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Will We Ever Be Plastic Free at Last?


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Plastic Free Challenge Conclusion

Greetings, Movement members, I’m fresh from our 2020 Norwex National Conference—where we just launched our exciting new fall products virtually from the Dallas Home Office. I am so thrilled about how some of these products will help reduce plastic, not just in our homes but in our world. As this video shows, Norwex is passionate about our planet—which is why we put sustainability at the forefront of all we do.

 

Protecting our world is why I am so excited about new Norwex products like our Forever Glass Bottles, designed specifically to help families replace plastic as they clean without harmful chemicals. And I love how our new Lysere™ Probiotic Whitening Toothpaste not only supports your all-important oral microbiome, but also comes in a 100% biodegradable sugarcane tube. Most toothpaste tubes are not even recyclable, let alone biodegradable!

But first things first. I know you’re just dying to hear how my Plastic Free Challenge went.

How’d I Do?

Before I divulge the successes and failures of my plastic-free July, I want to give a big shout out to everyone who joined me on this journey, as well as to the Plastic Free Foundation itself, which sponsors the Challenge each year. I’m really proud of how, working together, we’re making such a big difference for our homes and our planet.

Okay, like many of you fellow Challenge-takers probably experienced, I too had a few victories and some “could’ve done betters.” Even though I consider myself to be fairly eco-savvy, come to find out, plastic isn’t always easy to say “no” to.

If you remember, I’d committed to going completely plastic-free for the entire month of July and to avoid at least the following:

  • Plastic bags, bottles, straws and coffee cups
  • Single-use plastic packaging

First, the Highs

So I’m proud to say I used no plastic beverage bottles, straws or coffee cups the whole month! (Full disclosure, I tend to avoid those anyway, so that wasn’t such a big deal for me.) But I also reminded my kids about their commitment to shun plastic straws. Good news: Both of them reported consistently being able to say “no thanks” to plastic straws this month. Score one for the home team!

As for plastic bags, I’m also pretty good about remembering to bring my reusable bags with me to the grocery store, but not so great when I have to dart in somewhere for something quick. I’m not sure why, but it just doesn’t always occur to me to bring my own bag to the drug store, for example.

I did better this month though, thanks to the mental commitment I’d made to go plastic-free. I’m happy to tell you that I brought my own reusable bag with me into both a drug store as well as a restaurant, where I grabbed take-out. Admittedly, I felt kind of bad asking the restaurant cashier to unload the food from the plastic bag it was in and to reload it into my bag, but at least she seemed interested when I told her I was trying to reduce plastic. So who knows; maybe I planted a plastic-free seed!

Now for the Lows

Plastic packaging, oh dear. What can I say? Yes, we all try to avoid it, but it seems to be everywhere, doesn’t it? Each time I got home from my errands, so proud of myself for remembering my reusable bags, what was lurking as I unloaded those bags? You guessed it, plastic packaging. And for so many things: the yogurt cups, the butter tub, the razors we use, even the wrapper on a box of tea bags. I did remember my reusable produce bags, so at least my fresh veggies weren’t packaged in plastic. And of course, I will recycle each butter tub and yogurt container instead of just throwing them away. (But as we know, recycling isn’t the best solution.)

So, there you have it. I guess I’d score myself at a B or B- in my ability to purge plastic. While I definitely made some strides, there’s a long way to go before I’d consider myself to truly plastic-free.

comment_2I encourage you to learn more about all of our new Norwex products, but meanwhile can we stand firm in our commitment to avoid plastic—especially the single-use plastic that so pollutes our landfills and waterways? If you took the Plastic-Free Challenge, please share your own highs and lows with other readers below.

Resources:

I took the Plastic Free Challenge!

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Sure did:
 
39%
Next time:
 
61%
Total Votes:
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Angela Shuman
Angela Shuman
1 year ago

Between pandemic and now hurricane season I have stocked up on bottled water, non perishable food, etc.

Shirley Loomis
Shirley Loomis
1 year ago

Somehow I had not heard about this. I try to live as free from single use plastics as possible because like you, I feel it’s everywhere. I may not be able to control the manufacturing but I can control (or heavily influence) my consumption and waste. I would love to see this challenge highlighted more. It appears more meaningful and impactful than some of the artsy things though they do make a statement. This challenge is the kind that can change mindsets and have cultural impact. Thanks for sharing!

Amy Hepfner
Amy Hepfner
1 year ago

One idea for those odd store trips where you tend to forget your reusable bags: Many years ago I purchased a cloth bag shopping bag that had it’s own little sleeve to store it in. It folds up to a 3×2″ packet. I keep that in my purse. When I go to places that are not big grocery shopping trips, I always have that bag with me if I forget my big Norwex shopping bags. Sadly, like I said the bag is old and it’s starting to get worn. Maybe Norwex could create a bag like it, that we could keep in our purses or pockets for those quick trips into a store.

Alysia Bolin
Alysia Bolin
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Hepfner

great idea!!

