FREE Printable Reminder to Bring Reusable Bags

Plastic pollution is out of control.

There is no other way to say it, and there is no more time to waste. We can’t keep trying our best only when it’s convenient for us.

I can say this because I am a huge offender myself. I’m careful to recycle, but as soon as I run out of coffee I’m out the door to pick up my Starbucks mobile order, a big heaping mound of plastic waiting on the counter for me. It just recently dawned on me that my toothbrush, razor and kitchen sponges were all plastic. And I constantly pull into a parking spot at the grocery store to realize that I have left all of my reusable bags at home. All of this is to say that it is a learning curve for sure, but a necessary one.

I feel like I must have been living under a rock the last few years to miss these stats, but if anyone’s in the same boat, here they are (compliments of National Geographic):


A trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year.

Nearly a million plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute.

Americans toss millions of plastic straws every day.

9 million tons of plastic waste end up in the ocean every year (meaning, at this point, there are hundreds of millions of tons of plastic waste in our oceans.)


It’s just disgusting. We might use something like a plastic bag for a few seconds or a few minutes, but it ends up in our environment for hundreds of years. And the saddest part is that all of these pollutants end up feeding the marine animals and wildlife, and up the food chain they go (exposing us in the end).

Even beauty products like facial scrubs have microplastics that form those little beads and ultimately end up right down the drain in a few seconds time. Contacts that are thrown in the sink or toilet end up in our water supply.

Enough is enough already. It’s time to take inventory of our plastic use and disposal and see what we can affect. Here are the easy, down and dirty commitments I am making. Please join me if you haven't already beaten me to it.

Remember
Sometimes, try as I might, the hardest part is remembering. Remembering to bring my reusable grocery and produce bags, remembering to bring my own glass or cup to the coffee shop, remembering to bring my own leftover container to a restaurant. To help me and anyone else who has trouble remembering, I’ve created this printable reminder to hang on the front door.

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If this doesn’t fit with your decor, try a more unsuspecting visual cue, like an air plant or wreath, near the door to remind you to go green.

Avoid beauty products with “polyethylene” in them
These are the tiny plastic particles found in things like facial scrubs, and they are not biodegradable, adding to the microplastic problem.

BMOC and skip the straw
I won’t be ordering to-go drinks like Starbucks anymore so I can bring my own cup or glass for them to fill up, and I always skip the straw. If you must get a to-go drink, just pop the top off and slug it down. Straws cause wrinkles anyway ;) Try to reuse the cup. Avoiding plastic water bottles goes without saying.

Switch to bamboo
I will use our plastic toothbrushes and sponges until they are on their very last legs, but after that I am switching to bamboo (we’ve already made the switch to bamboo toilet paper, and even my pup, Violet, has a bamboo toothbrush!).

Of course, this is just scratching the surface, but baby steps. My next moves toward zero waste are to start composting and to zone out plastic bottles like shampoo, body wash, detergents, etc.

What are your tips for cutting down on plastic waste? Would love to hear them!

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