Plastic Purge - Part 2

Last week I told you about how much I loved the book Plastic Purge and, as promised, here's a full report on my efforts to implement some of the changes the author suggests.

I've made attempts before to be environmentally-friendly. I've just been half-assing it. Actually, I'm giving myself too much credit when I say I've been half-assing it. It's more like I've been quarter-assing it. But this book has motivated me to try harder.

I decided to ease my way in by starting with the 1 bottle suggestions.

1. Replace PVC shower curtain liner with a PEVA shower curtain liner -
I read this suggestion and I was feeling very smug because I had already bought a PEVA shower curtain liner before even reading this book. The smug feeling quickly receded when I remembered that it took me 6 months to hang up the new shower curtain liner (note: when I say "hang up the new shower curtain" I mean "to ask my Dad to hang it up for me." Thanks Dad!) The PEVA curtain worked just as well as a PVC shower curtain, and I didn't end up gagging while opening it because there's no horrible smell like with the PVC one.

2. Use reusable shopping bags -
I've had reusable shopping bags for years, but I'm so disorganized that they end up scattered all over my house and I rarely remember to bring them with me when I go shopping. The solution: I bought a wire basket to store all the bags in, and I keep the basket in my car, so I always have bags on hand.

It's kind of pathetic that it took reading this book to motivate me to come up with this simple solution. I haven't felt this lazy since the day I realized I had my yoga pants on backwards and was too lazy to fix them.

3. Switch from hand soap that comes in plastic bottles to bar soap -
I tried this and it clogged the sink up so badly that it wouldn't drain at all, and then when I plunged the sink, it sort of vomited up soap scum. I'll spare you the picture of what that looked like (You're welcome.) As Mike Brady would say, "Back to the drawing board." Honesty moment: I didn't take the author's advice and buy the kind of soap he recommended. Instead, I thought I could cut corners and just buy some random soap from the grocery store. Lesson learned.

4. Stop drinking bottled water and switch to reusable water bottles -
I already own a water filtration pitcher, but it's plastic. So I put stainless steel water pitcher on my list items to research and buy. But I decided that it would still be better to use the plastic pitcher in the meantime. Even though I won't be getting as many health benefits as I would from switching to a stainless steel pitcher, I can still feel good about not adding a ton of plastic bottles to the landfill.

I wasn't sure if I wanted glass or stainless steel water bottles, so I bought both and tested them out to see which I prefer. I ended up liking the taste of the water from the glass bottles better. But the stainless steel bottle kept my water cold for longer (plus, it's so cute!)

In the end, I decided to keep using both bottles (and I bought a few more) and I'm going to keep multiple bottles filled in my fridge at all times. That way I can alleviate some of the inconvenience of having to wash bottles every day (which was my least favorite part of this entire Plastic Purge experiment) and I can always have multiple bottles of water ready to go at all times.

I've spent several weeks implementing these changes, and I'm feeling great about the progress I've made. There were some dark moments, like when I found a hair floating in my water pitcher just as I was getting ready to leave for work and I was too grossed out to drink the water that day so I had to slum it and drink bottled water all day. And it took me awhile to find products that I like. But overall, the changes have been worth it.


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