I spent the last week of June paying more attention to the amount of single-use plastic I use day-to day. I gotta tell you, I was a little shocked. I feel like I’ve made some good changes. I don’t use single-use water bottles unless I have no other option. The reality is, I use a lot of plastic. When I started paying more attention, I realized how much of it is so natural that I thought nothing of it until after the fact.
First off, I needed to quit using the plastic straw. I opted for no straw when we went out to Hops (both times–it was a double week for Hops). When we were at CFA on Friday, I always get a large diet lemonade and I didn’t bring my stainless straws. So, there was that straw that I used.
The guys went out Thursday evening to Game Stop, just to get out of the house. On the way home, they picked up milkshakes with plastic spoons. I hated that they even got me one, so I stuck it in the drawer. In case of emergency, you know. I grabbed a fresh spoon from the silverware drawer. That made me feel a little bit better, but the fact that we have the single use in the drawer isn’t going to cut it. I know one day it will end up in the trash.
Friday, I met some friends at one our favorite spots in downtown Greensboro, Beer Co. Beer Co is a bottle shop and tasting room. Being a tasting room, they can only serve in plastic cups. I hadn’t even thought about it until I got there. So, there’s one more plastic cup I used.
In my house, I am the only one who is conscientiously making this choice this month and that’s okay. When I started taking inventory, our house is basically full of single use plastics. From the diet orange drink we buy at WalMart to the milk cartons (and we buy 2% AND chocolate milk every time). The Oreos package and the plastic inside the nilla wafer box. The bread is wrapped in plastic, as is the rice. We use plastic for everything. We use plastic because it keeps things fresh. While I can’t give it all up, I can make the change to start being smarter with the plastics I do use.
So, I am going to work towards no more single serving containers. The convenience is great, but the simple fact that I triple my use of single-use plastics is an even bigger inconvenience globally. I’m going to take time to inventory my plastics and see where I can cut back. Progress not perfection, right? Starting with the Keurig. I have a new box of coffee (from Costco) so it’s going to take me a bit to get through it, but I won’t buy any more. I have the reusable filter and will start buying higher quality coffee for it.
The grocery store is where I have had to constantly check myself! I’ll get inside and realize I forgot to grab my reusable bags. If I have my car, its back to the car to get them. I need to make a note to put some reusable bags in the other car, though. I don’t need anymore of these plastic bags. I really wish they would ban them. Paper bags would be so much better!
Have you inventoried your single-use plastic use? I encourage you to do so. Even if you only stop using plastic bags at the grocery store, it’s a start.