EcoUsable Ech2o Stainless Steel Filtered Water Bottle GIVEAWAY!

By Lynn Truong on 4 July 2009 440 comments
Photo: TreeHugger

I feel the same way about plastic water bottles as Andrea (read her Bottled Water, Bottled Hype series), and many others who feel that it's disturbing that over 60 million plastic water bottles go into landfills every day.  Even more disturbing are images like this one, showing the The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

 

It's a stew of trash floating in the Pacific that's twice the size of Texas, floating between California and Hawaii.

The impact of our actions is clear and striking. We can each do our small part in relieving the problem.

EcoUsable is here to help with that! They've created the Ech2o, the world's first stainless steel filtered water bottle. Um..it's a stainless steel water bottle...with a filter inside it!!  Get great-tasting, filtered water, anytime, anywhere! Drink from tap water, streams, rivers, lakes, and pools -- everything but salt water.

The filter not only reduces unpleasant taste, odor, chlorine, sand, and sediment, but also toxic chemicals, detergents, pesticides, and other harmful industrial and agricultural wastes. The 25 oz. bottles remove pollutants for up to 100 gallons, which lasts the average person about a year. Each bottle uses 304 food grade stainless steel that is non-leaching, BPA-free, reusable and lightweight!

Save money. Save the planet.  It's that simple.

To get you started, EcoUsable sent us three Ech2o filtered water bottles to give away to our Wise Bread readers. To enter, leave a comment about ways to reduce your plastic use. Drawing ends on July 20. Only open to U.S. residents aged 18 and over, void where prohibited. Only one entry per person will be counted.

This drawing has ended. Congrats to:  Sarah, Beceky, and John Meche

Don't forget. Even if you aren't one of the lucky winners, all Wise Bread readers can also get 10% off.

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Guest's picture

Inspired by a previous post on this blog, I've started saving the glass jars that the (generic, natural) peanut butter comes in to use them as storage -- the first one is holding some herbs that came from the CSA last week.

In the past, we have saved plastic Gatorade bottles and reused them as water bottles (they are more sturdy than most plastic water bottles). We're trying to get away from that, so we're slowly collecting metal water bottles instead. Having a water filtration system in the bottle is brilliant! (The water in our area is very hard, so we use our Brita whenever possible.)

Guest's picture
stefanie

i bring my own reusable bags everywhere - not just to the grocery store, but to any shopping trip so i won't have to use plastic bags. Also, we reuse our plastic bottles for water from the tap for several months - we're lucky enough that our tap water in Portland is delicious and we don't have to worry about bottled water.

Guest's picture
Rhonda

With two kids under the age of 6 we get a lot of plastic toys in plastic packaging. Our recycling bins are more entertaining to my son than the toys that were in the packages, in the bins. He saves everything to make his own robot, then we take th robot to the recycling station. Great way to re-use!

Guest's picture
Cathy

One can always strive to buy in bulk to reduce the waste of useless packaging, and reuse the containers too.

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kristy h

I use reusable shopping bags. One store that I shop at takes .05 cents off your total for every reusable bag that you use. So it saves on plastic and on my grocery bill!

Guest's picture
Erica

I switched from buying pre-made soda a few months ago and got a Sodastream. It came with two heavy-duty plastic bottles - the last two plastic soda bottles I'll ever need. Now I just fill one with water, pump it up with carbonation, and add whatever flavor (usually Torani syrup from a GLASS bottle, which I use for other things when empty) I want - hooray, soda without the plastic/aluminum glut!

Guest's picture
Valerie

I make sure to buy in bulk, instead of individual snack packs, and I pack a lunch in reusable hard containers instead of zip bags. I just bought the cutest little sandwich keeper shaped like a piece of bread!

Guest's picture
Laura

We've been trying to reduce our plastic use and it's been quite a challenge so far! One big thing for us as newbies has been finding juice and sauces packaged in glass at the supermarket. The glass bottles are really handy to have around once, they're empty, for storing syrups and mixes, which means we buy fewer tupperware containers!

Guest's picture
Amy B

I still buy the 24-pack of water bottles- but use only one a week (refilling it from the water machine in the break room at work). oooohhhh how it makes me mad when they clean at night and decide to thrown my bottle away that is sitting on my desk. Don't touch!

