Reducing is not just dieting

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  • Say no to straws. Patronize restaurants that do not serve them and encourage others to follow the lead. The Last Plastic Straw is a grassroots movement whose goal is to eliminate single-use plastic. They claim beach cleanups around the protected Monterrey Bay Marine Sanctuary find at least 5000 plastic straws annually, and estimate “U.S. consumption equals enough straws to fill Yankee Stadium nine times a year!”
  • Avoid Styrofoam containers. Encourage restaurants to switch to other products for take-outs. Employees in a business can use a coffee mug instead of throwaway one-use Styrofoam cups.
  • Same for plastic cutlery.
  • Take your own reusable bags with you when you shop. It takes discipline and planning to get into the habit. As an incentive, Sunfest Market in Holiday Island offers a five-cents per bag discount.
  • Bring your own reusable container to buy bulk amounts. Eureka Market will weigh your container first so they charge you only for the bulk amount you purchase.
  • Bring your own mug to get your coffee to go.
  • Buy the largest container available. If the item has a long enough shelf life, this is usually a less expensive choice, and there is less packaging left over to mess with.
  • Choose paper-based boxes over plastic containers when there is a choice.
  • Do you have space and time for growing a garden? Even a small space can make an impact on how much packaging you bring home from the grocery store. There are varieties of vegetables that produce well in containers. Freeze or dehydrate the excess, or donate it to those unable to garden.
  • Make your own useful products. Connect with your frontier forbears who never knew about plastic. There are recipes online for homemade toothpaste, for goodness sakes. Also for salad dressings, ketchup and salsa, plus you can adjust the recipes to suit your preference. Churning your own butter might be a challenge, so buy the brands in boxes, not tubs. There are countless resources for do-it-yourself products for home use. The only limit is how much time and determination you devote.