July 24, 2012

Plastic Free Is Possible. {Book Review}

Look around you right now. How many items within reach contain plastic?

Ugh. Diamonds are forever? I don’t know about that, but plastic will be with us forever—and not in a good way. Besides the environmental impact, the health impact of BPA and other chemicals concerns me too. How is this affecting our food, our drinking water? If I wouldn’t want my kids to eat toxins, why would I want their food wrapped in them?

Plastic-free isn’t possible in today’s world, is it? I didn’t really think it was. I try to be conscientious and limit things bought with plastic and excess packaging. I encourage interest in plastic free toys for the kids. I bring my reusable bags everywhere I might need them. But “plastic free” didn’t feel possible—until I read Beth Terry’s book.

What I loved about Plastic Free is that it wasn’t just facts and stats about why you should avoid using plastic, it was a practical guide with solutions offered for replacing all the typically plastic items we use. There are ideas for small and large changes. This doesn’t have to be a several thousand dollar project where you throw out and replaced every plastic item you own. There are helpful ideas for phasing out what you have and simple (and often inexpensive) solutions for everyday issues including listing of specific brands and websites as well as do-it-yourself ideas.

It also isn’t a “sit back and consume” advice guide. Beth gives practical advice on how to contact companies and local business about changing their practices. There are tips on everything from throwing a “zero-waste party,” to the best way to store different types of fruits and vegetables without plastic, to non-toxic cleaning solutions. This isn’t one of those books that you read and think, “oh, that’s nice. I should do something about that.” This is one of those books that you pull out and refer to all the time. I’ve got it wedged up in with my cookbooks and am already pulling it out several times a week for new ideas.

If you are looking to reduce your plastic use, or for a gift for an eco-conscious friend, I would recommend Plastic Free.

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