Go Plastic-Free This Year (Or Close to It)

If you’ve arrived at this blog, you’re probably aware of the plastic pollution problem so I won’t spend time discussing it. You can read recent news on that here, here and here.

Instead, I’ll discuss changes we can make in our own lives. Individual choices may not seem like much in the face of this disaster but with more and more of us making these changes, industry will also have to adapt.

If you still haven’t settled on a new year’s resolution, may I suggest one?

Cut your plastic consumption in 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023

For the average American, just thinking back on how much plastic you’ve consumed so far today, you may wonder, how can I possibly do this? I present a roadmap of six steps in this post. Some steps may take you a few days to a week to tackle and others you may work on for two weeks, a month or longer. We needed at least two months to adjust to our new routine and it continues to evolve today, over six years later.

My IG best of nine 2017: a crazy jar lady’s version of Michael Pollan’s advice, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Step 1: Conduct an Audit

You don’t know how to address an issue if you don’t measure it. Think of dieting. You would likely stand on a scale or try on your favorite pair of jeans to determine if you’ve gained a great deal of weight. (“I weigh what?!”) Here, you’ll measure your plastic diet. (“I threw out how many to-go coffee cups?!”)

You may want to conduct your audit for a day, a few days or a week. Track the plastic trash you generate—those to-go coffee cups (lined with plastic) and lids; the plastic lining of a box of cereal; plastic produce bags; soda bottles; straws; disposable razors. Some may be recyclable, you say. Recycling delays plastic’s transit to landfill. It does not prevent it. Plastic, unlike metal or glass, can be recycled a limited number of times only, as the process degrades the material and results in lower quality plastic, which eventually goes to the dump.

You can jot down what you generated or save the stuff up for the week and take a picture. This audit will give you an idea of both how much plastic you consume and what kinds of products you’ll need to avoid or replace. When we first went plastic-free, my daughter participated in Beth Terry’s plastic-free challenge and it helped us realize what kind of plastic we had been consuming. (You can read MK’s entries here.) The vast majority of it consisted of food packaging. I’m willing to bet you will discover the same thing (hence the food-centric blog).

Step 2: Say No

To eliminate your plastic, you have to learn to say no often (a useful life skill in and of itself but that’s another post). No to that bottle of water someone hands you automatically at a conference. No to all the swag at that same conference. “No straw” to servers before they can put one in your drink (some will put one in your drink…keep trying). No to the plastic bag the grocery store cashier puts your package-free soap into before putting that into your cloth shopping bag (jars and containers and soap can mix in there and you will not die). No to anything in a red Solo cup. No to bags of potato chips. No to candy bars.

Many women—the majority of my blog readers—find saying no difficult. As you continue on your quest, this step will become easier. And don’t worry, going plastic-free is not an exercise in self-denial. I eat much more delicious food now than I used to. (Read more on that here.)

Step 3: Build Up Your Reusable Arsenal

You’ll more easily say no to plastic if you equip yourself with some basic gear. You could spend a fortune on reusable items but you don’t have to and besides, we can’t shop our way out of climate change. Some of the items you’ll need on your quest are:

Reusable cloth shopping bags. Opt for natural fibers, not synthetic (read: plastic), which shed plastic microfibers into the ocean when you wash them

Reusable cloth produce bags. I sew very basic bags the same size as the rectangular ones at the grocery store. Here is the “pattern” I use. If you don’t like to/want to sew these, buy them.

Glass jars. I use these for everything. Ask your neighbors for their castoffs. You’ll save them a trip to the recycling bin.

Something to drink out of when you’re away from home. You could spring for an expensive Klean Kanteen water bottle or you could just bring a mug from home to the office or café. I lost an expensive stainless steel water bottle this fall but I have a gazillion glass flip-top bottles I can use instead. A few of these are old kombucha bottles from the days before I started brewing the stuff.

Something to eat with when you’re away from home. Keep a bag handy that you’ve packed with utensils, a cloth napkin and a container for leftovers.

