Four Choices for Plastic-Free July

Oops. On my bleary 1st day home after a trip earlier this month, I stopped at the store and bought some yogurt – in a big plastic container. I was halfway home before I realized what I’d done. I joined up to participate in Plastic-Free July, so I shouldn’t have acquired that yogurt.

Then I thought – I’ve still got my Yogomatic (click here for the post about finding it) – I can use some of my yogurt as starter to make more. Oh good grief – the Yogomatic is plastic. Despite that, I finally tried it today. Now I have a quart of new yogurt.

Plastic-Free July is meant to help increase our awareness of unnecessary packaging, all that we buy and throw away and/or attempt to recycle. It’s helped me realized that if I’m mindful, there really are choices. Here are 4 relatively easy ones:

Bar soap: Looking around the house, I saw that every sink has a (plastic) container of liquid soap beside it.  I even had liquid shower soap.

soaps packaged in plastic

Here, everything but Lava is in a layer of plastic.

At the store, I checked out the soap aisle – but most of the bar soap, which used to be wrapped in paper, now has an extra outside layer of (guess what?) plastic.

Last month, looking for soap without the some of the controversial chemical ingredients, I’d come home with a bottle of Dr Bronner’s.  With a little searching I’ve found more choices: an equivalent bar in paper packaging, plus an unpackaged bar of Aloe Baby from Sevananda, a local health food store.

good better best packaging for soap: Dr Bronner's liquid, Dr Bronner's bar, Aloe Baby bar

Here are my good/better/best soapy finds.

Laundry soap: There’s a choice in laundry soap packaging too. Here’s my old plastic container and my new box:

laundry soap choices- paper or plastic?

Laundry soap: paper or plastic?

publix recycles prescription vials

Publix Pharmacy recycles pill containers.

Pill containers:  Another place where all I see is plastic. My recycling center takes them, but for those who don’t, I saw this good news at Publix Pharmacy.

Still, not using plastic at all would be better than recycling it, even if all of us recycled (which we don’t).

The pharmacy told me they can’t dispense medication any way but in plastic containers, so I’m going to cut back on packaging by using the mail order pharmacy to get 3 months worth at a time.

market mushrooms

No clam-shell packaging, and almost too pretty to eat.

Produce: Shop at your local farmer’s market. Our weekend market had these amazing plastic-free mushrooms.

It’s not realistic to think we can be plastic-free everywhere, but small choices aren’t difficult, and they can add up to make a big difference. Can you help?

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8 thoughts on “Four Choices for Plastic-Free July

  1. Something to think about. I always thought that recycling the pump containers that our liquid soap comes in was good for the environment. Until I saw the film No Impact Man. Better to go without plastic altogether.

  2. Great read. I had no idea about this plastic free month – very interesting. It’s shocking to see how much plastic is in a home. Even in the garden – I have so many plastic containers which some can be recycled but a lot cannot. I wonder what they will make plastic out of when the oil runs out? 😉

  3. Hi Sandy, great to see you had some success with Plastic free July! If you haven’t seen the movie Bag It, can I recommend it to you? It is so so good; funny, informative, clever, interesting! That’s what really inspired me to live without plastic. I’ve seen No Impact Man too and it’s interesting and certainly generates debate – but it’s no way near as good.

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