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One Thing you can do: Your tips for going plastic-free

One Thing you can do:  Your tips for going plastic-free
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After Eduardo Garcia shopped plastic-free for a week, we asked our readers for other tips on avoiding plastics. Hundreds of you responded, with suggestions for toothpaste, sunscreen and many other products. Here are some of your ideas (we plan to use more in future coverage).
Jasmyn Trent of Philadelphia provided these five simple solutions:
1. Bring a set of nonplastic utensils from home to keep at your desk/work space instead of grabbing the plastic utensils either at work or in a takeout restaurant. I’m fortunate to work in an office with access to a sink to wash my utensils at the end of each work day. But taking them home to wash and transporting them back wouldn’t be too much trouble.
2. Bring your own spoon/stirrer and never have to waste another one of those little plastic ones!
3. Keep a tote or nonplastic shopping bag at your desk for quick purchases made during the workday.
4. Keep reusable shopping bags in your car so you don’t have to rely on your memory when unplanned shopping trips arise.
5. Keep a mug at your desk for your workday caffeine fixes to avoid the wasteful disposable cups. Same goes for a reusable water bottle to cut down on cups and plastic water bottles.
We also heard from many readers about containers, clothes and more:
“A suggestion: get collapsible containers to carry in your purse for restaurant leftovers.”
Maria Nissen, Suffolk, Va.
“Rather than trying to be plastic-free in our clothing use, as all fabrics have environmental costs, I have decided that the best approach is to use clothing as if it was very valuable, much more valuable than its actual cost. This involves choosing carefully, buying only pieces that are going to be used extensively and for a long time, taking good care of clothing, repairing rather than replacing and reusing discarded clothing for other purposes such as rags.”
Anne Carter
“I cook soups and lunches and freeze them to take to work. I have used plastic tubs for years but as they break and wear out I have been replacing them with canning jars. As long as you leave room near the top for expansion, you can freeze with them.”
Paul Hanrahan
“I stopped buying tampon brands that have plastic applicators. I’m now about to switch to a menstrual cup to eliminate tampon waste completely.”
Anonymous
“I am on a very low budget, being disabled and below the poverty line. I watch the seasons and eat what’s local in season, which is easily put in cloth bags. Yogurt is tough to buy without plastic, so the plastic containers get used again and again — to put paint in, as a storage area for compost, as a storage space for leftovers.”
Pat Booth, Branford, Conn.

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