Cut plastic from your home and inspire your family to live plastic-free

April 11, 2019 by  
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Reducing plastic usage is a challenging task in today’s everything-plastic society. We all understand the importance of reducing petroleum-based emissions and the post-use waste that never really goes away, but implementing practices in your home can seem overwhelming. It’s even worse when only one member of the family is working towards the goal. The good news is that kids are very open to making a bit of extra effort if they understand that it is good for the environment and the animals in it, including us. The key is to make lessons applicable to their daily life and make goals incremental and therefore, attainable. Here’s a list of ways you can get the entire family involved in reducing your plastic consumption without tears or arguments. Grocery shop together One of the best ways to reduce plastic in your home is to keep it from coming into the home in the first place. The grocery store can be a full-blown battle when it comes to buying products packaged in plastic. From the wrap on produce to the containers your favorite sour cream comes in, you will need all the ideas from your family members to get the job done. Related: Zero-waste kit ensures reusable essentials are always nearby Heading to the store together gives you a chance to challenge and educate each other. Instead of reaching for the apples in the plastic bag , get the ones piled in a paper bag, use a compostable bag, or bring your own produce bag to the store. If you have a few bathrooms, buy shampoo in bulk and divide it up instead of buying separate plastic shampoo bottles. Let the kids choose their own stainless steel or glass shampoo containers they want for bathtime. These are just a few example of the thousands of plastic products at the grocery store you can avoid with a concerted effort. Carefully select gifts It feels good to give gifts to friends and family members, but it doesn’t feel good to contribute to plastic waste , so this is another opportunity to skirt the plastic options. Let your kids help make layered gifts in a jar with ingredients for soup or cookies, with no waste. Choose wooden toys over plastic, buy books and give the gift of experiences. Also pay attention to the types of wrapping you use, staying away from plastic bags and products packaged with plastic. Use homework to your advantage When your child comes to you to brainstorm ideas for a school project, think plastic elimination. For example, if the topic is controversial political differences, have them write about the ban on plastic bags. This gives them the opportunity to better educate themselves, and others, on the topic. Have a good old-fashioned challenge Every family becomes motivated by a sibling-to-sibling or parent versus child challenges. Eliminating plastic from the home is no exception so come up with a great reward (plastic free of course) and set up the boundaries of the challenge. Give every person or team a recycling bin. You could mandate that everyone drop all plastic waste into the tote and the team at the end of the week or month with the least amount of plastic waste wins. Alternately, drop items in when you find a way to replace it with a plastic free option, such as making your own yogurt, which eliminates the need for yogurt containers from the store. The person or team with the most plastic wins! Ban single-use plastic Refusing to buy and use single-use plastic is a personal choice, but as a family you can choose to ban those products from your home. Eliminate single-use straws, plastic water bottles , multi-purpose cleaner spray bottles and a thousand other things. Replace them by making your own products (laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, fabric softener or even bubble bath), using reusable straws and water bottles and bringing your own containers to the bulk section for refills. Get creative When the conversation gets started, you might be surprised at what ideas your crew comes up with. Make it easy to record those ideas by making an idea jar. This can be as simple as a large mason jar with a ribbon around the top or a label on the front. Set aside a specific time to read the suggestions and vow to incorporate one idea each week, or whatever works for your family. Remember the goal is progress, not perfection. Plan a trip When you announce your next family day trip or longer vacation, brainstorm ways to make it plastic free. Obviously you’ll skip the store-bought water bottles in favor of refillable ones, but what about other items you’ll need? For example, source a metal bucket and shovel for a trip to the beach instead of taking plastic varieties. Tour a recycling plant While you’re unlikely to be 100 percent successful at eliminating plastic from your home, recycling is an option for many items that at least keeps it out of the landfill . Figuring out what can be recycled can be very confusing. Every facility is different in the types of plastic they accept. So, get together as a family and take a tour of a recycling plant or attend a local lecture to better understand the process. Having that kind of visual education will resonate as you make purchasing decisions. Plastic-free lunch challenge Lunch time can be a wasteful venture with disposable silverware, sandwich bags, and drink containers. Instead, skip the Gatorade and flavor water in your reusable bottle with powdered crystals instead. Ditch the sandwich bags in favor of glass or stainless steel containers. Bring real silverware or track down a bamboo set that travels with you. Volunteer in community clean up events Being involved in community events is always a great family activity and when the event targets beach or city clean-ups the rewards go well past the single day. Understanding the damage that plastic brings to sea life or the local park gives the entire family motivation to cut it out. Images via Shutterstock

