How to Be Plastic-Free

A friend of mine once joked about relationships - "Everything you love about me now, you'll hate about me later." Maybe love would last longer if it was made out of plastic! Once proudly touted as indestructible, we're now realizing that plastic's permanence wasn't such a good thing.
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Since gaining popularity in the 1950's, we've produced over 18 trillion pounds of plastic. Plastic that is not going anywhere. And production is on the rise.
The plastic we use today will likely outlive our species.
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Recycling is pretty much a farce. Very little plastic is recyclable, and only 9% of what is, is actually recycled. When we throw plastic "away," away is most likely a landfill (where it will never fully biodegrade), a factory in a third-world country (where it is burned as fuel), or the ocean (where over a million marine creatures a year die from debris). As plastic breaks down or is burned, it also releases toxins and greenhouse gases - this includes "biodegradable" plastics like produce bags. In May, a plastic bag was found in the Mariana Trench - the deepest ocean trench in the world. Nothing is untouched by plastic.
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The truth is there is no "away." An "out of sight, out of mind" mentality breeds dangerous complacency about the reality of our waste. Convenience justifies single-use plastics - used for just a few minutes, in the environment forever. 
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It will require a combination of policy, product redesign and shift in consciousness to save this planet. Considering what's at stake, it's not hard to stay inspired to live plastic-free! It starts with awareness - and grows to obsession. Challenge yourself to go a week without purchasing any plastic!
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Below I've shared some of my favorite plastic-free solutions for everyday products.
This path can be an adjustment - but like anything, you'll find your groove!
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Kitchen
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- Buy bulk! Produce, grains, spices, tea, fresh ground coffee & peanut butter...
Bring your own jars, paper or canvas bags.
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- Choose products packaged in glass, paper or metal!
(and then reuse & refill!)
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- Switch to bar soap & brush or copper scrubber for dishes!
(sponges are plastic & not recyclable)
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- Trash: reuse paper grocery bags, or if necessary, recycled trash liners
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- Make your own cleaning supplies! Hint: vinegar & lemons
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- Splurge on a handcrafted broom!
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Bathroom & Beauty
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- Switch to bars!
Shampoo, Conditioner & Lotion: Lush, Unwrapped Life, Chagrin, Ethique, Etsy
Body: Try local farmer's markets, or Whole Foods
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(yes, floss is plastic - never flush it! It'll end up in the waterways rather than the landfills.)
For toothpaste, try powdered toothpaste or easily make your own!
If you still prefer the tube, David's is made in USA & almost plastic-free.
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- Shaving: Use a bar & a safety razor 
(better shave, sexier design, more economical!)
or try laser hair removal or electrolysis!
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- Deodorant: Lots of options here
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- Eco-friendly, plastic-free toilet paper & Q-tips
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- Ladies, switch to zero-waste menstrual options like Thinx or a menstrual cup
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- Zero-waste makeup like Elate, Clean-Faced Cosmetics & Kjaer Weise
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Bedroom
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- Eco-friendly, plastic-free sheets like SOL Organics & Holy Lamb
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Closet
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- Choose organic, biodegradable materials like cottonwool & hemp
Avoid synthetics - choose recycled poly for technical wear!
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- Laundry detergent: Pure Flakes, Dizolve, Soap Works
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Personal
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- Try a plastic-free phone case!
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- Use matches! Lighters not "recyclable."
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- Genusee makes stylish eyewear out of recycled water bottles
from Flint, Michigan
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Pets
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- Still waiting on zero-waste kibble!
Sometimes pet food sold in bulk (Rainbow in SF)
Open FarmAbady Farms & The Honest Kitchen are low-impact options.
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- Most of those "biodegradable" poop bags are just plain plastic!
Look instead for the word "compostable," like these.
Or just use newspaper, etc!
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Lifestyle
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- Bring your own containers for take-out!
Delivery is out unless it's plastic-free (yay pizza!)
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- Say no to single-use packaging! Always carry canvas totes for spontaneous purchases, a jar for to-go beverages, a water bottle, a reusable straw and spork.
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- Shop local! So much plastic in shipping.
When shopping online necessary, specify "no plastic" at checkout.
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To wrap it up (or not) ...
Unsubscribing from plastic is clearly a lifestyle shift, but ultimately I find it to be a robust filter towards good-ethos and non-processed.
It's also a great practice in detachment from consumerism, marketing and excess products - over time it's also more economical!
Continue using the plastic you already have - after all, it's not going anywhere. 
But when it's time to purchase new items, for yourself and others, consider choosing plastic-free alternatives. 
We are the ones we've been waiting for!
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"7 a.m.
The garbage truck beeps as it backs up
and I start my day thinking about what I've thrown away..."
- Incubus
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ARIELLE is committed to plastic-free packaging!
Plant our wildflower seed-infused hangtags in a sunny spot,
water lovingly and watch them grow!