One of the ways I am trying to live more consciously is by watching my use of paper and plastic products. Have you ever thought about how much paper and plastic we use? Grocery sacs, napkins, zip locks, plastic utensils and cups, paper towels, toilet paper (okay, I’m really not changing anything with that one, just making a point). We use a lot of paper and plastic.
So what am I doing to change that?
I am using (or trying to use) reusable shopping bags. I say trying, because at least half of the time I forget to take them into the store with me. But I am getting better. I still struggle with the plastic produce bags because I use a lot of them, but am not sure what I can use to replace them. Of course, when spring arrives along with my garden and lots of farmers markets, it will not be as big of an issue. (More on gardens and farmers markets later in the CLM.)
I purchased cloth napkins for the house. This has probably been the best part of this process. Cloth napkins are so much better than paper ones. We use them three or fours meals, sometimes more depending on how messy the meals are, so we are not doing laundry any more often than before. It is really win-win for us and the environment.
The hubs used to purchase cheap paper plates to use to cover plates and bowls when microwaving food so as to not splatter food everywhere. And while I appreciate his concern for the cleanliness of our microwave I did not think it was very green friendly. We now own a $2 white plate from Target to use instead. It works great.
When taking my lunch to work, I try to always package everything in reusable tupperware, I have taken real utensils to work which I use and wash there. If I do use zip locks, I try to only put things in them that will not ruin them; bread, crackers, etc. That makes them reusable!
We also try to reuse zip locks when we store fruits and veggies in the fridge. We eat a lot of the same foods, so it is easy to rinse and reuse the bags.
The upside to all of this trying to use less paper and plastic products is that by doing so you also save money. We are buying less napkins, paper towels, zip locks, and other items. Most grocery stores give you five cents off for every reusable bag your bring in. None of this is big money savings, but it all adds up.
Nothing I am doing in itself is going to change the world and stop global warming, but every little bit helps, right?