Several years ago, I looked around my kitchen and thought, "I don't want to use paper napkins anymore." So I pulled out the cloth napkins I was saving for special occasions, and we started using them every day. We didn't have enough to get through the week, but using what we had before switching to paper still saved a lot.
Earlier this month, I read an article in the National Geographic that said that our oceans are so contaminated with plastic that even sea salt now has tiny plastic particles in it.
It took a couple of weeks to sink in, but I decided that I want to use less plastic.
Using no plastic for me right now is not an option. I've long wanted to use re-usable shopping bags, but I told myself I couldn't because we used plastic grocery sacks as trash can liners.
But I realized last week that I could use less, and that would still help. I cleaned out the coat closet and found several re-usable shopping bags that we've received for free over the years. Now when I take my weekly grocery shopping trip, I fill those bags first, and then I use plastic bags.
I've also decided to collect plastic bags that I don't re-use (like produce bags, or grocery sacks that break) and return them to the store for recycling. On top of that, I'm trying not to use produce bags when I don't need them (a dozen apples—yes; two limes—no).
I enjoy using the re-usable bags. They're quite a motley assortment, all different sizes and colors, but they hold more than regular plastic sacks, they fit in the cart better, and they're easier to carry into the house. And, of course, it's nice to know that I'm taking a small step toward saving the planet—or at least destroying it a little more slowly.
I'm happy that I've learned to do a thing imperfectly. Because it doesn't have to be all or nothing; and if 50% works for us right now, it's better than zero.