by Karen Eames, Lopez Island
If it seems to you, reader, to be a bit late to write about New Year’s resolutions, I agree.
However, I have settled on one that I wish to share with you: to reduce our family’s use of plastic. If the Lopez community is to become Fossil Free by 2033, that includes eliminating plastics, which are made from fossil fuels.
Here’s what I’m doing to reduce the plastic in our household:
With very few exceptions, laundry detergent comes in large, non-recyclable containers. I’ve bought the ones in cardboard containers only to find that they are not easy to clean enough to be considered clean recyclables.
So instead I have started using Earth Breeze, one of a variety of laundry detergents that are soap-infused sheets packaged in a recyclable cardboard envelope and work for all types of washing machines and laundry. A half sheet does a small load, a full sheet a large load of laundry. The sheets come in a cardboard envelope so no plastic container, no mess and take up a lot less space on the laundry room shelf! And it is now available at markets in our county, so no need for Amazon!
The past is the future when it comes to hand soap and shampoo. While we have enjoyed the convenience of the pump hand soaps, they all come in plastic bottles, even the refill sizes. Going back to good old bars of soap and a soap dish is eliminating a lot of plastic in our home. And there is such a thing as bar shampoo!
Three Sisters Apothecary is a brand of soap and shampoo bars that are all packaged in paper; they are available at Blossom on Lopez.
Plastic drink bottles are possibly the biggest culprit, especially during the summer when many more people are here and wanting drinks for picnics, hikes, parties, etc. I am always saddened when I see nearly every cart at Costco with big packets of plastic water bottles. Perhaps we could encourage our local shops to stock more drinks in aluminum cans and less in plastic. The good news is our Lopez Village Market, Blossom and Paper, Scissors on the Rock all sell various types of reusable bottles. Take a look!
I’ve yet to solve entirely doing without plastic bags, but try to use fewer and wash and reuse what I have. It’s small steps; other steps will follow.
Good luck with any and all of your resolutions! With each of us taking similar small steps, 2022 can be a year of a big step toward a more healthy, more sustainable and more beautiful environment for us all.