What to Pack to Avoid Plastic Waste

Packing is probably the least fun for most people. Whether you’re packing for work the night before or packing for a long trip, packing can be a hassle. There are lots of suggestions out there on how to pack, but as I’ve found no one has a tried and true way that always works for them. While I’m no expert packer, I am always thinking of what to pack to reduce the amount of plastic I use and waste. Wherever I happen to be traveling, I’m constantly thinking of what to include on my packing list so I don’t rely on plastic. Since plastic is easy and convenient, it can be easy to rely on, but if you can, consider a few of my packing suggestions to add to your list and make your travels a little more convenient. Continue Reading ›

Plastic-Free July: Week 3

After feeling fueled last week to attempt some new steps for shopping and cleaning during Plastic-Free July, I was empowered and ready to go! My first step was to purchase some reusable bamboo silverware and once it arrived I made sure to put it in my backpack along with a collapsible plastic storage container just in case I decided to eat at a restaurant and needed containers for leftovers. I felt proud of myself for remembering to make this a part of my routine to reduce my consumption and waste of plastic. Armed and ready, I was eager to take on the world! So, how did this week turn out? I found it wasn’t with fanfare, but a realization about sustainable living that made all the difference in my affirmations. Continue Reading ›

Plastic-Free July: Week 2

After Week 1 of Plastic-Free July, I decided to take a few steps forward to be proactive and make this challenge a success. During Week 1, I encountered some situations where I couldn’t avoid plastic silverware, which led me to purchase reusable bamboo silverware. Although I’ve found bamboo has some setbacks, it’s a step up from using and tossing out plastic silverware. And since I like my bamboo toothbrush, I decided, why not try the silverware too? I’ve also reminded myself to avoid using plastic bags at the grocery store when I can and decided the next time I purchase a large amount of one type of produce, I’ll have to make sure it finds its way to my cloth shopping bag instead of feeling I have to resort to plastic. Continue Reading ›

The Truth Behind Bamboo

Taking on Plastic-Free July for the second time, I thought would be simplified since I had participated before. I could not have been more wrong. Unfortunately, eliminating plastic is not as easy as it sounds. We rely on plastic more than we realize. A few years ago, it was reported by the Huffington Post that Americans threw out 31 million tons of plastic, making up 12.4% of the nation’s municipal solid waste. Plastic isn’t completely going away anytime soon, or ever. We are very dependent on plastic. So, what’s the alternative? My research and experience indicate many are turning to bamboo. From beauty products to reusable silverware, bamboo seems to be the rage for the eco-friendly alternative. Just how eco-friendly is it? Here’s what I’ve found: Continue Reading ›

Plastic-Free July: Week 1

Having participated in Plastic-Free July before, I thought it would be easier to manage my use of plastic and limit the amount of waste from it. Although I’ve taken significant steps to reducing my plastic use by purchasing Lunchskin reusable bags and Prepworks’ Collapsible Storage Bowls, I found that completely avoiding the consumption and waste of more plastic was not always easy, especially with my graduate school assistantships adding more work for key events and summer school challenging me with a vast amount of reading and analysis. Although I wish I could report overwhelming success, I found I had a few setbacks. Here are some missteps I encountered so far during Plastic-Free July: Continue Reading ›