Plastic Free in 2020 - "An Introduction" 001

This is the first of what I am hoping to start into a year-long journey of being "plastic free" or as close to "zero waste" as possible. I hope you'll join along, leave a comment, or find me on Instagram for more tips, tricks and fun!

How to be plastic free in 2020

It all starts with baby steps. A little change - one thing at a time, that will, down the road add up. I didn't start my sustainability journey overnight - and I didn't learn all that I know in a day. It's a culmination of learning over days, weeks, months and years that have evolved to where I am today. Trying to be green and eco-conscientious all at once can definitely feel overwhelming - especially if you aren't sure where to start. Writing this blog series has been a dream of mine since last fall - and I'm excited to finally get started. I hope you join me (and hold me accountable) on this blogging journey!

Each week I'll share one tip, or piece of advice that you can easily add to your routine. (and I hope you find each one inspiring enough to share with a friend!). I hope I can give you ways to start small every week. I encourage you to learn from me as I try to be more mindful - and add these tips at your own pace. I am not here to judge you whatsoeover. To be honest, I personally have such a long way to go - but it's all about trying and making progress bit by bit. Mistakes are normal (even expected!) as we cannot all be perfect 100% of the time. Especially with society making it nearly impossible at every step of the way. *spoiler alert* they don't want to make it easy for you - as they profit off you using as much plastic as possible!

Instead it is all about education. The more we learn - and talk to each other, our friends, and our communities - the more POWER we have to make better choices and elicit real change.

Slow down and enjoy your coffee - in Joshua Tree

This week I'm going to start where I started my mindful journey - coffee cups! This was one of the very first steps I took in 2019 on my plastic-free journey. I made it a goal to try and no longer get coffee in a typical to-go cup. So I made it a point to bring my own mug with me anytime I would get coffee. Sure - I had a few slip-ups, but I probably used less than 10 to-go cups in all of 2019 vs. on average of 280 cups in one year. Sadly coffee to-go cups are non-recyclable and non-compostable and end up straight in the landfills. So single-handed I saved 250+ cups from going to the trash! Wooo!! Imagine if 10, or 100 more people started doing this? It WOULD make a difference!

Here are some ideas to get started on reducing wasted with your to-go coffee (or tea, or cold drinks, etc.)

Always BYOM (bring your own mug)

This can be anything from a thermos to a mason jar. I recommend having at least two on hand, so you can leave one in the car, your gym bag, purse, etc, and alternate between them daily so you can wash them out. I have two travel thermos's for hot drinks - and mason jars for cold drinks.

    • Miir Travel Mugs
    • Goodwill (or your local thrift store) - great source for secondhand mugs and/or mason jars for 10 cents.
    • Stainless steel or glass straws for cold drinks

What to do if you forgot your mug?

Stay at the coffee shop and enjoy your drink while catching up on the news, emails or your IG feed.

Work close by? Ask to borrow one of their "dine in mugs" and bring it back later on your lunch or the next day. I'm lucky that my neighbor Bounty Kitchen allows me to do this!

Opt-out. I know this is a bummer, but I've definitely chosen against getting coffee once when I forgot my own mug. (maybe I didn't really need the extra caffeine anyways?)

Just get it to-go - and don't be too hard on yourself. We all slip-up on occasion, what matters is you do this far less than the days you brought your own mug.

Inside of Citizen Coffee in Lower Queen Anne Seattle

That's it for today! I hope you feel excited and inspired - and please leave a comment if you enjoy this post. I am always open to hearing your ideas to add on this topic - or suggestions for future post topics! Just email me!

Happy Monday,

xx Michelle

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