Also a big fan of using Target bags as trash bags (they are the perfect size for my trash can).

Guest's picture
Guest

Being aware is a great first step...once I started looking I found so many ways.. bring in my reusable coffee cup & water bottle, no more disposable water bottles at my house, swich from soda to ice tea which we make ourselves...

Guest's picture
wyrdling

glass gallon jugs (like for apple juice) make a great way to store large quantities of water... and never effect the taste. take those along on picnics (i use them for road trips.)

Guest's picture
tclarke

After having kids I realized just how much we waste and what I can do to reduce the waste. I bought them reusable water bottle (which they loved) that they can take everywhere instead of buying individual plastic water bottles. I recycle as much as I can from the smallest thing like a paper clip to the largest furniture (giving it away to a needy oerson or family). All plastic bags that come into my house are recycled. Pretty much anything that can be recycled is. Buying in bulk helps aot too.

Guest's picture
AppleTree

I use a stainless water bottle and carry it with me everywhere so I lessen the chance of having to buy a plastic bottle.

I also carry reusable grocery bags and when I do have plastic grocery bags I take them to the humane society in our town for use as poo bags.

Guest's picture
Reit

We have reduced our plastic usage in several ways. First, on the occasions we have to buy bottled water (airplane travel, etc.), we keep the bottle and refill it ourselves whenever needed. This means we almost never buy any bottled water. They also work great for travel since you can freeze the water (don't fill them completely!) and use it in the cooler. Once it has thawed, you have ice cold water to drink.

Second, we use our own non-disposable bags for shopping whenever possible. When we get plastic bags, we use them for our waste baskets.

Guest's picture

1) Go to etsy.com and purchase reusable, washable sandwich wraps and snack bags.

2) When having friends over, use real plates and silverware instead of opting for the easier disposable versions. An extra run of the dishwasher is worth saving the planet!

Guest's picture

Opt for companies like Melaleuca that use higher concentrations in their cleaning products (liquid detergent, antibacterial spray, etc) and provide re-usable bottles. You can get the same amount of detergent in one bottle from them that you can in something like 20 bottles of stuff you'd get in the grocery store.

You can save 19 bottles from being tossed and save money! :-) Also, as an added benefit, look for products that are all natural so they don't hurt the environment (or you and your family) when you use them.

Guest's picture
lisa

Hi!Find & use glass refrigerator containers , instead of plastic containers. I have old fashioned glass refrigerator containers & love them. Look at yard sales, auctions,thrift stores etc. I hope I win this give away. The bottles would be really great. lisa

Guest's picture
Sue

The plastic bags from stores seem to add up even with use of reusable bags. My school has a garden and the plastic bags are reused as veggie and fruit take homes. Also they are used by teachers as emergency backpacks. Each of these uses can be promoted to see how many times a bag can be reused keeping them in circulation and teaching a lesson in ecology.

Guest's picture
KelR1

I use a Brita pitcher rather than buy bottled water. I also bring my own bags to the grocery store when possible, and I only take a bag for my purchases at other stores when I have to and then I make sure to re-use or recycle that bag. I'm trying to buy less prepackaged food too.

Guest's picture
SMB

I used to ask for plastic bags at grocery stores only because I have a dog, and I used them to pick up his waste. Now I've switched to biodegradable poop bags, so I bring my own canvas bags to the store.

Guest's picture
Gwen

I use a few stainless steel water bottles, and I try to use fabric bags. Part of the problem with the latter is remembering to take them in to the store! They tend to languish in the trunk of my car.

I wish that Coke, Pepsi, and others would package multipacks of plastic bottles in cardboard instead of using those awful plastic rings. Every time I buy one, I cringe, but there's no way around it. Hubby's gotta have a resealable container for his soda (he is accident-prone).

Guest's picture
Gwen

Oh, and I use the filter built into the water dispenser in my refrigerator instead of buying bottled water.

Guest's picture
Bobbi

We recyle as much as possible in our house. When I go to dinner (occasionally), I usually bring home left overs and reuse the container the next time I go out. Of course I wash it first. ;)

Guest's picture
bashtree

Around my house, we use glass jars from groceries we buy in place of plastic containers for food storage - both in the pantry and for leftovers.

