What you can do to reduce your use of plastic

Plastic water bottles (PETE)

By Catherine Haug, March 2019 (photo, right, from Wikimeda Commons)

Plastic water bottles are one of the biggest contributors to environmental and ocean pollution. If you use plastic water bottles, consider the negative environmental impact they have, and then invest in a water filter for your kitchen/bath sink. Costs too much, you say? Check out the Drinking Water Base blog’s article and Water Calculator that compares bottled water cost and environmental impact, with that of a water filter. (2)

But there are lots of other options to avoid use of plastics, too. The following suggestions are from Dr. Mercola (1) on “Living without Plastic,” with notes by Catherine in blue text:

  • [Get a water filter for your kitchen sink];
  • Use reusable cloth shopping bags for groceries;
  • Avoid processed foods (which are stored in plastic bags with chemicals). Instead, buy:
    • fresh produce, and [use cloth or other recyclable bags] instead of  plastic bags;
    • meats [wrapped in butcher paper instead of styrofoam and plastic].
  • Buy foods in bulk when you can;
  • Store foods in glass containers or mason jars rather than plastic containers and plastic freezer bags;
  • Take your own leftovers container to restaurants;
  • For coffee to go: bring your own mug;
  • For water to go: bring [filtered] drinking water from home in glass water bottles instead of buying bottled water;
  • [If you love soda pop, buy brands bottled in Mexico in glass bottles];
  • Request no plastic wrap on your newspaper and dry cleaning;
  • Avoid disposable utensils and straws;
  • Consider switching to bamboo toothbrushes and brushing your teeth with coconut oil and baking soda to avoid plastic toothpaste tubes;
  • [Buy cleaning products (dish or laundry soaps, etc.) that come in glass containers or paper boxes];
  • Opt for non-disposable:
    • Razors;
    • Washable feminine hygiene products for women;
    • [Washable, cotton “adult diapers” for men/women]
    • Cloth diapers;
    • Handkerchiefs instead of paper tissues;
    • [Cloth, preferably cotton] rags in lieu of paper towels; and
    • Infant toys made of wood [or cloth] rather than plastic.

Read on for other things you can do to avoid plastics.

Other things I encourage you to do:

  1. If you use supplements that are packaged in plastic bottles or boxes: Switch to a brand that packages in glass bottles or waxed paper boxes.
  2. If you use dairy and/or veggie milk/cream (such as coconut, almond, cashew, and soy milk/cream products). switch to a brand that packages in glass bottles or waxed paper boxes.
  3. If you buy from a local dairy that uses plastic bottles/containers for their products (such as Kalispell Kreamery or Lifeline Dairy), encourage them to switch to glass or waxed paper milk/cream containers.
  4. If your butcher wraps fresh-cut meats in butcher paper, give him/her a big “thankyou.”
  5. If your butcher places fresh-cut meats on a styrofoam tray and then wraps them in plastic-wrap, encourage him/her to switch to butcher paper.
  6. If you buy frozen veggies that come in plastic bags/boxes, encourage your grocer to provide brands that come in waxed paper boxes.
  7. If you buy breads, etc from a local bakery, if they put the bread in plastic bags or wrap, encourage them to use paper bag/wrap instead.
  8. If you buy frozen TV-dinners, and the food item comes in a plastic tray that can be used in a standard oven or microwave to warm the food, your best options are:
    1. Make a large batch of the food from scratch and then freeze portions in jars (if liquid), or wrapped in butcher paper if more solid.
    2. Find a product that doesn’t have plastic in contact with the food.

Otherwise, to use a commercial TV-dinner:

    1. Look for a brand that does not provide the food item in a heatable plastic tray; or
    2. Remove the food item from the heatable plastic tray and place in a glass or ceramic baking dish or on a stainless steel cookie sheet or pie pan.

And of course, it is always best to use fresh, local produce rather than canned or frozen produce


  1. Mercola on Living without Plastic (articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/03/06/living-without-plastic.aspx)
  2. Drinking Water Base drinkingwaterbase.com/water-calculator

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