Rid me of plastic

Notes from my efforts to make a plastic-free home.

With the illusion of plastic recycling shattered, I’ve been trying to minimize my use of plastic.

We’ve all seen pictures of massive amounts of plastic waste in the ocean. And if the plastic doesn’t end in the ocean, chances are that it ends up next to highways or in a landfill or being incinerated for heat. When incinerated, the petroleum that plastic is made with, releases carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, further propelling global warming. So that’s bad. But while we know this, it’s not easy to avoid plastic in daily life.

My thinking used to be, “if I buy plastic products but remember to throw them in the recycling bin, it’s OK”. It wasn’t until 2019 that my thinking serioiusly changed, when I learned that in Denmark - a country that prides itself of having very green intentions - journalists had uncovered Danish plastic waste in landfills in other countries as far away as Malaysia. Plastic waste that, according to authorities, should have been reused to make new plastic products or incinerated for heat. This happens because plastic waste from Denmark is sold to Germany, which then exports it to Asia and while the intention is to reuse the plastic, in the end, nobody keeps track of what happens to it.

Fortunately the no-plastic lifestyle is popular and there are many alternatives available to replace plastic products in our homes, and I thought I’d list some here…

  • Plastic wrapping on produce can be almost completely avoided by going to specific shops or Farmer’s markets. We started ordering boxes of food last Fall from Imperfect Foods as they started operating in Arizona, and it’s working great! In addition to throwing out less plastic, we are eating more veggies and fruit. This is probably the BIGGEST saving on plastic I’ve done! And we save money at the same time :)
  • I recently switched from liguid laundry detergent to strips made by TrueEarth, and they work great!
  • Shampoo bars! I admit, I was a bit hesitant to try them out, being so used to shampoo flowing from a plastic bottle, but there are some really good ones on the market, like these from EcoRoots.
  • I’m still searching for the perfect replacement for toothpaste: Right now we’re using tablets from Bite which foam up better than the first ones I got from UnPaste.
  • Instead of buying a plastic poster holder, I made one in wood with magnets and glue following this blog.

In the gallery below are some pictures of the products I mentioned above. I also just ordered a plastic-free razor from Leaf to replace to old plastic razors.

  • A look inside a box from Imperfect Foods.
  • Laundry strips!
  • Shampoo soap bar (pink) from ecoroots.us and body soap bar (brown) from Farmer's market.
  • Toothpaste tablets instead of the tube.
  • Wooden poster holder in the making I.
  • Wooden poster holder in the making II.
  • Wooden poster holder in the making III.

Dialogue & Discussion