Carolyn Petersen
Carolyn Petersen
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Hepfner

I keep my reusable bags in my car trunk…they are ALWAYS ready to just be pulled out at any time! I also have a small, compact foldable bag that I keep in my car that can be thrown into my purse!

Sharon
Sharon
1 year ago

I used re useable water bottle.
I always carry my Norwex straws with me and when i ask for water at a restaurant i always say water no straw please.
I use bees wax wraps along with silicone lids.

Jan Mohler
Jan Mohler
1 year ago

By bringing my own reusable bags to grocery store, I use fewer plastic bags.

Carolyn Petersen
Carolyn Petersen
1 year ago
Reply to  Jan Mohler

Yes! Me too!

Dianne Miller
Dianne Miller
1 year ago

I always have my stainless steel straws and cup with me wherever I go. When ordering drinks I never take the straw as I have a SS straw in my purse. During this pandemic time, the stores do not accept our reusable bags to put our groceries in. They say it is a hazard to them as they don’t know where these bags have been. I could pack the bags myself, but my back does not allow that. Therefore I came home with a lot of plastic bags. However, I always recycle them back to the store where I got them. I’ll be glad when the stores are back to normal.

Ann Savoy
Ann Savoy
1 year ago

I wish that this had somehow been more heavily promoted. Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention. I missed the challenge.
I have my own ongoing personal challenge of not having more than one kitchen size bag of trash every two weeks for the landfill. I have been able to reach that goal every week now for almost a year.

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
1 year ago
Reply to  Ann Savoy

Wow, Ann, that’s great!! And don’t worry about missing the July challenge; it sounds like your own challenge is going very well, not only for you but for the landfill (and the planet) too. Please keep up the good work. We’re all in it together, and your comments and ideas help us all so much, so thanks for posting!

Tiffany Stapleford
Tiffany Stapleford
1 year ago

We have hard well water that we do not drink, so we go through A LOT of bottled water. About two months ago we purchased a reverse osmosis system to go under our kitchen sink and our water tastes amazing! No more bottles of water for us! I have glass to-go bottles that we refill daily.

Alysia Bolin
Alysia Bolin
1 year ago

I live full time in an rv. We have gone plastic free except some food items that come pre packed…like cheeses. I wish there was a way to go completely plastic free in food packaging!

Tracie Armstrong
Tracie Armstrong
1 year ago

I love nothing more than my stainless cups, straws, and bottles!! I am slowly making my haven safer and safer.

Cynthia Martinez
Cynthia Martinez
1 year ago

I have bought about 8 Norwex reusable bags (and others from other stores if I need them) and 6 Norwex produce bags and the metal straws. I do not like piling up with plastic bags. I am a recycling crazy person. What stinks is that my husband is not as bad as I am…….I have down sized our city garbage can (not only to lower my bill) but to show my family that food waste goes in the green can, recycle in the blue and our small amount of garbage in the brown!

Jill Bauer
Jill Bauer
1 year ago

After reading “Will We Ever Be Plastic Free at Last?” and watching the video “Norwex Sustainability” I will be doing more to be plastic free myself and encouraging others to be plastic free also. It’s so easy to grab a bottle of water or have the clerk put things in plastic bags…I will be putting forth more effort to do my part on using less plastic. I’ve done this somewhat in the past, but now will be much more dedicated to not using plastic at all.

Dana Hillesheim
Dana Hillesheim
1 year ago

In our house we have a ways to go to be plastic free – but we have done one thing for years that I’m proud of. My husband works near a natural spring where there is a fresh water pump continually running. The public is welcome to fill their containers. He fills our large containers and we use them over and over. No need for us to buy water bottles. We fill our own glass pitchers in our home. Our goal is to be more conscientious with more of those single-use items.

Marie Kemp
Marie Kemp
1 year ago

I have been doing quite well with remembering my bags now. All my different handbags and rucksacks have a couple of fold up bags in.

Corrie Selby
Corrie Selby
1 year ago

That mounting plastic bag of bags pile always frustrated me. Now I’m sure to bring my reusable bags to the store, farmers market, library, etc. No more bag mountain under the cabinet! Setting the example for the kiddos to continue the impact – they remind me if I forget our bag in the car! We’ve always used reusable water bottles too.

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
1 year ago
Reply to  Corrie Selby

That’s great, Corrie! We love that your kiddos help you remember. You’re teaching them well!

Monica Coburn
Monica Coburn
1 year ago

I had not heard of this! But will be interested to find out what it was about!

Amy Labye
Amy Labye
1 year ago

I I go through my Recycling at home and make sure everything is cleaned out properly, making sure it is a recyclable item, and making sure my local recycling facility will accept everything that’s in there.
I always carry my stainless steel straws with me, a small variety of containers that are made out of silicone or stainless steel, I use reusable grocery bags instead of plastic, and I never buy plastic bottles always reusable bottles such as the Hydro Flask.