Other reusables. This transition won’t happen overnight. As you reduce your plastic, you’ll find dilemmas that you’ll need to address:

  • How will I drink without a plastic straw? I vote for ditching the straws completely. If you prefer to drink your thick smoothies with a straw or have a medical condition like my older daughter does, for which a straw makes drinking easier, you can buy reusable metal or glass straws.
  • How do I brush my teeth? A bamboo toothbrush and homemade toothpaste.
  • How do I shave? A reusable safety razor.
  • How do I menstruate? (Well, you see, every month, your body releases an egg…) Use a cup, reusable cloth pads, natural sea sponges or a combination of these.
  • My prescription medication comes in a plastic bottle. Should I stop taking it? Keep taking your meds and focus on the big, easy stuff.

Step 4: Go Shopping

No, I’m not advocating rampant consumerism here.

Our shopping routine changed dramatically after we cut the plastic packaging. We had to change how we shopped, where we shopped and what we bought, from bathroom tissue (loose rolls wrapped in paper) to bread (loose bread from a bakery or bulk flour for baking) to onions (loose from the farmers market in a cloth produce bag).

Now that you have reached Step 4, you have likely begun to realize that in order to cut your plastic, you will improve your diet as a side effect—that’s a bonus resolution you don’t even have to make—by eating more fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and less (none actually) packaged junk food.

Where can you buy food without all the packaging?

1. The farmers’ market. Hit the market for fresh fruit and vegetables with very little packaging, if any. I can even bring my own cartons for loose pastured eggs at one of my local farmers markets. Find your farmers market in the US through Local Harvest. In Canada, search through Farms.com.

2. Bulk bins. I fill up on staples at the bulk bins—flour, sugar, nuts, dried fruit, beans, rice, popcorn, oils, nut butters, baking soda, maple syrup, olives, spices, tea and so on. Yes, these foods came to the store in packaging but in large packaging. I help send that packaging to landfill but if I bought my own little package every time I needed something rather than filling up at the bulk bins, I would send much more packaging to landfill. Until I buy my farm and grow everything myself, I will contribute trash.

And yes, I live in temperate Northern California and have access to amazing farmers markets, several stores with decent bulk bins and one with amazing bulk bins. Even without access to these though, anyone can reduce their waste. I wrote about that here: “Good, Better, Best Zero-Waste Shopping.”

Step 5: Go Your First Day Without Eating Food Packaged in Plastic

You’re ready! You’ve figured out where the plastic has been coming from, you’ve learned to say no and refuse plastic, you’ve armed yourself with your reusables and you’ve found the stores and markets to shop in. Now it’s time to eat plastic-free for the entire day. Meal planning for your day will help prevent plastic snafus. I wrote a post on that here (it includes a meal planner).

What will you eat? All sorts of delicious food.

On this blog, I have tried to figure out replacements for the foods that the majority of us today buy processed and packaged. If you have been looking for a replacement for something, I may have already added it to my recipe index here. If not, please let me know what food you crave. If I haven’t already put it on my long to-blog list, I will (depending…I’m not a big fan of beef jerky, for example).

Step 6: Replace Personal Care Products

The Big Three plastic-free personal care hurdles:

  • Toothpaste. Let me first say that I am not a dentist. I ran out of homemade toothpaste and have no homemade tooth powder on hand so I’ve been using baking soda recently.
  • Deodorant. I have used my homemade deodorant since 2011. I will never go back. This stuff works and you need only a little bit. It consists of baking soda and cornstarch, with coconut oil as a delivery agent.
  • Shampoo. Use a shampoo bar, followed by a vinegar rinse. Or wash with baking soda, followed by a vinegar rinse. If you really don’t like how those leave your hair, you may be able to buy shampoo and conditioner in bulk where you live.

Really, my beauty routine consists of yoga early in the morning but I guess you could call the following a beauty routine (or anti-routine):

  • Facial wash. I wash my face with water. Years ago, I bought face cleanser. I don’t notice a difference.
  • Moisturizer. Dab on a bit of good olive oil around your eyes or anywhere else you need some moisture. I rub olive oil or coconut oil into my hands if, when I’m cooking, a bit gets on me.
  • Hair dye. I don’t. That’s just me.