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Cut plastic from your home and inspire your family to live plastic-free

‘Single-use’ is announced as the Word of the Year 2018

November 8, 2018 by  
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Collins Dictionary has announced its choice for 2018 Word of the Year — single-use. This term describes items, often plastic, that are made to be used just once before they are thrown away. The frequent use of these items has been blamed for damaging the environment and negatively affecting the food chain. Since 2013, use of the word has increased fourfold with a rise in public awareness thanks to news stories, images of plastic items adrift in oceans and the global campaign to reduce the proliferation of single-use items, including the infamous plastic straw. Collins Dictionary selects the word of the year after its lexicographers monitor the 4.5-billion-word Collins Corpus, which is an analytical database that contains written material from websites, newspapers, magazines and books published around the world. The Collins Corpus database also includes words from spoken material on TV and radio, plus everyday conversations. Related: Plastic straws are a thing of the past, but which reusable straw is best for the future? After the lexicographers monitor the Collins Corpus, they create a list of new and notable words that reflect our ever-changing culture. Things that rose to the top this year included environmental issues, political movements, dance trends and technology. Other words on the shortlist included ‘floss,’ a dance where you twist your hips in one direction while swinging your arms with fists closed in the opposite direction, made popular by the game Fortnight; ‘VAR,’ or video assistant referee, which became popular in 2018 after being used in the FIFA World Cup; ‘gammon,’ a red-faced, angry person who is the opposite of a “snowflake”; and ‘plogging,’ or picking up litter while jogging, which has become successful following the increase in awareness of humanity’s impact on the environment. Collins ended up choosing single-use because of the global movement to kick the addiction to disposable products and the increase in awareness of how people’s habits and behaviors impact our world. + Collins Dictionary Image via Jonathan Chng

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‘Single-use’ is announced as the Word of the Year 2018

Eco-friendly geodomes provide a luxurious stay in an idyllic Quebec forest

November 8, 2018 by  
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Tucked into the picturesque countryside in a remote area outside of Quebec City, the Dômes Charlevoix are three dome-shaped eco-retreats that offer luxurious stays for guests wanting to reconnect with nature. In addition to their swanky accommodations, the geodomes, which were designed by Bourgeois / Lechasseur Architects , are open year-round thanks to the numerous passive features that make them resilient to Canada’s strong winters. Perfectly integrated into the quaint landscape of Petite-Rivière-Saint-François, the canvas-covered domes offer guests all the amenities of a top-rated hotel. The structures are set on large wooden patios, which are elevated off the ground on large supports to reduce their impact on the land. The decks are installed with hot tubs, offering a serene place to take in the incredible views. Related: Explore the world’s driest desert at these eco-friendly geodomes Erected on the sloped mountainside, the domes are orientated to make the most of not only the breathtaking vistas but to also offer maximum exposure to natural light . For a resiliency that withstands the bitterly cold months, the domes were built with radiant concrete floors, which help maintain a comfortable, uniform temperature indoors. The luxurious domes sleep up to four adults, with a large queen-sized bed on the ground floor and a second queen-sized bed on a mezzanine level. Guests will enjoy a full kitchen with a dining table, a spa-like bathroom and a large chimney with ample firewood supplied to keep the living space warm and cozy. Large windows enable guests to take in the views from the comfort of the interior, or on a nice day, they can enjoy the surroundings from the outdoor deck. All of the basic amenities such as linens are provided. Guests just need to bring their own food and plenty of energy for exploring this beautiful location. + Dômes Charlevoix + Bourgeois / Lechasseur Architects Photography by Maxime Valsan  