Guest's picture
Kristy

When we want to have a party and use disposable stuff, we buy compostable plates/cups/silverware made of stuff like sugarcane fiber and PLA (corn plastic - it really is compostable!).

Guest's picture
Guest

You can still get ketchup in glass bottles at many restaurant suppliers.

Guest's picture
Jimmy

We have also switched to canvas grocery bags, but do get paper on occasion to replenish the bags we use for the garbage can. We also save cardboard boxes that we receive in the mail to use as disposable garbage cans.

We have long been users of nalgene bottles, but have been making the switch to other alternatives since news of the issues with leaching.

Having done 20 years in the US Navy, I have seen first hand the effects of dumping at sea during numerous cruises and hope that everyone does their part to eliminate the destruction.

Respects

Guest's picture
Ann

I believe everyone has mentioned most of my ideas. I use reusable grocery bags. If I get a plastic bag I use it as a trash liner.

I reuse plastic bags and any plastic containers I can't avoid.

I try to buy as much in glass or metal. Rather than buying new salad dressing I reuse a glass bottle and buy the packets to make my own.

Guest's picture
Tammie Thomas

The way we do without plastic is we use glass jars, cloth bags, Metal containers for leftovers. We reuse our metal- sliver wear for goings and have a picnic backet that has regular dishes and metalwear for eatting our. We bring our own lunch and snacks so we avoid the plastic from fast foods.
We don't use food storage bags at all instead we use glass jars and pottery with lids.

Guest's picture
jen

My favorite tips aren't all about plastic, but alot of them are:
1. Reusable shopping bags! Keep some in your car for stops on the way home from work.
2. Metal water bottles! I am completely in love with my Sigg, and I'm lucky enough to live in Seattle where the tap water tastes delicious.
3. When you're getting takeout, request a minimum of packaging. For instance, you can carry a sub and a bag of chips without a plastic bag. Also, minimize the amount of takeout you eat, period.
4. Reuse whenever possible. I love to buy yogurt in large tubs - you can reuse those tubs pretty much indefinitely and then recycle them. Let your kids paint or decoupage them and use them to store their toys, special things, etc. Also, old t-shirts make excellent dust rags (as do cloth diapers).
5. When the water in the dog's dish needs replacing, use the old water on houseplants.
6. Compost, or, if you're not a gardener, take advantage of food waste composting programs in your area. Seattleites can now place pretty much all food scraps, along with paper towels, paper plates, etc, in our yard waste bins and the city comes around and picks it up for compost.
7. Encourage businesses you frequent to use biodegradable containers whenever possible. Encourage your city/county council to mandate this. Then compost them!

Guest's picture
Catherder

Holding costs down is a never-ending chore for every home and business. My favorite cost containment tip is one I learned from working in a restaurant and I use it at home all the time. Take a hard look at everything before you throw it out. Ask yourself if there is any unneccesary waste, for example, scrubbing veggies instead of peeling can produce a significant reduction in garbage. Do home made instead of ready-to-eat. I no longer need to use the 13 gallon size garbage bags and stopped buying them 5 years ago. Careful consideration reduced our daily waste to a regular sized grocery bag (or less!) and even reduced our grocery bill by at least 15%. If I didn't have to bag refuse (required by our city) I wouldn't need to use any plastic. My next eco project is to find a way to get our city to stop requiring plastic wrapped garbage. Wish me luck and if anyone can tell me a creative and eco-friendly solution for NOT having to use plastic at all and still keep the city happy, please let me know!

Guest's picture
Barchy

I can't count the number of 20 oz bottles I go through in a month. My wife and I are looking to lose the weight, so we're better off skipping the soda and drinking water from the filtered tap.

Guest's picture
Nancy C.

1) I am participating in my town's "plastic bag challenge." If the town reduces the number by a certain percentage, the town will receive a grant to use on public spaces and educational programs. I keep a minimum of four totes in my car to use when I'm out and about.
2) I've also bought several mesh bags to use for produce.
3) I now have steel water bottles that I fill at home to drink from throughout the day.
4) I'm working on reducing the number of items I purchase that are packaged in plastic. This seems to be the biggest challenge of all.