Bonus Step 7: Reward Yourself

Neither skip this step nor beat yourself up if you fall short. You will fall short. Reward yourself for your efforts. Have a cookie at the local café where you now take your own mug. Or sit down to a movie you’ve wanted to watch, and enjoy it along with a giant bowl of stove-top popcorn (we eat a lot of this…and I’m making a batch as soon as I finish this post).

Happy new year!

74 Replies to “Go Plastic-Free This Year (Or Close to It)”

  1. Great layout – I’ll definitely be passing this on to a few folks who have expressed interest. And YES to rewarding yourself! So important and I think too many people forget that, which leads to them equating zero waste with deprivation. So not true!

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Thanks Polly. I agree. Many people think this is a life of self-denial when the opposite is true. Happy new year! ~ Anne Marie

  2. I started to cut my plastic consumption just over a year ago and I am still working on it. Wish we had a bulk food store here – it would help reduce the plastic wraps of the food items we buy. I buy clothes from thrift and resale shops and I am buy only 100% natural fabrics to avoid further polluting the waters. One thing I am struggling with- finding underwear/panties that have no synthetic fabrics. Are drawstrings my only option??

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      I find it’s a constant process. Underwear is a hard one. Sometimes I think it would be easier to join a nudist colony. Plus no laundry to wash. (Just kidding…mostly…) Did you look at Cottonique?
      https://www.cottonique.com/ I like the looks of the drawstring underwear (very $$$ though). I saw briefs also but you’d have to read the fine print. I don’t know how they can stay on without elastic.

      1. I’ll check out Cottonique. Thanks. I can always go ‘commando’

      2. The Zero-Waste Chef says:


      3. What is the worst plastic or buying things online. Send by plane to the other end of the world and cars bringing everything to your door.????????? For me is the same.

      4. The Zero-Waste Chef says:

        Hi Monik, I agree, buying everything online is crazy. Where I live, garbage rates have increased due to the “Amazon effect.” :/ ~ Anne Marie

    2. i think you did a wrong work!!!!

  3. Jessica Gonzalez says: Reply

    This post is just what I needed today! Plastic-free is my largest goal for 2018. I plan to forgive myself along the way but hope is to have this thing mastered by the end of the year. I am so overwhelmingly aware of my footprint at this point that I actually find it really fun to get as closer and closer to plastic-free, it’s not a chore at all. Seems my biggest challenge is in grabbing take-out… but reducing how often/how I do this can only help the other eternal weight-loss resolution, so win win! 😉

    Your posts are always inspiring, clear, and you make things feel very achievable. Thank you for being a beacon for so many of us! Happy New Year!

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Jessica. Thanks for the kind words about my blog 🙂 I agree, this is a fun challenge. I had no idea when I started out with this that I would enjoy it so much. And this resolution does help with all the other big ones: lose weight, save money, eat better. Thanks for reading and happy new year! ~ Anne Marie

  4. Love, love, LOVE this! So many great tips. And in general I love what you do and what you stand for, so thank you for continually sharing that with us all and for raising awareness. This post makes me realise that quitting plastic is achievable and even easy. I would say I’m part-way through my journey to getting rid of the plastic in my life. I’ve made a lot of progress when it comes to our food packaging (well, now, the lack thereof!) and in 2018 my mission is to audit our bathroom and make some major changes there.

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Thank you Lisa. When we started out, I didn’t know where to begin but after a while, realized it’s a lot easier than I thought. It takes some planning but not that much. Decent bulk bins and a good farmer’s market are a huge help. Enjoy your quest 🙂 ~ Anne Marie

  5. Thank you for this post! I’ve been working on the same plastic free diet for about a year now and I feel good seeing your suggestions, most of which I’m doing too :). I struggle most with cheese, flour tortillas, chips and sandwich bread. I have 2 kids & a husband to make lunches for every day. Not everyone in my house is plastic free, but I try hard to stick to it for myself & the food I serve. I’ve tried making my own cheese, but the expense and leftover whey is a bit too overwhelming, so any suggestions there would be helpful. I also just ordered my first Bokashi pet waste bucket to treat our cat litter at home. I’m excited to try it out. I’m glad I found your blog & look forward to reading more!

