I know what you're probably thinking from the title "Isn't this plastic free July? Shouldn't we be trying to ditch the plastic?" And you are completely right! We should be working to reduce plastic in as many areas of our lives that we can. However, I think that a lot of times the "zero waste" movement falls flat in setting out realistic expectations. We currently don't live in a society where we can go 100% plastic free, and that isn't our fault as consumers. So even though I've spent the last month writing blogs about all the ways I've eliminated plastic from my life, I wanted to round out July by showing you the areas of my life that still have plastic in them, that I'm not perfect, and that a completely "zero waste" lifestyle doesn't truly exist yet.
So here is my list of things that come packaged in plastic that I am not going to be giving up.
As someone with very acne prone skin I have found Differin to be a game changer! This helped clear my skin up so much, it's prescription strength but you can get it now at CVS, Walmart etc. which was really helpful for me when I was still in college and not living in the same place all the time. In addition, I only go through one tube of this stuff every 18 months, which really is not a lot. You only need a pea sized amount each night. Because I know that these tubes last me a long time and have helped my skin so much, this is one of those items in plastic that I just can't quite give up yet.
More of a general one here but we need food to survive and therefore: groceries! While I do my best to avoid buying things in plastic (check out my blog posts on plastic free grocery shopping here), there are some items you just can't get plastic free yet. Things like strawberries, blueberries, and bread. I often go out of my way to go to the grocery stores I know I can get spinach and lettuce package free at but sometimes that just isn't possible with my schedule. At the end of the day we need to eat and not all food is plastic free yet.
3. Health Items
This one should be obvious to most people but sometimes isn't from what I see in some zero waste communities online. Anything health or medical related should still be used even if it comes in plastic! For me this is Neosporin, Cortizone, and hydrogen peroxide etc. where there aren't plastic free alternatives!
In the same vein as above we need vitamins for our bodies to be healthy! So don't feel bad about getting vitamins. I know there are some plastic free vitamin companies like Care/of, but I can't compost their packaging through my compost company so in the end I would be throwing it away. Not to mention how insanely expensive their vitamins are, I just couldn't justify it!
I know biodegradable floss exists out there but I just can't get behind it for two main reasons. The first being that it comes in little glass jars, which while cute have no reusability in my opinion so they would need to be recycled with each use. And again, I wouldn't be able to compost the floss with my compost service, not to mention the reviews all say how the floss breaks apart between your teeth. I found a great alternative to that which is floss from Quip. It comes in a metal dispenser that you continue to reuse forever and just load more floss into once every 3 months. This way I am not buying plastic floss containers ever but am also still flossing my teeth!
When it comes to things like these I have to give myself a break, we are all trying our best at the end of the day and it's okay to buy some things in plastic if they are important to you or necessary for your health! What things in plastic are you not giving up?
Join me as I document my journey to becoming zero-waste through this blog as a resource to others.