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Eco-friendly geodomes provide a luxurious stay in an idyllic Quebec forest

Say Goodbye to Disposable Chopsticks Forever with Penstix

July 10, 2014 by  
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Did you know that over 80 BILLION pairs of disposable chopsticks were thrown out worldwide last year? It might seem inconsequential to toss out that used pair of bamboo or wooden sticks after you’ve finished hoovering your take-out sushi , but if you think about how many other people are doing the same thing, every day, several times a day, around the globe… the numbers are staggering. In this modern era of eco-awareness, most people are aiming to reduce their garbage waste as much as possible, and litterless lunch options  are among the best ways to do that. Penstix is a pair of eco-friendly chopsticks that tucks neatly into a pen, can be cleaned easily, and if cared for properly, can last a lifetime. Read the rest of Say Goodbye to Disposable Chopsticks Forever with Penstix Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Bento , camping , chop sticks , chopsticks , disposable , disposable chopsticks , eating utensils , IndieGoGo , litter , litter-free , litterless , litterless lunch , lunch kit , noodles , Penstix , reduce waste , reusable chopsticks , reusable utensils , sushi , utensils

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Say Goodbye to Disposable Chopsticks Forever with Penstix

999Bottles Reusable Water Bottle Keeps Track of the Disposable Bottles You Don’t Buy

May 1, 2012 by  
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999 Bottles is not just another water bottle – it’s a beautifully designed system that helps you track and visualize the positive impact you can have on the environment by drinking from reusable bottles instead of disposable ones. Artefact , the company that designed the 999 Bottles, is currently running a campaign on Kickstarter to fund the manufacturing of the bottle – donate today to support this great green project! + 999 Bottles + 999 Bottles Kickstarter + Artefact The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 999 bottles , 999bottles , drinking water , green design , green products , green water bottles , reusable water bottle , sustainable design , tap water , water issues

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999Bottles Reusable Water Bottle Keeps Track of the Disposable Bottles You Don’t Buy

Schick Unveils a Disposable Razor Made with Recycled Plastic

February 6, 2012 by  
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Plastic hangers, buckets and trays are being recycled to make the handles for a greener version of the Xtreme3 razor.

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Schick Unveils a Disposable Razor Made with Recycled Plastic

Double Impact: Why Reusable Containers Are Better Than Disposable

August 15, 2011 by  
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Last week, we asked you to join in the Giveaway 4 Good and vote on a new Double Impact challenge by telling us how you prefer to eliminate toxins from your home. The votes are in and the majority of readers selected using reusable containers instead of individually-wrapped, disposable containers. Here’s why The Smart Mama suggested that as an option for this poll. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Double Impact: Why Reusable Containers Are Better Than Disposable

Oyster Mushrooms Can Break Down Disposable Diapers in Just 4 Months

May 28, 2011 by  
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Dirty diapers have long been the bane of moms and dads, but they’re also a horrible burden on the environment. Did you know that not a single disposable diaper ever made has decomposed yet, and it actually takes about 500 years – yes 500 years – for them to biodegrade? You might be wondering if anything can be done and one of the solutions may surprise you being that it involves mushrooms

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Oyster Mushrooms Can Break Down Disposable Diapers in Just 4 Months

Ask Pablo: Metal vs. Plastic Cutlery

January 4, 2011 by  
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Image Source: Neil Kandalgaonkar Dear Pablo: Which type of silverware is better for the environment: stainless steel or plastic? My office uses disposable everything and I am trying to make a change

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Ask Pablo: Metal vs. Plastic Cutlery

How can I reuse or recycle “disposable” hair nets?

December 13, 2010 by  
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We’ve had an email from Philip, asking about disposable hair nets: I work in food production (ready meal factory) and have to wear a hair net whenever I’m on the floor. Some staff have proper hats but the rest of us have to have single use hair nets. Management say it’s cheaper but I think it’s very wasteful

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How can I reuse or recycle “disposable” hair nets?

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