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Heather, Thanks for checking out the post. Cheese is a big challenge where I live. Long ago, I could buy it at a farmer’s market in big slabs and just ask for as much as I wanted. But not now. However, I did go to a zero-waste meetup on Sunday at my favorite grocery store and a group of us approached the cheese counter together and asked for hunks of cheese in our containers that the guy behind the counter was cutting just then (it was very delicious) and he said sure. We all felt emboldened after that. I make ricotta and that does produce a shockingly huge amount of whey. I use it in pizza or pretzel dough in place of water. Or I’ll add a bit to soup for some tang. It freezes well too so I usually toss it in the freezer and use it up later. What kind of cat litter can go in the Bokashi bucket? Another reader on here asked me about cat litter recently. That’s a hard one! I’m glad you found my blog too 🙂 ~ Anne Marie

      1. For cat litter I use A&H Essentials corn cob littter. Yes, it comes in a plastic bag but there is no bulk cat litter. It gets composted on our property (not garden compost).

      2. The Zero-Waste Chef says:

        Thank you for this info 🙂

  6. Love the article. Just wanted to suggest organic sunflower oil as a moisturiser and make up remover instead of olive oil. For those prone to spots and acne, olive oil can clog the pores whereas sunflower oil doesn’t and is lighter and less greasy. I also add a vanilla pod to mine (because I love the scent) and a couple of drops of tea tree oil for its antibacterial properties 😀

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Marie, Thanks so much for these additions. That’s a nice idea to add the vanilla pod and tea tree oil. ~ Anne Marie

  7. My sister and I decided to be accountability buddies for some 2018 goals this year. We are young seniors who are trying to do right by the world and keep our footprints. My first thought of course was that I should finally lose that 10lbs so I look better on my 65th birthday this Spring, but the more I thought about it the more it made me realize that I didn’t care that much about my weight but about how to get my garbage even smaller than it is and when China announced that they didn’t want our plastics anymore I got my answer. I have been reading everything I can on how to reduce my plastic consumption (my daughter is very good at it so I will have some help), but the first thing I found was an unwrapped bar of shampoo/conditioner in the bulk food store. I put it in the shower and my husband loves it too so I am on my way! I just ordered some wax wraps and mesh bags for storage and shopping and am excited about my goal for a change. I don’t feel that society as a whole is working on this problem at all as people rush to embrace every new product that arrives on the market to make their lives easier (Keurig being a big one) when actually, fresh ground beans and French Press coffee tastes so much better. (I drink tea but my husband likes his coffee). Thank you for your informative blog and I will be following along to try to get better at this zero-waste project together. You are awesome!!

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Nancy, Thank you for the kind words. You’re right about the China thing. We may have a rude awakening when we no longer can ship all our trash elsewhere! I find shampoo/conditioner to be challenging so if you have that down, you’re well on your way. The wraps and mesh bags make a big difference too. Don’t get me started on Keurigs…arghhh… I am like you, I guzzle tea but my bf drinks coffee brewed in a French press. It’s such a nice ritual. Enjoy your journey! It’s a lot of fun 🙂 ~ Anne Marie

  8. Thank you for this. I tried (and failed quickly) at plastic free July – we have made small changes along the way, bar soap in the bathroom, carrying my own utensils, no bottled water, resuseable grocery bags or asking for paper if we forget. But I am going to get serious again this year!

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Kate, Those are all great changes. If only everyone did what you’re doing! Good luck on your quest 🙂 ~ Anne Marie

  9. […] The Zero-Waste Chef publiserte 31.12.2017, innlegget: Go Plastic-Free in 2018 (or Close to It). Her presenteres det 6 steg til en verden med mindre […]

  10. […] be purchased in reusable and/or recyclable glass or metal containers. The Zero-Waste Chef’s post on going plastic-free in 2018 has really inspired me to take action on […]

  11. This is a really useful article – will share it on my own FB page. It’s a subject dear to my heart. Like you I live in a reasonably temperate part of the world with a great market round the corner where I go for most of my food – which goes into my straw bag direct, so no bags. But I’ll be checking out your toothpaste and deodorant recipes.

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Thank you! Shopping at the farmers market slashes a huge amount of plastic. And the food tastes so much better than anything I can get at the grocery store. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I’ve been using the juice freshly squeezed from a lime wedge as deodorant for a couple of years. It works great. It takes time to dry, but to me it’s worth it to be using something completely natural.

