If you can’t reuse it, refuse it

Inspired by Susan Freinkel’s book Plastic: A Toxic Love Story,  I’ve set a goal to reduce the amount of single-use plastic I bring into my life in 2020. Here’s my collection for the second month of the year.
February plastic Much like the previous month, February brought me a pile of food wrappers and a Better World Books plastic mailer. The pic above shows only the plastic that I can’t recycle or repurpose in any reasonable way.

Other plastic items that are in limbo include chip bags and plastic caps and lids from glass jars. I may have to claim them as single-use before the year is over, but right now I have the optimistic notion that I’ll craftily turn them into something clever and long-lasting. Stay tuned.

As friends and acquaintances learn about my experiment with reducing single-use plastic, almost every one of them admits to having a couple of reusable bags that they forget to take into the store. I cast no stones, for I have certainly collected my fair share of flimsy bags because I didn’t want to walk back to the car for my reusables.

Like all habits, it took time to re-train myself. I started by carrying a reusable bag in my purse, but the best kick in the pants was taking on this year-long challenge. I’d rather walk across the parking lot for my proper bags than to confess publicly that I’ve brought home more flimsies.

If you are not swayed by public opinion, there are some other ways to take on the healthier and kinder habit of refusing flimsies. This list from The Organized Housewife is helpful.

The most likely way to encourage yourself to take action is mindfulness. When you drive anywhere, notice how many plastic bags (and other plastic trash) is scattered along the side of the highway.

It may not be YOUR trash, but it has a strong negative impact on your life and on your community. Be part of the solution–refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle.

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