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Plastic-Free Life: Following Beth Terry’s Footsteps
Lifestyle

Plastic-Free Life: Following Beth Terry’s Footsteps

Plastic-Free Life: How I Kicked the plastic habit and how you can too by Beth TerryAfter embarking on our ‘plastic bag reduction’ journey, I wanted to dig deeper on plastics. After a quick search of the Google, Beth Terry’s “Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and You Can Too” landed on my Kindle.

Terry has a very challenging mission: She wants to live plastic-free. At first, it sounds simple – stop buying water bottles, disposable crap, DIY or find natural versions. But then you realize that EVERYTHING is plastic. I didn’t think of my shiny Macbook Laptop as ‘plastic’ (it’s a miracle!), nor the Pyrex lids on my containers. Not clothes I wear, seats I sit in, airplanes I fly in…  Plastic is EVERYWHERE.

Terry does a great job at providing scenarios, suggestions and plastic blunders throughout her book. Ever consider bringing your own reusable containers to Whole Foods, having them slap on the weight sticker and filling their bulk food items with your own container? (You also get $.05 back for each container. I saved .25 cents in one trip!) Or have you asked for cheese or meats in your own containers before they’re plastic wrapped? You’ll be surprised at how easy these habits are to change.

One of my recent plastic-free initiatives is to swap out plastic in the kitchen for alternatives. Although I didn’t go on a rampage and toss the plastic immediately, I searched for durable alternatives and started swapping where I could. Scouring a few yard sales and kitchen sales, a few stainless steel cooking utensils quickly replaced the plastic varieties, and my pantry foods now live in glass bottles & jars. (I even brought today’s lunch snack of peanuts in a reincarnated salsa jar!)

As a working/blogging/cooking/social young lady, there’s a few things Terry suggests that are definitely outside my scope. For example, although I love the concept of making my own crackers, breads and hummus, I simply don’t have time. I do need sleep on occasion  😉 But I’ve started making my own quiche crusts and avoiding a lot of useless packaged goods.

Another main concept that hit home is that we’ve grown accustomed to purchasing disposable plastic products. Why can’t we challenge manufacturers (and ourselves) to purchase quality, durable products instead? I remember flipping out at Verizon in college when my cell phone (less than 1.5 years old) broke one day out of the blue. The woman on the line essentially told me that the phones weren’t made to last. Why can’t they? My $200 iPhone already has problems with the ‘Home’ button… and it’s barely over a year old. Shouldn’t I expect to hold on to my phone for at least a few years?

Terry’s tone and advice is charming like having having tea and crumpets with an old friend. She admits her faults and understands that not all advice may be applicable to the reader. With each chapter,  she gives several “better” alternatives than the heavily plastic items that are the norm. I highly recommend this book to any American consumer to consider what we’re using everyday – and how much we don’t know about the chemicals. (Hint: You’ll definitely become a little more plastic-free.)

Readers, are you conscious about the plastic in your life? What changes have you made?

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

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