Saturday, May 11, 2019

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Again

I don't want to use plastic.  I'm heartbroken and disgusted when I see the ocean filled with plastic,
Who ever allowed this practice of dumping trash in the ocean?  I honestly can not imagine this being okay with anyone.  I do not think it should be legal and it makes me mad and sad.

For a while now I have been using my reusable cup and straw from Starbucks.  (I think it is absolutely stupid that plastic straws being 'banned' but not plastic cups and lids and silverware and bags.)  

I decided to write this post because the gal at Starbucks forgot to give me my ten cent rebate for using the cup...and she said it was because no one does it.  I thought, gosh, that's all we hear on the news everyday...the environment...the planet...terrible...extinction.....

Yet, this simple task of bringing a cup is not catching on.

I have not figured much out about this yet, but I will share with you that I bring my cup and I use reusable bags.

I use to use one plastic bag a day.  I went to get my chai and then I would pick up a few things from Target.  That's 365 bags a year.  Just me.  Not Katie.  Not Patrick.  I now carry two or three reusable bags with me.  It's so easy.  It has finally become a habit.  I get a small rebate.  I am happy that today I did not throw a bag in the ocean. I would never do that! Would you? 

Instead of a reusable bag, Katie has been taking my old Longaberger Market basket with her.
That a girl!  

Our plastic is not being recycled like we may think it is.
Apparently aluminum is the way to go.  It is being recycled.
Go Pop.  Go Beer.  haha.
Now there is drinking water in aluminum.  I have not tried it yet.

(On another side note....what did we do when we were little?  We drank out of water fountains.  We lined up after recess and got a messy gulp of water.)

I am not a big water drinker, but Katie is in the habit of carrying her own water bottle.  It is not such a hard thing to do.  She also carries little silicon straws with her. (I am trying to remember to say, "no straws, please".)

Also in the picture of the straws in a reused Patagonia jacket!  This cute coat was first worn by one or two of Nancy's girls.  It is at least 20 years old as it was worn by Emma too!!  
This is the most excellent way to reuse!!  LOVE hand-me-downs!!!
Katie buys a lot of her clothes used at Good Will or on Etsy.  She has gotten a cute pair of high waisted hounds tooth pants and a plaid kilt skirt!

Reducing comes easily for me....well...not weight.. Bwahahaha....
But really I don't mind wearing the same shirts and pants until they fall apart or are STAINED!
(Look at my instagram will see what I mean.)

I once asked my friend Camy what she thought the best diet was, out of all the different choices.

You know what she said?

Eat less food.

And I wrote it down and put it on my fridge.

And in our consumer society....the best and most radical thing I can say to clean up our beautiful planet,  our stunning oceans is:

Buy less stuff.

These are the little things I am doing. And I thought maybe I can encourage one or two of you to get a reusable cup or reusable bag.  
It's not so hard.

I am haunted by plastic in the ocean.

What tricks or tips do you have that can help us use less plastic and create less waste?
I'll bet someone has a "net" bag for produce. 

Please share in the comments!

Encourage one another,


  1. Hi! I have used my own shopping bags since moving here to Switzerland in 2006. If I forget (and I hate it when I do!) I just buy another! I even pack my reusable shopping bags when I travel to the USA, or anywhere, really.

    I try to buy as much veg and fruit as I can without plastic. My stores have paper bags for mushroom, when I need to contain something, I use them.

    We recycle our Nespresso capsules, it's a good feeling to know it's being handled properly. There's a recycle bin in the next village to ours, designated just for used Nespresso capsules!I

    We have drinking fountains all over the greater Zurich area. And it's good water :)

    Thanks for this post.

    Oh, BTW, what did Katie notice in regard to this issue during her travels?

  2. My grocery has all the little plastic produce bags throughout the produce department, and one day as a cashier was checking my produce he said "why do you put each little thing in a separate bag like this?" I said "I thought that's what I was supposed to do." He told me that they really don't need them in the bags, so in additional to my totes I bring little net bags for my produce, and leave the one and two items out of bags entirely. Every little bit!

  3. My youngest and I just had a long talk about this on Thursday! I try to remember my bags when I shop. I don't buy styrofoam plates when we have company and I don't want to wash a multitude of dishes. There are paper/cardboardy ones that seem like they would break down faster, but what do I know? Yes, WHY is garbage in the ocean? Yikes! It is evil. And I'm big on reducing (see what I did there?) and not buying gadgets packaged in the plastic refined in the mines of Moria that you can't even cut with a saw blade. AND (are you sorry you asked yet?) I try to do crafts with my littles using the stuff I have around the house. Shoeboxes, oatmeal containers, whatever. Happy Saturday, dear Donna!

  4. Tracie M.3:26 PM

    YES to all of this! We use stainless steel straws and water bottles, carry reuseable bags, and use cloth napkins and rags to clean with at home. I buy used and try to reuse as much as possible. We have a local store where I can buy a lot of things in bulk. I take a big basket of mason jars, they weigh them, then I fill them. I recently bought reuseable produce bags off of Amazon and they are nice. I also bought wooden dish brushes from an online merchant called the Wild Minimalist. I figure every little step we take is a good step!

  5. I have found that you can use your own cup for soda/coffee at Kwik Trip or reuse one of their cups and they give you a small amount off if you let them know it is reused.

  6. Our county was debating whether or not to ban plastic bags in stores. I'm not sure where they are in the process, but I have to admit I always forget my reusable bags! I will have to put them in my car and hope that is what I am driving when I need them. We do recycle plastic bottles regularly. I, too, love recycling clothing. I bought a gray Old Navy Vintage T from our local Goodwill. It is the most comfortable shirt I have every owned. It's V-neck which I love, too. I have had it for years. I realized a year or so ago that I have that shirt on in nearly all the photos I have of myself! I can imagine my grandchildren and their children looking at photos and commenting, "Do you think it's the only shirt she owned?!"
    I love your heart. Thank you for the nudge.

  7. Oh, and I always prefer brown paper bags if there is a choice of bags at the store. At least they decompose.

  8. Hi Donna! Did you see the 60 Minutes episode about recycling and China? I had no idea our plastic was going there. Since I was a girl scout back in 1970 😱, I have recycled. We are told that we must recycle. Plastic has over taken us. How did we get into this mess?

    I made produce bags out of mosquito netting that I bought at Joanns. 😃 I am also making reusable grocery bags to bring to my Son & daughter-in-law when I go to visit them in August. I always use reusable bags, there are several in my car and one in my purse. We received a britta filter for our faucet at Christmas. I really want to figure out what to do with all plastic containers that the berries come in at the store. They can't go in our recycling bin. I don't buy drinks out,I just carry a reusable bottle with me, so no straws for me. I made a fabric lunch tote to bring to work. I can just throw it in the washer when it gets dirty.

    You're trying, I'm trying, but sometimes I wonder how much it will really help. 😟

    1. Hi Robin,
      Thank you for letting me know about those odd comments. It happens and I have to delete them. I wonder too about how much my little bit helps...but 365 plastic bags a year is between you and me we have cut out at least 800 plastic bags. :o)


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