Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

One of the biggest challenges with my 90-day pledge off buying plastic products is finding everyday products that aren’t packaged in plastic. I wrote previously about my effort to deal with toiletries and hygiene products such as toothpaste and shampoo.

And that’s going well: Three weeks into the pledge, and I’ve shifted entirely to using baking soda for toothpaste. For hair, I’m using a combination of baking soda and water for shampoo and an apple cider vinegar solution for conditioner. I can’t recommend this enough—the result is healthier hair, fewer chemicals down the drain, and money saved. There’s extensive documentation on how to make the transition, so I won’t go into detail here. Give it a try!

But that’s not what I’m writing about today. I’m writing today with a confession:

I purchased plastic.

It wasn’t my fault, though! In my search for a solution for purchasing toilet paper that wasn’t wrapped up in plastic, I found Beth Terry’s post on MyPlasticFreeLife.com. The site suggests buying boxes of Seventh Generation toilet paper, which when purchased in bulk come without plastic wrapping. I’ve been buying Seventh Generation for several years now, so it wasn’t a big stretch to buy a big box of toilet paper online.

Unfortunately, to my dismay, the previous link on Beth’s site connected me to a vendor on Amazon that was selling toilet paper in boxes that contained plastic air-bubble wrap.

The good news is that Beth has since updated the post with a new link, so in the future, I’ll be able to order plastic-free toilet paper. I just have about fifty rolls to go through first…

I suppose the one consolation is that the vendor selling the Seventh Generation toilet paper did encourage reuse of the boxes. And I set aside the plastic air-bubble wrap to use for future packages. Now I just have to figure out how to package up boxes without using tape.

I guess this Christmas I’ll be using brown paper packages tied up in string.

Jack-o-lantern

I had big plans for Halloween this year—not for what I was going to wear (I already figured that out), but for what I was going to buy after Halloween was over.

I’m dazzled by all the cool stuff in those Halloween superstores. They’ve got costumes, and makeup, and props, all of which is unavailable or expensive during most of the year. So this year, as I was walkin through the aisles—prior to starting my pledge off plastic—I said, this is the year I’m going to splurge. After Halloween is over, I’m going to clean out a bunch of the clearance in preparation for throwing a Halloween extravaganza next year.

‘Twas not to be. Virtually everything at those Halloween stores contains plastic. The props are made almost entirely of plastic. The costumes have all kinds of synthetic fibers. The smaller stuff, like costume makeup, comes in plastic containers. It’s a lot of plastic.

And all this plastic got me to thinking: Where does all this stuff go once Halloween is over? For consumers, it’s probably bound fo the closet, never to be worn again until eventually donated to Goodwill. What do stores do with all the Halloween stuff, though?

I did a little searching online, but I couldn’t find anything about what stores like Spirit and Halloween Express do with all their costumes. I suppose the same is true of any other holiday supplies, like those for Thanksgiving and Christmas. You’d think it’s in the interest of stores to sell that stuff, but I have a sneaking suspicion that much of it is just thrown away or incinerated. It’s expensive to ship products back to a warehouse and pay to store them for a year.

And then there’s all that candy. One of my coworkers keeps a basket of mixed candy outside his desk, and, for better or worse, I’ve had to give it up. All that candy comes in plastic bags, and a lot of the paper is coated in a thin layer of plastic to preserve the sweets inside. My stomach is sad, but my waistline is happy.

Don’t mind me, I’ll just be here, munching on granola.

There are already lots of bloggers who have written about how to have an eco-friendly halloween. The plastic coalition has a good list of recommendations. I think one of the best things you can do is just get the most use out of those costumes and props. Don’t be spooked by purchasing used costumes or making your own.