How to decrease the plastic in your life – at home, the store and out & about.
By Gillie Easdon
• Keep a collection of washed bottles, jars and containers on hand, so you’re ready to refill.
• Refill your liquid soap or opt for bar soap.
• For cosmetics, there are refillable options. Elate Cosmetics uses bamboo packaging for its tools, compacts and palettes, and refillables are enclosed in seed paper.
• Rethink what you put in loot bags for the kids’ parties — books, gift certificates and baked goods are great alternatives to dollar-store trinkets.
• Use washable, reusable wax cloth wrappers instead of plastic wrap for food.
• For pharmaceuticals, like Ibuprofen, opt for the big bottle that lasts longer.
• Choose sheets, towels and other household items made from natural fabrics to avoid microfibre pollution.
At the Store
• One billion single-use plastic bags are handed out in Canada each year. Victoria has banned them, but many other communities haven’t, so do bring your own reusable bags.
• When buying items, opt for glass or metal over plastic. (Metal can be recycled indefinitely.)
• Purchase lightweight mesh bags for produce and bulk items to avoid plastic.
• If the item you want is packaged in plastic, ask if you could purchase it sans plastic. Buy meat and fish wrapped in waxed paper, but do ask if it is compostable.
• Carry your own reusable coffee cup. (Did you know most takeaway coffee cups contain
Out and About
• Pack bamboo utensils with you and carry your own a non-plastic water bottle and travel mug or Mason jar.
• If you are buying beer, cider or kombucha, opt for the growlers first, then cans and lastly bottles.
• For takeout meals, many restaurants will put your order in your own container if you ask.
• Say no to plastic straws — or carry your own straws made from metal or glass.
For Good Measure Premium Bulk Food has bulk items, from millet and hummus and roasted nuts to spices.
Olive This & More has refillable olive oils and balsamic vinegars.
Good Planet Company has an extensive inventory of plastic-free kitchen, bedroom, home, to-go and baby products.
Victoria Soap Exchange has many plastic-free and refillable products.
Zero Waste Emporium has food, personal care products, home supplies.
London Drugs’ Bring Back the Pack means you can return your LD packaging, including
soft plastics, to the store. They process it so it doesn’t end up in the landfill.
Elate Cosmetics’ refillable cosmetics are sustainably packaged.
Miiko Skin Co. has a strict no-plastics policy.
Cultured Kombucha has a selection of refillable stations around town and a number of local restaurants serves their fermented drinks on tap.
West Coast Refill offers environmentally friendly cleaning, home and body care products.
Bulk Barn is refill heaven – bring some jars (or buy some there) and get everything from almond flour to granola to household spices.
Many grocery stores encourage buying local produce and products whenever possible such as Red Barn at Mattick’s Farm and The Root Cellar.
Sapadilla Soap Co. makes plant-based products with aromatic essential oils that are sold in various stores across Victoria.
This article is from the January/February 2019 issue of YAM.