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Melinda. I really have to try that. Over the years, a few people have said they use lemon (or lime) and that it works really well. Thanks for the great tip. ~ Anne Marie

  13. I love how thorough this is – so many great ideas here!

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Thank you so much 🙂

  14. This is one of my goals for the year, I have been transitioning away from single use plastics for a couple of years and switched over to multi use tupperware style lunch boxes last year, they are used daily by myself and the husband and I will replace with metal of glass when they eventually wear out.

    For the toiletries I am going to stick with Lush as they have done both shampoo, conditioner, exfoliating, deodarant and moisturiser/massage bars for years. You can also now get their shower gels and body conditioners in ‘Naked’ format, so no bottle at all.

    We have also discovered https://thefoodassembly.com/en recently, an internet farmers market and I am lucky enough to have one in my town so we are going to use it as much as possible for fruit and veggies so we can avoid the supermarkets plastic packaging.

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Thank you!

  15. I’ve been working in reducing plastic for the past few years and could use some help! I’ve got loads of ferments going, I see bags, cloth diaper 2 kids, com our own food, and make most of my own beauty products or buy without packaging. I’m stumped on meat and cheese. My husband and children are meat eaters. I could take it or leave it honestly. I could go to the local butcher shop and buy without packaging but I don’t know how those animals were treated and it isn’t organic. We buy our meat at the farmer’s market. It is pretty local ( farms within 3-4 hours away) organic, and I know the animals are being treated well. But there’s plastic packaging. We only eat meat twice a week but the packaging bothers me. I’m not sure how to get around it. I’ve gotten my family to agree on all the xhanges I’ve made.rhua far but vegetarian won’t fly. Also, our cheese is a massive wheel covered in wax. What should I do with the was? Sorry this is so long, been stumped for months! Thank you so much for your blog. I love it!!

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Sarah, I am the same way. I can live without meat but my daughter likes it. Meet and cheese are very difficult. Personally, I think it’s better to buy the plastic (sigh) if you know the animals are treated well. You could buy the largest package they have to reduce your packaging-to-meat ratio, and then freeze some in containers. I found this blog on what to do with wax from cheese: http://www.therogueginger.com/2015/08/reuse-cheese-wax.html I wish I had better answers! I think if you’re down to these dilemmas, you’re doing a fantastic job! ~ Anne Marie

  16. Also, sorry about the typos! Have a sleeping baby on me so it’s hard to write 😅

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      I remember those days of multitasking 😄

  17. Great post, thanks for sharing! I’ve been trying to get my family onboard for a while but it is a process. A slow one. Nevertheless I’m determined we can make a lot of small changes this year. I’m UK based and using lush for soap, shampoo and hair dye, as they all come package free (solid). And we recently got kittens and I’ve found wood pellets that turn to sawdust. Solids go in the toilet and saw dust ends up in the garden. Still comes in a bag (30l pack) but it can be recycled with carrier bags. Until I find a local wood processing place to get sawdust on its own..

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Sanchee, it is a slow process and harder when you have others to convince it’s a good idea! Thanks for the info about the litter. People ask me about it often. My cat was basically feral when I got him, so he always goes outside. But if we ever get him a little friend, I’ll know what kind of litter to buy. ~ Anne Marie

  18. Have you thought of using a bidet? I’m thinking of using one, on another blog someone commented they stopped using toilet paper and used the bidet and towel to dry.

  19. Loving working my way through your posts. Can I ask a quick one about home made deodorant? I made some that I think is similar to what you make (corn flour, coconut oil and I think there was bicarb in it), but I found it left white powdery marks on my clothes under my arms, very evident on dark clothing. I ended up moving on to a lush deodorant bar (works really well) but would much prefer home made. I haven’t seen anyone else mention the white marks issue. Do you find it happens for you? Thank you 🙂

  20. […] Read how to go plastic free: https://zerowastechef.com/2017/12/31/go-plastic-free-in-2018-or-close-to-it/  […]

  21. Love your blog and insta, thank you! I’ve recently made a small compost in my garden, and it’s working wonders! So many things are even sprouting from it. I’ve also starting using a menstrual cup, and am now in the market for a compostable or bamboo toothbrush! Do you have any recommendations?

