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How to Live a Life Free From Toxic Plastics
6. Household Ideas
Use natural rubber gloves with cotton flocking. Use laundry powder in a cardboard box or use soap nuts. Buy vinegar in glass bottles and make your own household cleaners. Use powdered automatic dishwasher soap that comes in a cardboard box, and a bar soap or plain old baking soda for hand washing the dishes. For super difficult, baked on mess, use a copper scrubber. These are sold in every supermarket and are often sold in a little cardboard box. Compost your food waste or use your green recycling container from your city waste disposal. Use paper bags if you must for other trash.
7. Carrying Stuff
Always, always, always carry reusable shopping bags. Find a small one that folds up neatly to stash in your pocket, purse, or briefcase for unexpected items. Use backpacks or messenger bags. Keep a separate set of bags in each car, so you won’t forget to move them from one car to the other. If you are walking into a store, any store, grab a bag or two, just in case. You can use them for more than just groceries, you know! Canvas bags can be used for electronics, clothes, office supplies, toys, drugstore items, you name it.
8. Give It Up
Sometimes, the only way to deal with some plastic is to just give it up. Learn to live without bottled water. Buy a reusable stainless steel water bottle for everyone in the family. Fill them up before you leave home or before you leave a destination. Buy a filter for your home and you will have an endless supply of filtered water for pennies. Give up those individually packaged anything, such as juice, rice, or beans. Bring your own container to the store and refill from bulk as much as possible. If you don’t live in an area where you can do this, at least buy the largest package possible, to reduce the amount of plastic you are buying and recycle that container when you are finished.
Don’t buy produce that is packaged in plastic, such as apples, cabbage, or potatoes. Buy from your local farmers market, or buy them in bulk. You can reuse those little plastic containers for things such as berries. Many sellers at the farmers market use sturdy cardboard, or will gladly take, and reuse, your plastic containers for foods such as strawberries or cherry tomatoes. Say NO to more plastic bags, and put your carrots or apples in a small cloth bag instead. Don’t buy sodas in plastic bottles and don’t buy juice in plastic bottles. Learn to live without plastic bottles. Just say NO.
9. Bags You Can Do Without
Buy fresh bread that comes either in no bag, or a paper bag. Bread stored in a cloth bag will keep just fine for a few days. Alternatively, you can make your own bread from scratch. Speaking of that, buy flour in larger sizes, as most times, flour sold in bulk will come in a cloth bag, which you can reuse in dozens of ways! Buy popcorn in a glass jar, then make your own flavored popcorn and store it in used tin or glass containers. You can also bring your own container for meats to the butcher. Or ask them to seal your meat in paper, not plastic.
10. Dairy Items
If you can, find a local dairy that still sells milk in returnable glass bottles. Although even these milk bottles will sometimes have a plastic cap, a small cap is far less plastic than an entire plastic milk carton. Some manufacturers use cardboard cartons sealed with wax, but double check because many are sealed in plastic, rather than the old fashioned wax.
Buy large rounds of cheese that are unwrapped from your local deli. If you think you won’t use that much cheese, split it with friends, family, or neighbors. Make your own yogurt with a homemade yogurt machine. The machine itself can be bought second hand. The best ones have plastic outsides, but the actual yogurt containers are made from glass or ceramic. Don’t buy large plastic containers of ice cream. Buy hand scooped and ask them to put it in your own container if they don’t use cardboard containers.
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