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  • Writer's pictureKaren

Plastic sucks.

We recently watched a segment on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, on plastic. As someone who is actively trying to reduce my carbon footprint and consumption of plastic, it's not easy. Plastic is everywhere. Plastic is getting into what we eat, drink, and wear. Plastic, no matter how hard you try, will disappoint you every time when it comes to what is recyclable and what is not.

Watch John explain this nightmare scenario below and I'll follow up with the minor ways I've found to remove it in the things I regularly buy.

//Plastic is in everything, from the clothes we wear to the water we drink. John Oliver explains how plastics are harming the planet, why recycling isn’t the solution you think it is, and why fixing the problem will be up to not just consumers, but corporations and policymakers.//

Update, YouTube only allows this to be viewed on their site.

Watch the video on YouTube here:

Reusable Bags

Plastic bags are being banned in cities across the country and here in Seattle, you have to purchase a bag if you don't bring your own. I'm down with that. I've been using my own for a while now.

Thai Crystal Salt Rock Deodorant

This thing lasts forever. There are so many benefits to using a salt rock, you should look them all up.


It's not easy finding certain juices in cartons instead of plastic. We are committed. However, grapefruit juice in a carton, you elude me.


My next big switch will be to abandon purchasing greens: arugula, spring mix, romaine, kale, etc., in plastic containers or bags. I'll buy in the bulk section or finally grow my own in an authentic garden.


I noticed we buy hummus in plastic containers pretty often, so I decided to make my own. I like my own hummus, but not enough to make it regularly. I'll keep working on a solution to the hummus problem, in the meantime, Roasted Red Pepper and Supremely Spicy from Sabra are my favorites.

Peanut Butter

Another item that is difficult to find in glass containers is peanut butter. Adams 100% Natural here in Washington State comes in glass and is our choice.

TakeOut & Cutlery

If I find a restaurant that uses recyclable food containers, I take note. It's more common in the PNW than other areas of the country for restaurants to be green in their approach to take out. I carry a travel fork, spoon, and knife as well as a reusable metal straw and water bottle when on the road.

Laundry Detg

Instead of buying a large plastic jug of liquid laundry detergent, we use powder in a cardboard box container. Seventh Generation has powder and so do some other local brands.

Kitty Doo Doo

We save virtually all packaging that would otherwise go in the waste bin and use them as Nootka's kitty litter bags. They find their final resting place wrapped in the Kitty of the North's clumps of litter.

It is so incredibly difficult to go shopping and escape plastic. It's virtually impossible. You really have to buy in bulk. I admire people who are able to reduce and eventually abandon plastic. I've found myself in the recognize and slowly abandon phase for some time. I think John Oliver and Greta Thunberg have both inspired me to do better.

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