Friday, April 27, 2018

5 Easy Ways to Say No to Plastic

This post contains affiliate links. I'm linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup.

Earth Day was this past Sunday and the theme this year was End Plastic Pollution.

5 Easy Ways to Say No to Plastic

Plastic pollution is a huge deal! Did you know there are now multiple plastic islands floating around out there? It's sad and gross all at once. :(

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas. That is HUGE, my friends.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

I try to be conscientious about the amount of plastic I consume, but I can definitely do better. There are lots of ways to reduce the amount of plastic you consume and one of those ways is to purchase reusable products instead of throw-away products.

5 products to reduce your plastic consumption

1. Reusable shopping bags

I find this is one of the easiest things to do to reduce your plastic pollution. Plastic shopping bags are all too often immediately tossed into the trash. What a waste!
We have so many reusable bags! We made the switch several years ago and are really good at remembering our bags! We keep them in our car, so we are always ready for a trip to the store.

When buying reusable bags, try to find some that are washable. These are recommended to be hand washed, but I've been known to thrown them in the washing machine. Shhh... Don't tell. 🙊 We also have some insulated bags that are great for cold items on a hot Vegas day.

BONUS: Some stores even give discounts for bringing/using your own bags. How cool is that?!

2. Refillable water bottles

I'm always a little shocked when I see people drinking out of plastic water bottles! It drives me a little batty, actually. Those who drink out of plastic, store-bought water bottles don't usually refill them either (probably good, from a health standpoint) so they are one-and-done into the trash. ☹
We have a variety of refillable water bottles. I always have one with me whether I'm blogging, watching TV, or out shopping. While on a long run, I usually wear my camelback.

BONUS: If you get an insulated water bottle, your water will stay cool and refreshing for hours longer than a plastic bottle from the grocery.

3. Glass lunch containers

I am a brown-bagger. It's really rare that I don't bring my own lunch to work. Not all brown-baggers are Earth-conscience, though. The very term implies waste actually - with a paper bag to hold everything and plastic bags for your sandwich and other contents. And it would all end up in the trash at the end of lunch.

It doesn't have to be like that, though. I have a cute reusable, insulated lunch bag and I pack all my lunch contents in glass containers. Silicone is also a nice alternative. We have containers in a variety of sizes to fit almost anything you'd normally pack for a healthy lunch. 

BONUS: The added weight of glass will give you a little extra strength training each day. 😂 Plus zero plastic leaching into your food. Blech.

@EnjoytheCourse is sharing 5 products she uses to reduce her plastic consumption. What do you use or want to try?

4. Bring your own utensils

I've been a bring-my-own-lunch type of gal for more years than I can remember, and while I made the switch to glass or silicone lunch containers a few years ago, I was still using a plastic fork or spoon nigh on to daily.
It was really starting to bother me, so I began to bring my own utensils with me. The problem was that I would more often than not forget to pack what I needed in my lunch bag when I was putting my lunch together.

Amazon to the rescue! I now have a very nice set of utensils in a pretty green case to just leave at work and be ready for whatever I've prepared for lunch.

BONUS: You'll never have to worry about the plastic utensils not being restocked in your break room.

5. Don't forget a straw

You may have seen videos circulating recently about the poor sea turtles with straws getting stuck in their noses. So heartbreaking! But with it comes awareness and a challenge to reduce the number of plastic straws you use daily. Trust me when I say you probably use more than you realize.
We've been using reusable straws for awhile now AT HOME! But what about when you're out and about - at a restaurant or grabbing fast food or a cold drink from Starbucks?

At a restaurant, you can always request no straw and drink straight from the glass, but that's not always possible when your drink is lidded for travel.

We recently purchased this set of straws that comes with a very nice beechwood carrying case.  This set is designed for travel! Just throw it in your purse or briefcase or whatever.

This is our newest purchase, so we haven't gotten in the habit of always having it with us or even in the habit of asking for no straws, but we're on our way.

BONUS: You can be a trendsetter with your sexy new straw.

So much more!

These are just 5 ways/products that I've been using for years or have started using recently, but there are so many more simple ways to help reduce your plastic pollution.

  • Buy in bulk using your own containers
  • Use reusable k-cups
  • Bring your own mug when grabbing a to-go coffee
  • Learn to make your own cleaning products
  • Go to a farmer's market for your produce instead of buying prepackaged fruits and veggies

There are so many more ideas. A quick google search brought me to this page with 51 ideas to reduce plastic consumption.

What simple ways do you try to reduce your plastic pollution? Have you tried any of these products? If you could commit to making one small change to reduce your plastic consumption, what would it be?

Twitter → @EnjoytheCourse
Instagram → enjoyingthecourse
Facebook → EnjoyingtheCourse
Google+ → Enjoying the Course
Pinterest → clarindad


  1. I recently bought a plate and set of utensils to keep in my office desk drawer - I got so tired of using a paper plate and plastic fork on a daily basis, just to throw them away! I love these tips!

    1. So smart! I should probably get a plate to keep at my desk, too. I used too many paper plates last week.

  2. These are all awesome tips and if everyone just did a couple, it could make a huge impact. We do the glass straws, reusable lunch containers, and refillable water bottles. I have not been able to kick the plastic bag habit and I am ashamed. Maybe I could make it a summer goal.

  3. I have several water bottles (my car, home, work and gym bag) so that I can always fill them up and avoid buying a plastic bottle.

    I've been using re-useable bags for grocery shopping for years and they are great - way more sturdy than plastic bags too!

    1. There are so many benefits to using reusable shopping bags, right?

  4. The ending plastic theme was perfect this year for Earth Day. You have great tips, and I honestly just bought a new set of reusable utensils for work! I am thinking a lot about getting more reusable straws too!

    1. That's so awesome! We just started committing to no plastic straws when dining out and it's hard to remember to request No straw please but hoping that it becomes second nature soon. :)

  5. I had no idea these plastic islands existed. I take reusable things with me tonwork for lunch but I need to consider reusable straws when I go out.

    1. The plastic islands are so sad and ugly. :( We are new to using reusable straws when out and about but hopeful they become more second nature soon. :)

  6. I follow the blog of a family who sails around the world and they post pictures of "islands" of plastic garbage in the ocean. It's so heartbreaking to see it. I didn't know about the reusable straws. But I do all the other stuff!

    1. I'm so impressed that so many of my readers are already doing so many of these things. Maybe because runners tend to be people who care about the environment - at least recognizing that we should try to keep it beautiful because it's where we love to run?

      The plastic islands are so heartbreaking. :(