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Heather,
      I love when that happens in the compost pile. Free plants! Free food! Right now I’m using a Brush with Bamboo toothbrush. I don’t think the bristles are totally compostable but I toss the stick on my compost pile after the bristles fall out.
      ~ Anne Marie

  22. Love your blog and insta, Thank you! We are a young startup trying to save the world and are passionate about finding a solution to some of the problems our world faces – starting with finding ways to reduce our plastic footprint on our planet.

    We create products that are affordable, natural, reusable and appealing – to enable people to go eco-friendly.

    You can even visit us on https://www.ecorightbags.com

  23. […] these options too easy? Try out a plastic-free challenge – try it for a day, a month, or even a year. Support legislation that makes it easier to avoid plastic or ban it altogether – and support […]

  24. Great list! I am in step 3 now. Hopefully I can reach step 7. I am working on it! 🙂

  25. We should also encourage the shopkeepers and the companies to use the environmental friendly packaging. This thing will create a big effect on making a plastic free world.

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Absolutely! And the corporations too. They create the stuff and they have moved the onus of cleaning it up onto the consumer.

  26. it took me many years to realize that washing my face with plain soap was actually making it break out more so I started using nothing just a nice warm washcloth and a gentle scrub and that’s it. When my daughters matured physically I encourage them to try just water as well and both have had beautiful clear complexions most of the month and very minor break out around that one time of the month. People ask them what product to use to keep such clear complexions and they enjoy telling them they don’t use anything at all except water.

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      My daughter does the same thing. Her skin is beautiful! I used so much junk on mine when I was her age. I spent piles of money. I started using water only several years ago and it works well! Occasionally I’ll dab on a bit of olive oil around my eyes and on my neck, usually while cooking 😉

  27. So glad their are people like you sharing their information. This year I have tried to cut my plastic and waist consumption significantly. It was difficult at first, to remember to change my habits daily, but it is something that once you start, it just feels natural. I am really pleased with all of the great information in this blog, including keeping reusable silverware in your bag at all times. 🙂

  28. littleplasticfootprint says: Reply

    What a great post – I will definitely be passing this on to some of my friends and family! We started out on this journey a few months ago and while it definitely isn’t easy, it is so rewarding when you do find plastic free products. There are some great options on sites like Etsy which hopefully start to become more mainstream!

  29. You might not relate too much to my daily life as I work and live in China. However, I have become more and more certain that living plastic-free is not a choice from us consumers, but from leading politicians. I hate plastic pollution and what it does to the earth. However, we have to admit that plastic is a fantastic material that is the cheapest (and best) option for MANY businesses. As long as the governments around the world don’t set a heavy tax or ban on plastic, we will not be able to make a big impact.

    I am sorry to sound pessimistic, but I am just afraid we need that type of action to move forward before it’s too late…

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Amund,
      Absolutely, we need government regulation to prevent this disaster from getting worse. Here in the US, it starts with grassroots efforts. Politicians won’t do anything about this unless they feel pressure. Hopefully in China, your government has more sense and will do something because it’s the sane thing to do.
      ~ Anne Marie

  30. I saw the concept of a 100% renewable take out container that creates plant life online for people who still want the convenience of single-use containers. Do you think this would be a good idea? The link is https://innovation.nfte.com/projects/seedtainer?fbclid=IwAR0HQPYBOLzRF1A_w5d4zLhYYu7aIARblM8WEIqcJcASJjoMza-MCL2UmYQ

  31. […] posts articles about how to live life more sustainably, like this piece about going plastic free. Anne is also realistic about her impact on the environment. Despite her […]

  32. Hello,
    I have come across your blog this year and I love it. I’m from Slovenia. I try to live more “zero waste” as we used to, but it’s hard. I go to my local market to take cheese and the lady there automatically put it in plastic before I can offer her the cloth. I asked in some bigger shops if I can use my own boxes for their made food (for example pickles, …. ) but they refused to do it. Not that I buy those (I do them at home), but I was just courious. Don’t to mention how hard it was to buy bread with my ownn bag: poor shop assistants didn’t know where to put the label and in one shop I was refused I had to have bread in their paper bag. If I only remember my yournger days (1980’s where we could buy bread without anything and it was put dirrectly into the shopping basket without anything on.)
    As for the toothbrushes. I have never seen on any of “zerowaste blogs” that I follow anytihng about Woody (it is a stick for cleaning teeth without the toothpaste). Have you heard of it?

