If you're a fan of John Oliver's HBO show, you might have seen a recent episode where he focused on the problem of plastic, how little of it actually gets recycled, and how detrimental it is to the environment. I think it was when he said we all ingest the equivalent of a credit card each week that I wondered if soon we won't need Apple Pay anymore and we can just scan ourselves at the register.
Seriously though, plastic, invented in 1907, began to be widely used starting in the 1960s right around the time Mr. McGuire told Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate: "I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Plastics. There's a great future in plastics." Now it's so omnipresent, it's hard to think of how we ever lived without it.
But we must.
Because plastic is problematic for all the reasons John Oliver enumerates in his well-worth-watching rant and more. As the saying goes, we don't inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. And more and more the landscape we are leaving is ecologically unsound.
So today we're going to share some tips how to minimize plastic in your life and highlight some resources to help make the transition...
The most obvious: trade in plastic bags for reusable cloth ones. At this point, almost every co-op, farmer's market, and grocery store sells sustainable shopping bags, and given how ubiquitous and ridiculously disposable the plastic bag is, this should be everyone's first order of change.
Opt for plastic-free cosmetics and body products. RMS Beauty, Bohicket Apothecary, BLK + GRN, Kjaer Weis, Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve, and Elate Beauty have all created sustainable and non-toxic options.
Switch to shampoo and conditioner bars (much like soap bars).
Visit refill stations for household cleaning products and bring your own bottles (preferably glass) to contain them. Here in Los Angeles, the Wasteless Shop and Sustain LA in Manhattan Beach and Highland Park respectively supply both personal care and household products. Zero Waste California provides bulk shopping for groceries.
Trade out plastic straws for reusable glass or stainless steel straws.
Trade out plastic razors for stainless steel ones.
Use dishwashing soap blocks instead of bottles.
Think about toothpaste tablets instead of tubes. Denttabs has a fluoride option (wheras most brands offering tablets are fluoride free).
Stock up on un-paper towels, colorful spray bottles, washable dusters and sponges, foodwraps, bento bags, and more at Marley's Monsters.
Search for products with the key words "zero waste" and "sustainable."
PopUP CleanUP aims to be the leader in green cleaning and sustainability. Let's make tomorrow better by taking care of our personal and public spaces today.