton canvas bags eco‐friendly, very strong, and last for many years; plastic‐mix bags weaker, short life expectancy, and the plastic disposal problem. 

*  Paper bags are no solution; take 9X the energy to produce as plastic; create manufacturing waste-- but can be re-used at store. 

*  Free wine bags are great for all bottles and heavy items (spaghetti sauce, etc).

*  Store reusables in car trunk or front seat;  train yourself to take them inside. 

*  If you forget, go back and get them-- you’ll learn. 


*  Community water supplies have stricter standards than FDA regulations on bottled water. 

*  US has safest water supply in the world.

*  #1 PETE bottles leach out multiple chemicals, not only BPA.

*  Use filtered water instead; modern refrigerator water dispensers have built in replaceable filters.

*  Or look for delivered spring water in glass bottles.


*  Replace paper coffee filters with mesh; use filter to avoid dregs; coffee has more body; compost coffee grounds.  

*  Skip the plastic K‐Cups; only bottoms are recyclable; other components, single use.

*  Carry glass or steel-lined re-usable mugs; avoids hot contact with plastic; keep empty one in car.


*  State “No utensils, please;” pass on plastic straws [these are starting to be phased out]. 

* Take only napkins that will be used; keep extras in the glove box.  

*  Keep a collapsible cup in your travel bag for hotels; frequent travelers can save 100s of plastic cups.


* Those who print infrequently can save lots of $$ by not buying quick-drying plastic cartridges. Instead, download documents to flash drive, print cheaply at library, UPS store, or similar.

*  > 300 Mm cartridges disposed of every year; contain toxic ingredients; can be recycled.

*  PDFs now supplanting hard copy printing and FAXing; consider an Adobe Acrobat Writer subscription. Saves a lot of plastic.

*  Buy ink pens with metal replacement cartridges and quality ink flow-- not a 36‐pack of non-recyclable BICS that promptly run out of ink.  

*  Use both sides of paper, crossing out the first  page. 

* Adobe PDF documents supplanting printing & FAXing hard copies; recommend annual subscription; great tech assist.


*  See "ORGANIZING DAILY MAIL" [under the "AVOIDING FOOD WASTE" menu tab] block incoming advertising and paper waste.


*  Don't overbuy personal care products; use up completely before opening new; decreases bathroom clutter. Keep together to avoid duplication clutter.

*  Avoid plastic pump bottles of hand soap; adds more plastic to the waste stream. 

*  Choose razors with replacement cartridges, not short‐lived disposables; 2 billion discarded each year in US.

*  Missoula, MT just banned them completely. 

*  Electric shavers use fixed resources, long lived. 

*  Vinyl and PVC shower curtains outgas toxic VOCs throughout their lives, esp. in hot humid shower conditions. Polyester is "safer;" consider organic cotton or hemp curtains.


Avoid hard shell plastic suitcases when replacing; use soft side or less plastic. Check for recycled products. Only buy what you love, and keep it!