Are You Aware of the Plastic in Your Life?

photo by: Julie Gabrielli

My husband, the Eagle Scout, came home from Target recently with literally a bucketful of plastic. The bucket ITSELF was plastic! It looked like he had won some kind of shopping spree contest. Everything you can fit into a laundry basket in five minutes. In addition to what you see here, there was also contact lens solution, which comes in a cardboard box, but the solution itself is in a plastic bottle that has a little plastic safety seal on it.

What made me really take notice of this is – I had just been teaching a 4-week course called "Your EcoBlueprint ." In the third week, we played with the Plastic Tracker, which is an audit worksheet to build awareness of the amount and kinds of plastic that comes into our lives. Where they come from, what their purpose is, and what we do with them after we’ve used them. Read through this post to find out how you can win a copy of the Plastic Tracker to try for yourself.

In the fourth class, we talked a bit about the experience of using the plastic tracker. How surprised we were to learn just how much of this stuff is in our lives. For those of us who think of ourselves as fairly environmentally aware, this can be a real revelation. I had to laugh a little bit when my husband came home from the store with all this plastic! We do wash and re-use the ziplock freezer bags. And we also reuse the supposedly throw-away food storage containers for packing lunch. He very thoughtfully bought me a new laundry basket because my old one is falling apart. Well, it’s been falling apart for about four or five years now. I just couldn’t bring myself to buy another one, because I didn’t want another one of those junky plastic things in my life. Now, what do I do with my old one?

All this got me thinking about the whole idea of awareness. Once we become more aware of our patterns of daily living, what are we moved to do about it? Is it possible to avoid some of this plastic coming into our lives? Can we do things slightly differently – or very differently? That’s part of what the EcoBlueprint class is all about. I’m so pleased to let everyone know that it’s now available as a home study course . Now you can access all of the class recordings and all the materials – the learning guides, the worksheets, and the slides – and take your own journey.

To claim your F*R*E*E copy of the Plastic Tracker, write a comment to the post telling us your favorite way to reduce the amount of plastic in your life. On June 3rd, at 10:00 a.m. EST, I will choose the best one. At my discretion, I may reward more than one!

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There Are 4 Responses So Far. »

  1. My favorite way to reduce plastic in my life is to re-use water bottle or my stainless steel canteen.

  2. I reduce plastic by religiously using my reusable shopping bags, by eating exclusively from china and stainless steel and glass, by keeping real utensils at work and taking the time to wash them, and by enjoying the feeling of my hands in warm water when I am washing and reusing things, an experience other people miss by using disposables!

  3. lol Rebecca!! 🙂 great comment!!

    Interesting article – so your hubby couldn’t resist all the plastic? 😉
    yes, it’s difficult to!!

    I try to stay away from plastic too..
    As for the washing baskets – we have 4 now & they come very handy!! (for carrying clean or dirty laundry upstairs or downstairs or such.. One could even separate by color if you have the space etc!)

  4. oh, & even if it’s way past the ‘deadline’, we’re trying to go zero waste here..

    I even bring my reusable *glass* bottle on trips & such (never broke so far!!) – & water tastes muuch better too!!
    & I try to remember real cutlery if needed..

    We use reusable plastic food containers for eg buying cheese or meat or such, thus avoiding the tons of flimsy plastic film & such!!

    & we started making butter (couldn’t find it zero-waste) & Mum made some syrup-from-scratch so we don’t need to buy so many store-bought iffy drinks! (Sis even doesn’t drink so much Coca Cola now! 🙂
    we switched first to store-bought in glass bottles, than to homemade (again)!

    my favorite would have to be *not* using Always Ultra 1x a month anymore! cloth is muuch better!!

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