  33. […] year’s 6-step plan to get off of plastic was my fourth most popular post of 2018. For 2019, I’ve created a zero-waste plan with a […]

  34. First,thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and skills on how to live plastic-free and more sustainably. As someone who has always tried to live environmentally; buy organic, grow my food, recycle, I was shocked by the extent of the plastic crisis and worked on cutting out single use plastic last year. After finding so many wonderful people like you on Instagram, I am resolving to cut plastic everywhere I can in 2019! I am overwhelmed now by how many things are made and/or packaged with plastic! I look forward to trying many of your ideas and hopefully sharing on Instagram.

  35. Love this posts where you educate propose people to look for eco friendly alternatives, I am trying to get a concious lifestyle, in fact this week I purchased my reusable straw pouches here; https://amzn.to/2B3jFsh . Congrats!

  36. Yes really nice article and we appreciate your work. Thanks for sharing it. And also we are also working to clean our environment.

  37. I’ve been doing steps 1-5 for the past years and I can tell you there’s a peaceful contentment within you when you know that these little steps can effect a great change. I reckon it’s high time to get DIY deodorants and shampoo! Great list, thanks for the tips.
    Cheers, Elna

  38. I love your articles and am just starting my own adventure into being no-waste and non-plastic. I’ve only ever boughten food that I’ve eaten, so that’s not a problem. The problem is that it’s mostly foods in packages (tuna, vegetables, diet coke). So learning how to eat otherwise is the mentally difficult part.

    I really appreciate this post though, as being a digital nomad and living in countries that do not take care of waste properly or having anything like whole-foods bulk bins, it makes you that much more cautious of how you’re contaminating the environment. I’d love to see a post if you have hacks for going no-waste while in other countries.


  39. Greetings!

    We really appreciate your hard work, Thank you!

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  40. Hi! Thank you for posting this! I live the eco-friendly lifestyle and avoid using plastic. I always use only reusable things and I also like green cleaning. It’s really important to make your life free from any toxins and chemicals.

  41. I am reducing our plastic use even more this year, 2020. We’ve already gone reusable cups, straws, utensils, etc. Yes, some are plastic but we are using the hell out of them until they can be recycled. With both a clumsy and forgetful husband and tween, we can’t afford to lose stainless or break glass containers frequently.

    That said, I appreciate this article and know that by doing my best, even if it isn’t exact or perfect, is helping and is MUCH better than apathy.

  42. Great advice! Ever since moving out for university and having to buy my own food I became so aware of the amount of plastic I was using! Obviously being a student I have to consider my budget when shopping, but I’ve been trying my best. Thanks!


  43. I’ve been on zero waste journey for a year now and have made huge strides. When I inventory our monthly garbage bag…it is overwhelmingly plastic bags from frozen vegetables and tofu packaging. I still buy frozen artichoke hearts (no oil), okra, organic edamame, corn, peas. I am vegan and use these as staples and they are hard to find fresh year round. I do try to eat seasonally and local, but found the variety lacking in winter especially. I guess I need to embrace rutabagas. And I have not found a local source of bulk tofu without packaging. I really am not interested in making my own. I already make so many things from scratch and as a vegan: tofu is sort of my chicken.

  44. An excellent post, as ever.
    I have nominated you for The Sunshine Blogger Award.
    Yours is by far the best zero waste blog that I follow and I have adopted many of your ideas.
    Thank you!

  45. Plastic pollution is one of the threatening problems faced by the environment today. Usage of plastic products should be reduced and more eco-friendly options should be considered. When it comes to bags, cotton bags are an ideal eco-friendly option that does no harm to the environment and they are also available in trendy designs. Earthsafe is the top brand in India that manufactures cotton bags which can be bought online. Visit their website to browse their collections.

  46. it was really usefyll for me..
    thanks a lot dears

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