Day 8 of Eco-Life Challenge 2019: Reuse and Ditch Single Use


Did you know the average American tosses ~4.4 lbs of trash per day? When I do the math to see what a year’s worth of trash adds up to (1,606 lbs), it motivates me to, well, to not be your average American. Much of this waste is made of plastic. Like, sooooo much of it….

Just look in your bathrooms, the kitchen, grocery store and all around. It’s in clothing, water, earth and animals. Plastic is totally out of control:

  • United States is ~ 5% of the global population & produces ~30% of the world’s waste

  • Only nine percent of the 8.3 billion tons of plastic ever made has been recycled. The vast majority of it is accumulating in landfills and out in the natural environment. National Geographic.

  • By 2050, plastics will outweigh fish in the ocean.

  • When plastic is recycled, the quality continues to degrade until it cannot be recycled anymore and becomes trash.

  • Plastic is highly toxic, and even more so when heated.

  • 80% of marine debris originates from land, not from dumping.


So want to know the best way to beat trash? Prevent it from happening in the first place! You too can replace single use plastics (SUPs) with reusables and reap the rewards of being a smart, cool agent of change.


Recommended Action:

Save all the trash you make and go a day without throwing a thing away! This will give you a realistic snapshot of how much trash you accumulate per day, week and year. Then consider where you can start saying “no” and replace with a reusable option.

Change starts with just one thing, so pick something approachable that will work for you. As you become more aware of how many opportunities there are to change, you can slowly incorporate more and more things.

Here’s what to ditch:

  • straws

  • plastic utensils

  • single use napkins + paper towels, plastic cups

  • styrofoam containers

  • food wrapped in plastic film

  • single use coffee cups

  • single use bottled water

  • disposable razors, q-tips

  • single use party decorations (balloons!)

  • (I could go on, but maybe that’s enough to start?)

What to bring:

  • Utensil Kit. Our bamboo utensil kits are antimicrobial, durable, compostable and toxin free.

  • Stainless Steel Water Bottle + Thermos. Know when and where you have the opportunity to refill!

  • Tote and food bags for shopping trips. Go the extra mile and shop the bulk + produce sections with reusable glass jars and skip film wrapped products.

  • GreenToGo subscription. For that occasional meal out that you just can’t finish.