New Years Resolutions: how I reduced my plastic buying habits

Like every female in the world, I’ve wasted most of my New Years Resolutions on losing weight. Every single year, January 1st would sneak up on me and I’d say, “Okay, this year, I will finally lose weight/eat healthier/workout more”. Most years, I failed miserably (the miserable part would be the multiple restrictive diets). There were years where I didn’t fail because I succeeded in starving myself enough to lose weight, so I guess that’s good? But that story isn’t for today. 

I wanted to talk to you about the two New Year’s Resolutions that I actually kept and have impacted my life in a good way. My 2018 New Year’s Resolutions were to stop buying so much plastic and to keep my beauty routine cruelty free. I’m happy to report that 3 years later, those are still two huge things for me (and I’ve even converted my fiance)!

Alright. Why should you care about not buying so much damn plastic? Maybe because 51 trillion microscopic pieces of plastic, weighing 269,000 tons, is in our oceans. What. The Fuck. A plastic bottle can take up to 450 YEARS to finally disintegrate. It kills wildlife. It’s not something we can fix. The damage we’ve done is already there. Oh and thanks to those of you who refuse to wear a reusable mask (why?), there’s apparently more masks than jellyfish in our oceans now. Congrats.

If I sound angry, it’s because I am. The amount of people that I see with one time use water bottles makes me want to scream. Why in the world do you buy bottles of water regularly? Did you… not know that you can buy different water vessels that you can use more than once? Oh, you didn’t? Oh boy, is my face red. Here, let me help you with that:

Hydroflask

Nalgene

Simple Modern

S’Well

Klean Kanteen

Yeti

Thermos

Contigo

Brita

I just gave you 9 different companies to buy a damn reusable water bottle with. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Simple Modern (with a straw for my home use) and Hydroflask (for my leaving the house use). Just please, buy one. It’s not hard. Do you have shitty water at home? Buy a filter you absolute piece of garbage. While we’re talking about drinks, please stop using tea bags. Get loose leaf tea and use a strainer like this

Alright, now that I solved your very easy problem on water drinkage, let’s move onto more things you can do that literally are so easy it pains me to have to spell this out for you. 

According to ReuseThisBag, the average person goes through 350 to 500 plastic bags in one, single year alone. That’s insane. With Covid going on, this was a really hard one for me. I stopped using bags from grocery stores and started using reusable ones a while ago. I even got reusable produce bags. I was all set. Then, Covid. I stuck to not using the carry out bags by asking the cashier to put everything back in our cart. Then we would go to my car and bag there. Was it a pain in the ass? 100%. Now, you can bring your bag in most places but you have to bag yourself (aka: Jacob has to bag himself). Unfortunately, the reusable produce bags have sat, undisturbed, for almost a year now since they’re still not allowing those in the stores. 

There’s a million places to get those carry out bags. Do your own research. However, once this virus is over (whenever that is), here’s a link to the produce bags I do use. With that done, I also started using Stasher Bags instead of Ziploc Bags. I know that people baulk at the price, but I’ve had a set for 4 years now and while I’ve bought more, I’ve never had to replace the ones I originally bought. In the end, I save money. I also save most of the jars I buy that food came in, because it’s a great way to store leftovers. Pre-Covid, I’d use those mesh bags to buy things in bulk (such as rice) and then transfer them to a jar. Worked perfectly.

We’re all picking up from restaurants and doing DoorDash. Make it a point to request that they don’t give you any utensils or napkins. If you’re going on a socially distanced picnic, pick up some reusable to-go utensils and reusable straws. For food storage, ditch your cling wrap and get BeesWax (lasts ~ 1 year) or Silicone stretch thingies. We even stopped using one time use napkins(instead we use cloth napkins). You’re going to have to do dishes and laundry anyway. 

I remember when I was in my early 20s, someone actually made fun of me for using bar soap. She said, “Uh, I use body wash like an actual adult” and I let it get to me so much that I started using body wash. Thankfully, this person is a loser and I figured my life out so I started using bar soap again. There’s a ton of options but my older sister makes soap (and hopefully one day will launch an online shop so I can promote it!!!) so I use hers. There’s a ton of ways you can reduce plastic in the bathrooms like using bar shampoo/conditioner (Ethique is a favorite of mine), using bamboo toothbrushes OR recycled plastic toothbrushes (I couldn’t handle the bamboo, I tried). There’s even reusable cotton pads!

There’s so many other ways to reduce waste and plastic in your life. If you’re a person who menstruates, you should invest in a cup or reusable period underwear (like Thinx). It’s only gross if you’re immature. 

Listen. I don’t know how to get you to care about things like this, I really don’t. It takes you wanting to make a change, even if it’s a small one. I didn’t do this overnight. I did it slowly and once people saw what I was doing, I got gifted a lot of things too. I don’t do everything plastic or waste free. I still get my toothpaste and mouthwash in a plastic container (along with a lot of my beauty products). I definitely still use toilet paper and kleenex. A lot of my cleaning products come in plastic… But I’ve done what I can right now and each year, I hope to get a little better at it and it honestly becomes so much more convenient to have reusable things. 

So what’s stopping you?

5 thoughts on “New Years Resolutions: how I reduced my plastic buying habits

  1. Love this post!!! I’ve been trying to reduce my plastic use and waste, too. I bought Stasher bags and am so happy to read a review from someone I know I can trust – not a stranger on the internet, haha. I have the reusable bags for groceries and am so glad we can actually start using them again!

    For cleaning products, I started using Blueland and I LOVE them! You get tablets to refill instead of buying more plastic bottles & containers. Oooh and the packaging for the tablets? Compostable! Speaking of, in San Ramon, tea bags are on the list of things we can compost. Is that not the same everywhere?

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    1. Oooo I have never heard of Blueland!! I will definitely have to check them out. Check if you get any referral credits and if so, send me a code (I ALWAYS double check before I buy anything so my friends can get credits… and me too haha). For tea bags, not all of them are compostable so I would check in with the brands you use to ensure they are. The internet also states that a lot of people don’t take out the staple, which isn’t compostable. I’ve used loose leaf for a few years now because I honestly just got confused with what was and wasn’t compostable LOL

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      1. I don’t have any sort of referral code but I wish I did! Lol. I tell everyone about them and how amazing their dishwasher tablets are! I hated using those plastic pods, but these are just the tablet themselves in a cute, sleek tin and they send a few extra in case any break during shipping. They cleaned a burnt, week-old (I forgot about it) air fryer bin mess and it came out looking brand new. I wish I had pictures, haha!

        Ahhhh pesky staples of course, yes. Defs better off to use the loose leaf and strainer thingy. Thanks!

        Like

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