10 Tips for Reducing Plastic in our Lives

Take a minute and look around you.  How much plastic do you see?  So many products that we use everyday are made of or stored in plastic.  Plastic will NEVER break down – EVER!  You may be able to upcycle it or recycle it but there is a limit to the number of times it can be used.  In the end, it will end up floating in our oceans as tiny little plastic pellets that will harm the animals and ecosystems.  I won’t go into the details behind all of the waste but I encourage you to visit a friend of mine, Beth Terry, and her blog My Plastic Free Life.  While she may be one of the biggest advocates for living plastic free; we can all make little changes in our lives to help the problem.

Keep reading and scroll down to enter the Balm Baby Plastic FREE July Challenge and Giveaway!

10 Tips for Reducing Plastic in our Lives

I have compiled a quick list of practical tips on how we can all reduce the plastic in our lives.  Don’t let these overwhelm you – just pick a few of the items on the list and pay attention to the things that apply to you.

  • Skip the disposable plastic water bottles!  This one is HUGE!!!  If there is one thing you can change, fill up a reusable water bottle (glass or stainless steel is preferred) and take it with you everywhere.
  • Change to bar soap!  Instead of the (probably toxic) liquid bottles of body wash, go back to old-school bar soap.  Not the big name brand bar “soap” (that’s not really soap) but those natural handmade bars of soap.  They contain less chemicals and are much better for our skin.  My personal favorite is the Eco Nut’s Lavendar Artisian Bar Soap (wrapped in cardboard – not plastic).  You can also find different brands of handmade soap at farmers markets and local health food stores.
  • B.Y.O.B. (Bring your own BAG)!  I know we all TRY our best to remember to bring our reusable shopping bags to the store with us but even I am guilty of forgetting mine from time-to-time.  I know most grocery stores have bag “recycling” programs but remember that plastic NEVER goes away and will end up in the oceans!
  • Buy in Bulk, Avoid individual wrapped items, Skip the Packaging!  A lot of the plastic that we find in our lives is in packaging.  I HATE seeing vegetables packaged in plastic at the grocery store when they can just as easily be purchased by themselves.  Our local Publix packs zucchini in a pack of 3, neatly wrapped in plastic.  They also sell them by themselves.  Skip the pre-packed goods and go for the ones NOT wrapped in plastic.  Buying in bulk can also reduce the amount of plastic waste.  If you shop at farmers markets and local health food stores they often encourage you to pack your own items using reusable bags to avoid the waste.  This saves those companies money also.
  • Choose better products.  When you’re shopping look for items that are packaged in glass (which can be recycled or reused), paper, or more eco-friendly packaging.  Balm Baby (and many other companies) uses glass containers for their products with little to no plastic waste.
  • Skip the baggies and plastic wrap!  Store leftovers in reusable containers (preferably not plastic – but those are still better than disposable products) and invest in some sandwich wraps and snack bags.  These reusable cloth bags can hold your child’s (or yours) snacks in their lunchbox or when you’re on-the-go.  Many of them are lined with a PUL waterproof type material (yes, made of plastic) that will keep fruits (or messy snacks) from leaking out.  You can find Planet Wise snack bags at Kelly’s Closet.
  • Cloth diapers!!  This one is my favorite.  While some modern cloth diapers are lined with plastic (PUL to keep them waterproof); if you prefer to live with less plastic cloth may be an option.  For the most eco-friendly and plastic-free options look at pre-folds, flats, and wool covers.  Even the cloth diapers that do use PUL to keep them waterproof will help reduce the amount of plastic compared to disposable diapers.
  • Opt for wooden and natural toys!  Skip the plastic toy kitchen, blocks, and baby dolls and go for the sustainable and long lasting toys.  Wooden toys are much healthier (just make sure if they are painted they are lead-free) if your child puts it in their mouth.  Hand sewn, fabric dolls will last long and can be washed when they are dirty.  There are some really great options for natural toys if you look on Etsy and other handmade marketplaces.
  • Make you own!  Whether it’s cooking at home or making your own cleaners; when you make your own items you usually reduce the amount of plastic that is generated.  My coffee addiction is much better for the environment when I brew a pot at home instead of the plastic cup, lid, and/or straw  that are used in my favorite Frappuccino.  That doesn’t mean that I skip the Starbucks all the time but I do find myself brewing at home more often.  Your pocketbook will also appreciate the savings.
  • Skip the stuff!  Think twice before you buy something.  If it’s not something that you see yourself needing in a few months then why buy it now.  We can all minimize the amount of stuff in our lives.  I mean, how many purses do you REALLY need?  Does your child REALLY need one more plastic toy they will get bored with (or will break) next week?

