How To Stay With out Plastics

  • Editor’s Word: This text is Half 2 of a three-part sequence written by Kane County Board member Jarett Sanchez, who serves on the County Board Energy and Environmental Committee. The mission of Kane County’s Division of Environmental and Water Assets is to develop, consider, and implement packages to guard the well being, security and welfare of our residents and the setting.

You understand how we mentioned final week that this could be a two-part sequence on undertake a plastics-free way of life right here in Kane County, IL? Properly, now it’s a three-part sequence.

Final week, Sustainability Fellow Leslie Hernandez and I laid out the case of why you need to think about eliminating single-use plastics out of your every day routine.

This week, we boil it down to 5 easy tricks to make this difficult way of life change just a bit simpler.

Subsequent week, we’ll supply some brass-tacks specifics about what merchandise you should utilize instead of single-use plastics.

5 Suggestions For a Plastic Free Way of life

1. Begin small.

One approach to begin small is to make use of plastic free leftover wrappings. This one is from Bee’s Wrap out of Vermont.

As Kane County Useful resource Supervisor Jessica Mino says in her Step-By-Step Sustainability series, simply make one change in your life, then construct from there.

“If you want to change your habits, you have to take it slow,” Hernandez mentioned. “It’s so overwhelming, and there’s so many areas to contemplate for waste discount, you simply can’t take all of it in without delay so don’t strain your self. Check out your every day routine, and discover one factor that you may simply change that can nonetheless impression your waste output. Even simply the reusable straw is a giant step.”

2. Deal with altering your self.

Henandez says it’s inconceivable to make the folks round you care in regards to the setting, so her finest recommendation is to deal with what you’ll be able to change: your individual angle and habits.

“You cannot force people to want to change,” she mentioned. “If you try to pressure people around you or try to pressure your community into doing as much as they possibly can, it’s very overwhelming for them.”

3. Keep Optimistic.

Hernandez says folks typically affiliate sustainability and sustainable initiatives with negativity, as a result of the accountability for local weather change so overwhelming.

“People don’t want to think about it,” she mentioned. “They don’t want to feel bad, so they kind of just brush it off. We can’t quite make it all positive, but if we change our angle toward engaging positive lifestyle changes, then that could help get us in the right direction.”

4. Don’t Plastic Disgrace!

In some methods, it is a corollary to ideas No. 2 and No. 3.

You possibly can and needs to be obsessed with environmentalism, however you’ll be able to damage the trigger by being too excessive.

“We really need to change the dialogue around that and how we approach these situations,” she mentioned. “I get feedback about how snobby environmentalists are, and that has to alter, for certain.

“If your friend is using a plastic straw but they also talked about how they started a garden, applaud them for the garden! Encourage the positive action they took and hopefully that will continue to grow into other lifestyle choices they make.”

5. Discover the Others.

You could find inspiration by reaching out to different people who find themselves going by means of comparable way of life adjustments.

“Facebook is great when you’re looking for information and community,” Hernandez mentioned. “Instagram is great because it’s more visually inspiring. A lot of the old school sustainable stuff isn’t that pretty (laughs) and so now you can find so many great sustainable influencers whocurate products really nicely. It’s slower to catch on in the U.S., but it’s really popular in Europe, and it’s growing here.”

Seek for any native sustainability and zero-waste teams yow will discover and in addition do your “Google” homework. A fast search may give you a lot good concepts for this to start out swapping out in your life, or lowering altogether.

The Fox Valley Sustainability Network is an efficient place to start out in Kane County.

Beneath are some social media accounts and teams to comply with to study extra about this way of life and that can assist you discover others on the identical path.


  • @Zero Waste Chicago: native group that helps companies and people transition to a zero waste way of life.
  • @Rocket_Science: a zero waste warrior and creator, I like her web page as a result of she gives ideas and swaps for these on a price range.
  • @Litterless: a stable zero waste influencer.
  • @Zerowasteclub: a store in London, I like their merchandise for concepts and ideas.
  • @Zero.waste.collective: group sharing ideas and swaps.
  • @Litterati: a creative strategy, they’ve followers submit captions to all their posts that are of litter discovered on the road.
  • @zerowastememes: fairly self explanatory 🙂

Fb (non-public teams)

  • Journey to Zero Waste
  • Plastic Free Assist
  • Non-Client Advocate (not particularly zero waste, however they do come round, and it’s way more price range pleasant)
  • Plastic Free Dwelling Swap

Postscript: If Leslie Can Do It, You Can, Too

I met Leslie at a Fox Valley Sustainability Community’s discussion board on plastic waste, the place she was one in all many members in a bunch brainstorming session. It was clear from her phrases that she had not solely been changing to a plastic-free way of life for just a few years, however that she’s additionally very lively in attempting to assist others do the identical.

However she wasn’t at all times a champion for a extra sustainable, zero-waste form of life. In truth, for her, the attitude change started in faculty.

“Before college, sustainable living wasn’t even on my radar,” she mentioned. “But I had an AP Environmental class that was about sustainability, and I found myself suddenly emotionally caught up with the way we’re living and the kinds of impacts we have on our environment.”

Like many faculty college students, being launched to new data had a really life altering impact on her profession path.

“I studied Environmental Science and Marketing, applying that toward Ecological Footprints of businesses and individuals,” she mentioned. “There weren’t many jobs available in that field so I got a corporate job and eventually worked my way into being able to bring forth some sustainability initiatives through my employer, engaging residents and trying to make a difference.”

That work led her to being provided a job with Oak Park after getting on the radar of their champion of sustainability, Mindy Agnew. It wasn’t a sudden or straightforward journey for her to go from regular shopper to aware shopper, however she felt it was a crucial journey.

“Mindfulness and sustainability are two key words for anybody trying to reduce their impact on the planet,” she mentioned.

Learn The Plastics-Free Sequence!

Now We Recycle Some Graphics

  • Editor’s Word: A number of readers of Half 1 requested that we re-post two of the graphics in a bigger picture measurement. They’re posted beneath in hopes that they’ll be a bit of simpler to learn.


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