Archive for Monday, April 16, 2012


Fix-It Chick: Use less plastic

April 16, 2012


According to the EPA, in 2010 the United States produced over 32 million tons of plastic in the form of packaging, containers and durable goods. In that same year, the U.S. generated 31 million tons of plastic waste, of which only 8 percent was recovered for recycling.

Here are some simple steps to eliminate unnecessary plastic from your life:

  • Say no to plastic bags. Use cloth bags or boxes or skip the bag altogether.
  • Carry a metal water bottle (even though the lid is plastic) and eliminate the need to purchase water in plastic bottles.
  • Use reusable cups for soda and coffee. Most convenience stores and coffee shops allow consumers to use their own containers when purchasing fountain drinks or coffee. Some even offer a discount for such purchases.
  • Choose produce that is not packaged in plastic. Grocery stores often offer bulk produce alongside packaged produce. Place bulk produce in reusable bags or simply let it roll freely in the shopping cart.
  • Buy bulk, but use paper or cloth bags or bring your own containers to transport the products home.
  • Shop at the meat counter and ask the butcher to wrap meat, poultry or seafood in paper packaging. 
  • Choose products that are packed in paper or glass.
  • Cook more at home — things made from scratch taste better.
  • Switch from soft soap to bar soap.
  • Use aluminum foil instead of plastic wrap. Reuse or recycle the foil as often as possible.
  • Purchase glass storage containers for food. Canning jars make great containers, too.
  • Stop using straws.
  • When eating out at a restaurant, take containers for leftovers.
  • Order carry out from restaurants that use eco-friendly, nonplastic containers. Let the other restaurants know why you won’t be purchasing from them anymore.
  • Use metal utensils and glass plates — washing dishes really isn’t that hard.
  • Use more pencils, less pens.
  • Keep cell phones longer — resist the urge to upgrade when the old phone is still working.
  • Recycle electronic equipment at citywide recycling events.
  • When purchasing items packaged in plastic, choose the largest container possible to reduce waste.
  • Repair, reuse or recycle any plastic items you already own.

— Linda Cottin can be reached at


Shane Garrett 6 years, 1 month ago

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Thanks! -The Ecovative GIY Team

Richard Heckler 6 years, 1 month ago

For grocery shopping we use a Coleman cooler for our groceries. And if I forget the cooler most times I will simply toss the stuff in the seat then bring it on home. Produce won't die in a few minutes.

Good job Linda Cottin!!!!

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