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Congrats to our Plastic-Free Team!

Thanks to all 23 folks who took the Plastic-Free Challenge with us in July. Many people didn’t report their daily successes, but the total impact of even those who did is impressive! 95 minutes learning, 22 zero-waste meals, 60 plastic containers saved, 9 hours volunteered and more! Plus 1 member did a waste-audit, 1 made a donation and 1 attended a community event.

We hope everyone picked up at least one new habit and will continue avoiding plastic whenever possible. Here are some of our experiences:

I went shopping today. I had lunchmeat on my grocery list. I went to the deli counter thinking “they will wrap it in paper, problem solved.” They did wrap the meat in paper, but then they put it in a plastic baggie. I asked if they could ‘not’ do that, but no, it’s a “food safety issue.” At least I can reuse the baggie. But the meat they slice from is wrapped in plastic and they wear plastic gloves. So, overall, I’m not sure how much of a gain it is. I’ll see what alternative I can find at the farmers market this weekend. The other problem was picking up meds. I don’t think there is a solution to this one. Though I’ve been able to reuse some of the meds bottles for craft supplies and small spice jars for my kitchen on my boat. The orange meds bottles aren’t even recyclable!

Update: I learned that at Ballard Market you can bring your own containers to the deli counter, woo-hoo!

It was a challenge alright!  Hopefully it has become a habit, now, to cook without generating plastic waste.I hope, also, that my talking about the eco-challenge to my friends has jolted or encouraged them think about an eco-challenge for themselves. And I think I will be talking about it for a while longer, past July, August, 2019, onward to…

My challenge aligns perfectly with a behavior change assignment that I have for my master’s program coursework this summer! We were tasked with taking on a ‘mini behavior change’ as part of my social marketing coursework. Mine was to eliminate/reduce single use plastics!

Haven’t used plastic for anything but cat waste for a long time

I switched from a bottle of body wash to bar soap.  I also found that Ballard Market has bars you can cut yourself and purchase without any packaging.  I plan to switch our hand soap near our sinks to these bars when the bottles run out.

got a rabbit from a farm that purports Perma-culture.  the butcher let me use a calendar sheet to wrap the rabbit!  yes, it works, they can be accommodating.

I picked up a new habit: I got a set of reusable mesh bags to take to the grocery store along with the reusable shopping bags I am already using.  This way, I can put the produce in them instead of wasting another plastic bag.  Even better: I love salad green mixes, but those come either in plastic containers or bags.  Now I found one grocery store that has those mixes in bulk (most stores don’t!), and I can use my little mesh bags there.