avoiding clamshell packaging is challenge

As I write this “Pruning Plastic” blog post it is July 23. One more week till the end of July’s Plastic Free Ecochallenge – an international effort to motivate people to reduce their use of Single Use Plastics (SUPs) by learning, documenting, and competing with folks around the world. Sure, it’s a game, but a game with a worthy purpose – to slow down global warming. Yes, it’s almost the end of July but it’s not too late for you to do something. August 1, 2022 will not be the end of planet Earth, but I challenge you to do something about your use of plastics – sooner rather than later.

You don’t have to be a long reader of this Living Lightly blog to know that I often deal with environmental topics, especially how to reduce plastic use. (For a collection of recent plastic posts click here. Especially check out #238 here.

For myself, I’ve spent this July challenging each piece of new plastic that wants to enter my home. For example, I

  • Use reusable bags for most of my shopping.
  • Switched to cleaning products such as CleanCult, Dropps, Etee, Earth BreezeTruEarth since they aren’t packaged in plastic.
  • Make my own yogurt and alfalfa sprouts; plus I grow my own vegetable and berries in season
  • Justify some plastic for medical uses and some plastics I just reuse – thus eliminating them from the SUP category.

BUT, I’m not perfect and some SUPs still enter my home. I then forgive myself.
Beyond avoiding Single Use Plastics, it occurred to me that individual lifestyle changes like reducing SUPs is good, but I could multiplying my efforts by:

  • Educating and inspiring others to reduce their use of plastic. Thus, I started a free weekly email called ECO-TIPS for faith and civic organizations to put in bulletins and newsletters. Individuals can also subscribe.
  • Participating in local and national organizations that work for systemic change. This is probably the most impactful but also hardest step since it often involves political activism and a lot of meetings.

You may already be doing a lot of the above, OR it all can feel pretty overwhelming or burdensome. If so, you might find these two timely background papers inspiring:

So, what’s you best SUP tip for others or an element of SUPS that you struggle with? Curious minds want to know.