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18 Things We Can Do Without

I want to be honest--there are things I do without happily, things I struggled to do without, and things I coud do without I have not yet started to struggle with. So here's the list:

What i Do Without:

1. Plastic water bottles--last year I got a metal water bottle, and use it 90% of the time. I'm still struggling with this one, as sometimes i forgoret my metal water bottle, and on vacation in Costa Rica I used plastic water bottles.

2. Plastic shopping bags--over a year and a half ago I got a collection of cloth and twine shopping bags. I've probably reduced by plastic shopping bag use about 98%. At first when I went grocery shopping I'd have forget my cloth bags in the trunk of my car (I confess to having a car). Then I retrained the habit so every time I went out to buy--whether grocery store, drug store, clothing store--I carried my tote or totes. Using my cloth totes reduce clutter in my drawers. 


3. Counter wipes--never use them, never buy them.

4. Paper lunch bag--have a  reusable plastic lunch bag I've used for years. Never use paper lunch bags.

5. Plastic hand soap dispensers--never use them. I only buy soap in paper.

6. Disposable contact lenses--don't use contact lenses but use glasses.

7. Swiffer pads- don't use them; I have an old fashioned mop.

8. Zip lock bags--have a  few I reused for years but don't buy any new. I have a collection of plastic containers--some like old cottage cheese containers--that I use for storing food.

9. Dryer sheets-- don't use them.

10. Cotton balls- use towel or wash cloth instead instead.

11. Plastic wrap- don't use it to wrap leftover foods. 

What I recycle

1. Printer cartridges--I have a Canon printer, and I have been recycling my old printer cartridges at Staples. I got $3 credit/each printer cartridge I turn back. Some printer cartridges can be refilled at CVS and Walgreens. Most printer cartridges can be recycled.

What I should work on:

1. Tissue boxes--I have a plastic elegant looking tissue box, so I should only buy refills but never a whole tissue box. But where can I buy refills.

2. Paper napkins- I should use cloth napkins. I just bought four cloth napkins.


3. Paper  or styrofoam coffee cups-- I have a metal coffee cup which I leave at home. I should keep it with me at all times. I need to tell myself the following facts: 1.) syrofoam doesn't degrade and my strofoam cup will be around in a landfull 500 years from today;  2.)If I purchase one cup/day in  disposable container, that's 23 lb of wasteyear; 3.) styrofoam has polystyrene, a chemical that can disrupt our hormones, and chlorine to bleach the paper creates darcinogenic dioxins druing production. I need to tell myself this so I'll remember to use that metal coffe cup.

4. Paper towels--I still use this all the time. I should try cloth rags. Cloth rags can do anything paper towels can.

5.  Paper coffee filter--I should get a reusable coffee filter. Better yet, I have a French press coffee pot. I should learn how to use it. I tried my French press coffee pot--no disposoable filter and good coffee.

6. Plastic utensils--I try to reuse them at picnics but still throw too many out. Need to get more reusables.

7. Paper plates--I should only use reusable plates at picnis. Need to get more reusables.


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Good for you!

I'm not doing as well as you but I'm all about getting water bottles and shopping bags out of our lives for good. I actually write a blog for HGTV.com about trying to get my family to start thinking more green at home. My code name is "Gang Green". Check it out if you have time...


Good post!

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I read you blog--I also love

I read you blog--I also love baskets and have collected them for years, mostly from garage sales. I think I should be doing better. Today I again forgot my metal coffee cup when I went for coffee, but I did get coarse grind coffee to try out my French press coffee pot for the first time.