Guest's picture
Traci

Aside from the typical stuff (using canvas bags, recycling, stainless water bottles, etc.), I was very happy this year with my purchase of reusable sandwich wraps from a vendor on Etsy.com. They are lined, waterproof, material wraps that we use in our lunch boxes, avoiding plastic baggies. They are in fun colors and patterns, too.

Also for our lunches, we use a divided container to make our own "lunchables" that are healthier, cheaper, and cut down on waste.

And no more body washes in plastic bottles. We use bar soaps, just like the good ol' days. :) I am trying to find bar shampoo and conditioner, too, that will work on my hair.

Great thread!

Guest's picture
Kimmer

I've recently started making totes for water bottles out of old blue jeans. Love that the kids can take their water out on hikes, and it stays pretty cold!

I also love to make grocery bags, although I do need to work on remembering to take them with me.

Guest's picture
jim

In my house we use a water filter pitcher and then fill a reusable water bottle whenever we go out and need to bring water. We also have a large recycling program in our town. So all of our plastic, tin cans, and cardboard gets picked up every week. I just hate that they can't take large pieces of card board. It takes me forever to cut up the card board from various things like when we get a new appliance or the kids get a new large toy. I wish manufacturers would give up on all this stupid excess packaging.

Guest's picture
Guest

- use a glass or aluminum bottle for your water and refill as necessary ( a water filter would be helpful)
- reusable bags when shopping... plenty of stores hand them out
- repurpose plastic bags when you DO get them ~ fusing them to make fabric, crocheting them, or using them to line drawers comes to mind
- recycle recycle recycle!

Guest's picture

sorry that previous one was mine =d i forgot to fill out the top form

Guest's picture
Colleen

We wash and reuse all plastic containers. I have a home child care so we make baby food containers, butter containers, etc into paint trays, glue trays, holders, bins, shoe cubbies, etc. Nothing does to waste.

Guest's picture
Michelle

I recently learned how to make the cutest, simplest tote bags with really strong straps. They easily carry a bag of groceries. I'm just now getting in my grocery store groove with them. However, I've found that I use much less plastic when I eat healthier. Produce doesn't generate nearly as much waste as bags of Cheetos do...

Guest's picture
Jess

My favorite way to reduce my plastics consumption is to, when I do use plastic baggies, to reuse them. Might sound silly, might sound obvious, but I've saved a fair amount of money reusing them.

Guest's picture
Guest

We reuse the grocery bags we get from supermarkets and use reusable bags whenever we remember to bring them with us...

We also avoid using disposable tableware.

We use tupperware to bring sandwiches to work instead of plastic bags.

Guest's picture
Amanda

Use and reuse! Every time you use something you have instead of buying new you are reducing plastic use, and you'll save cash too.

Guest's picture
Rebecca F

use cloth diapers! For one child, cloth diapers keeps 1 metric ton of plastic and chemicals out of our landfills - and they are cheaper and easier!!!

Guest's picture
Mark

I've stopped using those little plastic straws for my mixed drinks.

Guest's picture
Kristin

I have a Brita water pitcher in my fridge instead of buying bottled water. I also take my own reusable totes to the grocery store instead of getting bags.

Guest's picture
Tyler

I've never been a real fan of bottled water, it always tasted wierd to me. Now I fill up a jug with water and let it cool in the refrigerator, I save money by not running the water until it's cold, and I don't buy bottled water.

Guest's picture
TJP

Use mason jars instead of the use and toss lunch containers. They are inexpensive at yard sales (reuse), easy to clean no matter what was inside, no chemical to leach into the food and they are recyclable if something does happen to them.

Guest's picture
Guest

for those of us who are frequent fliers for work, bringing our own bottle we can fill up after going through security is key. Otherwise we're buying bottles of water at the airport and tossing them when the flight attendants come through to collect trash - not the best way to save the planet!

Guest's picture
Wendy

We've made a number of changes in my household to reduce our plastic usage:

Instead of disposable feminine hygiene products, I use a DivaCup and cloth "napkins."

When our kids were in diapers (the youngest gave up diapers more than five years ago :), we used cloth diapers.

We use "shampoo bars" that come wrapped in paper, rather than plastic bottles.

We buy milk in glass containers from local farmers.

We grow our own vegetables to reduce the amount of plastic produce baggies and/or buy veggies from the Farmer's Market.

