As soon as I read about Rodale's Plastic-Free February Challenge, I felt guilty and overwhelmed. As a parent of young children, I often feel like my life is saturated with plastic, from the car seat to the potty chair, from the remote control pick up truck to the tube of diaper cream. Here are Rodale's suggested rules for Plastic-Free February:
- No buying or acquiring new plastic.
- No cooking with plastic or storing food in plastic.
I really have neither the time, money or energy to succeed with this challenge. And if I'm going to take a challenge, I want to succeed. But since I still consider myself an Eco-novice, I am giving myself permission to practice a modified Plastic-Free February. A month of Plastic Awareness, if you will. Here are my rules:
- Make note of all plastic I purchase or acquire. Look for plastic-free packaging or forgo some purchases that require plastic.
- No cooking with plastic or storing food in plastic. I am actually well on my way to rule 2, with a few exceptions. I am definitely not plastic-free with on-the-go snacks. I am close to being waste-free, though, and am trying to acquire more plastic alternatives as I can afford to do so.
- Minimize all other plastic use. This rule is vague enough as is that I may actually be able to claim I have done it at the end of the month! I already know that my life is filled with plastic. I will use this month to find creative and frugal alternatives to some of our plastic use.
Since I know I will not be perfect, here are my own personal steps on the way to plastic-freedom (from worst to best):
Level 1: Disposable plastic: Ziploc baggies, non-recycleable plastic packagingMany of my posts this month will address plastics and plastic alternatives, as well as how I am performing on the challenge.
Level 2: Recycleable single-use plastic: grocery bags, produce bags, product containers
Level 3: Durable reusable plastics made of less-toxic materials: numbers 1, 2, 4, 5
Level 4: Plastic-free alternatives: wood, glass, stainless steel, cloth