For the month of April, we’re taking a zero waste challenge and trying to avoid all single-use plastics.
That means no plastic take-out containers, no straws, no bags of cereal, no plastic-wrapped english cucumbers, and the list goes on.
That might sound impossible, but we’re lucky to have some good resources to help. In addition to bulk bins at conventional grocery stores, Vancouver has 2 amazing zero-waste shopping options Nada and the Soap Dispensary, where we can fill reusable containers with food and other household products.
To kick off the month, I purchased a nice safety razor to replace the standard 5-blade Gillette and Schick ones I’ve used in the past (inspired by this AOC tweet). Safety razors are a little trickier to use, but have zero plastic and are cheaper to buy blades for.
We also had a successful zero-plastic pizza dinner on Sunday night. The biggest challenges were the crust and cheese. Normally we buy pizza crusts and Daiya cheese in plastic packaging. But we found Daiya cheese at Nada and made the crust from scratch, which was surprisingly easy and fun even if a bit more time consuming.
Our hope is that by being conscious of our plastic use this month, and striving for zero, we will learn new ways of reducing it once the challenge is over (like making pizza dough from scratch). It also gets us ready for a future when single-use plastics are no longer commonplace. There’s a growing movement worldwide to reduce our use of throwaway plastics. Here are some examples:
- Europe has agreed to ban single-use plastics by 2021.
- The NDP has promised to get rid of single-use plastics in Canada by 2022 if elected.
- Vancouver’s straw ban goes into effect on June 1, 2019, with other single-use plastics targeted in coming years.
- California, New York, and Hawaii are leading the charge in the USA with state-wide plastic bag and straw bans.