We bring cloth bags to the grocery stores, and if we're doing other shopping and don't have a cloth bag, we don't take a bag.

We make our own dishwasher detergent using Borax and Arm&Hammer Washing powder.

We make our own deodorant with baking soda, cornstarch, coconut oil and essential herb oils.

We reuse what containers we can reuse, and we recycle all of the plastic containers that can be recycled.

Mostly, though, we're just careful about not making too many purchases, and more than any of the other changes, reducing our purchases has significantly reduced the amount of plastic packaging that comes into our house - and it's saved us a lot of money, too ;).

Guest's picture
Mara

bring your own bags to the grocery store

Guest's picture
Andrea

I try to buy fresh food with no plastic packaging. If I can't do that, I try to pick the item with the least packaging.

Guest's picture
Rachelle

most of the plastic that comes into my house is from kid junk.

my handy tips are; shop thrift stores/garage sales
use a dang water fountain, they are everywhere
my kids all have a refillable sports bottle

bonus of living a frugal life style...less trash,more happiness!!

Guest's picture
Cassie

Buy in bulk (so there is less packaging per portion) and freeze in reusable containers.

Look for reduced packaging and containers that can be easily recycled or reused.

Use reusable grocery bags.

Craft with disposable containers. Cut butterflies from plastic bottles of various colors to create a mobile, for example. Cleaned containers make excellent summer craft projects for kids.

Reuse disposable containers. Water bottles can be washed and reused numerous times, for example. Containers that dispense cleaning wipes can be used to store and feed yarn or can be used with home-made wipes.

Use washable containers instead of baggies for lunches. Cheapo containers like the Glad and Ziplock ones are an excellent investment.

Purchase lunch meats that come in reusable containers. I wish more food came in reusable containers!

Guest's picture
Nina Lorenzi

I always pack water for long trips in my stainless steal bottles. Reuse plastic bags from produce. Teach children to recycle and use less plastic by not buying individually wrapped snacks-- too many are targeted to kids/busy moms.

Guest's picture
tracie

Reuseable containers. For lunches, storage and 1001 other uses around the house and yard.

Guest's picture
Lacey

I try to pack my lunch in reuseable storage containers instead of ziplock bags. I heat & eat the food right in the container, no need to use plastic or paper plates.

I reuse plastic butter tubs as food containers, or in the garden for watering, planting seeds, etc. Milk jugs make great greenhouses and scoops.

Guest's picture
R

Bring your own canvas bag when checking out for stores, and decline a bag if you're only purchasing one or two items.

Guest's picture
Kathleen

Cloth grocery bags, decreased purchase of overly packaged items - I don't think I'm doing anything that others aren't doing. I have two cats, totally indoor, and I have a million uses for the handled jugs of litter (my favorite is cutting one side open and making a magazine holder from it) and for the bigger buckets with a handle, foremost of which is the camping kit. Each person has their own bucket to sit on, and essential stuff can be stored inside, and kept dry.
I gave up Tupperware, etc. a long time ago. Glass can be reused for a long, long time, and when it finally chips or breaks, I have friends who blow glass into fabulous things.
I would love to try a stainless bottle for my water. I'm sure the water would taste much better than plastic water! I reuse glass bottles, but they aren't always safe when traveling.
I really enjoyed reading all the other things people do. Keep it up, people! Great work!

Guest's picture
Cathy

When making a choice between similar products, always opt for the less packaging option. To be even more effective, send a note to the other product's manufacturer to let them know that you're a consumer who cares and who makes informed choices.

Guest's picture
Pam Hash

Carry a cute canteen or cup when you go for bike rides. Take small filtration devices to filter water from streams and lakes.

Guest's picture
JohnZFields

the obvious answer is bring your own shopping bags and choose paper bags. I also try to shy away from individual bottles of anything I drink, and if I do have to buy a pack of something I choose cans so that they can be recycled. Take care of the only Earth people.

Guest's picture
Amanda

I think one of the easiest ways is to start a compost pile in a corner of your yard. Save your vegetable remains, egg shells, yard clippings, etc and turn it into free fertilizer for your garden. It's easy to do and it's free.

