Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Using No Disposables

*Paper cups are happy to serve us, but are they serving the environment?

I am now three weeks into my 30-day challenge of using no disposable, one-time-use products. So far, I give myself the grade of a B. 

I've done really well with not using any conventional disposable products like paper products or throw away cups from restaurants. Where I have struggled is with food packaging and the few times that I have eaten out that had some disposable products.

I have stopped myself on several occasions from using a product that I knew I would just throw away after one use. For example, I had a couple of times that I forgot my reusable coffee up in my car when getting coffee. One time I ran back out to get it, the other I just used a glass mug inside the coffee shop. Where I could have carelessly said "oh well" and taken a paper cup, I really tried to stick to my rules.

Food packaging has been tough because it is so out of control. Since I don't have easy access to a bulk store or a farmers market, most of the food I have access to has packaging. I have deliberately tried to buy products that aren't individually wrapped and don't have much inner packaging. I haven't been 100% successful in eliminating this, but I have tried to be  more conscious of what I am buying. However, I have turned down many purchases that I know come in an individual wrapper, knowing that I just can't buy something like that this month.

I have been more thoughtful when I go to reach for any type of paper or disposable product. I have been successful in using cloth towels when I need to dry anything and using washcloths to wipe up any messes. Just because this is in the front of my mind, it helps me to be more conscious and not just mindlessly reach for a convenient wasteful item.

For this challenge, I bought a reusable Keurig refillable cup. I use a Keurig at work to make coffee each day. It is a mesh cup that you can load up your own ground coffee in and empty once coffee is made. I recently found this Buzz Feed List of 24 resuable products for things you usually throw away. In case you are wondering, no I do not use #24. It's one disposable product I don't have thoughts of eliminating!