What ways have you reduced the plastic in your life?  Share your tips and ideas in the comments section below.  You never know who you’ll inspire!

Balm Baby Plastic Free Challenge and Giveaway

Now, I know you want to know how to enter the Balm Baby Plastic Free Challenge and Giveaway!!!

Challenge Details:

  •  Challenge will start July 1& end July 31, 2014. Form must be filled out & filled out HERE (it’s short)
  • Switch one thing either within your household or your place of business within the month of July that helps to reduce plastic use. Then post a picture to Balm Baby’s Facebook page (facebook.com/balmbaby).
  • Make sure you ALSO enter the GIVEAWAY via Rafflecopter (SEE BELOW).  We added a giveaway to show our appreciation for the support of you taking the challenge.
  • Prizes include: $100 Gift Card to be used at our online shop (taylorspureandnatural.com) * Glass Dharma $25 Gift Card * Pura $50 Gift Pack * SmartBottoms AIO Cloth Diaper (One Size ORGANIC) * Irresistibly Green $25 Gift Card * Life Without Plastic Stainless Steel Popsicle Mold set * Best Bottoms Shell & Inserts * Planet Wise Snack Pack Set * Brinware Plate Set * Imagine One Size Pocket Diaper 2 Pack * Rescued Rumps BreastFeeding Tshirt * Kissed by the Moon Tea Collection item + BALM! Baby SUN! * Little Flock of Horrors “The Boss Bodysuit” (Merino Wool!)  * PLUS Stay tuned for MORE!
  • Baby Steps Peeps! Don’t stress or get all “perfectionist” like I do! I know it can be intimidating sometimes, so just focus on your one little baby step. (:::

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. Melinda C says

    We make our own cleaners, cloth diaper, and compost, along with many other things. Composting helps because it means we’re throwing less food waste into the garbage, using fewer plastic bags.

  2. Rikka Korte says

    I cloth diaper and I reuse all my containers (ex: coolwhip, formula, baby wipes, etc) I make my own laundry soap and store in mason jars. I have my own garden and do a lot of canning. I have stopped buying water bottles and pop.

  3. DebbieKL says

    It can be tough! The less convenience foods and more at home meals the better! If I do get plastics I recycle as much as I can!

  4. says

    We recycle nearly everything plastic. Cups, bottles, jars, lids, even grocery bags, when we have forgotten the other ones. We re-use them occasionally for small trash cans as well, although most get recycled. We have WAY more recycling than trash. Wish we had curbside service but it’s not to be. Not that we HAVE a curb. Anyway…I have put stuff back before that had plastic instead of being wrapped in paper or cardboard, etc.
    Jill S recently posted..Torching my microfiber inserts…why ‘cloth’ isn’t always CLOTH when it comes to diapersMy Profile

  5. says

    I do not have a problem with plastic, per say. However, we recycle and reuse what we can. We throw very little out. I personally am working on using fewer paper products in my home. I recently switched to recycled t-shirt cloth napkins, which has already saved a lot!
    Heather Johnson recently posted..G Is for Grapes Handprint CraftMy Profile

  6. Courtney says

    We cloth diaper, and last year, I invested in glass water bottles for the whole family. This year, I focused on switching all of my household cleaners to homemade, which means I now use one squirt bottle for my all purpose, chemical free cleaner, and microfiber cloths for almost everything else. Since I’ve been working on this for a while now, and would like to participate in plastic free July, even though I don’t think I’m eligible for the giveaway since I live in Canada, my challenge this month is going to be to make my own laundry detergent and body soap (just ordered ingredients online last night). I’m also going to let my 4 year old get involved by making upcycled produce bags for the grocery store out of hubby’s old t-shirts.

  7. Kiddobloom mom says

    completely agree with your tips. These small things that moms do, added together can truly change the earth.

  8. Mishka @ Pest Control says

    I opted for glass food storage. I’m also DIYing — homemade deo, insect repellant, air freshener and body wash. Buying in bulk really helped me a lot!

  9. says

    Incredible advices! We should stop complaining that the environment is polluted. The change should start from us! With small steps we can achieve so much! I use only hand made soap. These soaps do not contain any toxic ingredients or parabens. I also use only fabric shopping bag when I go to the grocery. These are small changes in my life and I already noticed that I throw in the garbage less plastic waste!


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