Another suggestion is to stock up on groceries 1 time per week (or every other week) instead of making numerous trips to the store. You'll save money, burn less gas, and release fewer emissions. :)

Guest's picture
Margaret

Biodegradable water bottles

Guest's picture
Yoni

I switched to reusable shopping bags exclusively, and I only drink tap water from a reusable bottle.

Guest's picture
Linda Blackmon

I learned this idea from PlasticLess.com. It is easy and something that I would be able to do. Refill your empty Windex bottles with homemade glass cleaner (made from equal parts tap water and vinegar sold in glass bottles). The idea of not purchasing more plastic and using what I have is appealing to me. Thank you.

Guest's picture
Teri

I have a 4 year old grandaughter and want to start teaching her about how to use things that are eco friendly and not throwing just everything away. She watches me and even reminds me to get the reusable bags I've bought at the grocery and keep in the back of the car when we go shopping. She fills up her water cup at the refrigerator with filtered water. When we are out, we get water in a cup instead of a bottle. When we go out for a picnic we wrap our sandwiches in wax paper and use a paper bag like my mother did years ago. When we do buy things in plastic such as yogurt cups or margarine, we make sure to reuse them. We use them for paint or to use in her pool or when we have a lot of them saved we donate them to preschools. One preschool uses the smaller margarine tubs as flowerpots for mother day projects.

Guest's picture
Molly

Refill mechanical pencils instead of buying new ones.

Guest's picture
Chrissy

Buy in bulk and store in reusable containers.

Guest's picture
Laurie B

My husband and I use lidded pyrex glass containers for our leftovers and lunches. While they might be heavier than plastic containers, they wash more cleanly, never stain, and are sturdy and presentable.

Guest's picture
Jenni

1. Bring my own reusable bag when I go grocery shopping.
2. Save plastic shopping bags for future use, ie as garbage bags.
3. Reuse saran wrap, but only ones used for cooked foods.
4. Fill Snapple bottles with water and carry that around instead of buying bottled water.
5. Reuse plastic food containers, ie. sippy cups for kids, snack-pack containers, Tupperware, storage containers.
6. Buy industrial-sized soap/cleaning agents and pour into old pump/spray bottles.
7. I save samples of shampoo/conditioner/facial cleaner/moisturizers for trips so I don't have to buy travel-friendly-sized products.

Not only do I do my part in saving our environment, I also save a bit of money too!

Guest's picture
Tabatha

We only have one trash can with a liner in the house and food scraps or messy trash goes in there. All other rooms are only paper type trash.
We reuse bread bags to clean up dog poop. No need to buy a second bag type. We've also found storing them in an empty tissue container is a breeze.
On the rare occasion I buy a personal sized drink I get a glass bottle. Then I wash and reuse that bottle for water. I have several glass water bottles in the fridge at any time so I can grab one as I head out. Saves plastic and money.
We reuse plastic containers like butter bowls to pack up leftovers for family to take with them from large meals.

Guest's picture
Cara A

In our house we reuse bread bags. They are good for all kinds of storage and to keep other foods fresh. When I was a kid in NY state, I remember my father using the bread bags to make it easier to slip on winter boots and keep feet dry. Now I live in a mild climate, but still a good idea for those up north.

Guest's picture
Rachel

I used to eat a yogurt every morning. I have start making my own yogurt and packing it in a glass pyrex bowl. That works great for me and greatly reduces my plastic usage.

Guest's picture
Mysha Sissine

I think that these are all great ways to reduce plastic waste.

I would also include that encouraging friends, family and co-workers to consider their own impact on the environment and asking them to make changes in their plastic uses. And leading by example, of course!!

Guest's picture
Guestshannon

Our family does what we can. pack lunches, reuseable bags, cloth diapering, tupperware etc.

Guest's picture
CC

1. I keep two clean cups in my vehicle at all times, one for hot and one for cold drinks. I no longer accept disposable cups when I get a drink away from home.
2. I use fabric bags for all my shopping needs.
3. I bring my lunch from home in reusable glass containers.
4. I use cloth napkins, rags and cloth towels instead of paper.
5. I purchase my toilet paper in bulk, eliminating all plastic outer wrapping.
6. I use shampoo bars that are wrapped in paper. No need for conditioner either!
7. I use soap bars wrapped in fabric.
8. I make my own toothpaste. No more toothpaste tubes.
9. I bring my own utensils, napkins, glass straws, cups and plates to church pot-lucks!
10. I use rechargeable batteries, purchased in bulk, so less plastic packaging.
11. I have my own vegetable garden, and shop at farmers markets.
12. I buy my eggs from a local chicken farmer who puts them in my reused egg cartons!
13. when ever I purchase an item on-line, I request no plastic packing material. I have found that it works when I ask!
14. Freecycle is a wonderful forum for providing a reuse for plastic packing materials that still do arrive here!
15. I save all plastic and glass containers for reuse. Some are freecycled, some become crafts in my classroom. My students love when I ask them to 'bring me your trash"!
16. My friends laugh at my 'eco-friendliness', but I have noticed that they are making changes too!

Guest's picture
Amber

I'm sure it's up there about 100 times already but carrying my own little canvas bags to the grocery store and such. I've heard that the plastic bags we use every day are super hard to process, recycle, etc. I only use bags for produce if I'm buying a bunch of small things I need to group together, like peas. I get most of my produce from a CSA, though, which doesn't use any plastic and a heck of a lot less gas.

Guest's picture
Y

In the city, it's hard to totally avoid those plastic bags - everyone wants to give you one! We say "no" to takeout bags - the stuff is usually in paper anyways - and to the extent we get one, it gets reused - dog cleanup, gym clothes, trash liners, you name it. Oh, and no plastic water bottles. Filters are the way to go.

Guest's picture
Heidi

I do the canvas bag thing, too, when going to the grocery store. We live on the third floor, so we also have some of those big blue Ikea bags and use them to bag our canvas bags to haul everything up at once. It's nearly impossible to do that without squishing everything if you use plastic bags.

We also installed a faucet Britta filter in our kitchen. Takes care of the nasty chemical taste in our city water, and makes a lot less trash to have to haul back down those three flights of stairs, too.

Guest's picture
Sarah

Use reusable bags at the grocery stores. If you need plastic bags to line the trash cans take some from the box outside the grocery store where they have plastic bags for recycling.

Guest's picture
Guest

Ways to reduce waste;

1. reuse plastic bottles as long as you can, then recycle (which can be recycled)

2. we use stainless steel or glass container whenever possible.

3. reduce, reuse and recycle.

P

Guest's picture
Amy

Stop using the thin plastic bags in the produce department. You're going to wash your produce when you get home anyway, right?

Guest's picture
Cathie

Let's see, already do a lot of the above, but winning this contest would greatly reduce the water I buy in plastic bottles.
If I don't win, will definitely buy one.

Guest's picture
Chrissa

Bring your own coffee mug to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts or wherever your daily caffine fix comes from, decline a bag if you're just going to eat that accompanying pastry right away. No daily cup to throw away, no bag to trash.

Guest's picture
Lynsie

If there is a choice, I will always choose products in glass over plastic. I can reuse the glass containers, and recycle them when I don't have a use for them.

Guest's picture
SMurF

I've started to buy powder laundry detergent, because it is packaged in paper material that is easily recycled.

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kleo11

take your mug with you when you go to buy coffee at the local java hut of choice. you can also reuse the paper sleeves that they give you with the paper cup.

if you do recieve a plastic bag, you can use them to stuff pillows for the couch. any decorative pillow that your head wont rest on. the cruch noise will keep you awake. you can also stuff a bean bag chair for the kids in college!

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Valerie

I have been reusing over-the-counter or prescription medication bottles to hold shampoo, condition, or lotion when I am traveling. They are a great size for your carry-on and waterproof / leak-proof.

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Meredith

I quit buying things like little fruit cups and pudding cups. I bought some little containers that are washable and fill those ups from a larger container that is recyclable. It saves money and less waste.

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Kristin

I use reusuable containers for my packed lunch rather then ziplock baggies, and when I do use ziplocks, I wash them and use them again. I also never get plastic at the store (use cloth bags), and I try to reuse those plastic produce bags when possible.

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Ashley S

We wash and re-use freezer/sandwich bags in our household

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Jeannine

Ways I've reduced my plastic consumption:

- Canvas or repurposed reusable plastic bags for groceries
- Sewed my own sandwich wraps and snack bags out of fabric
- Don't put fresh produce in their own flimsy plastic bags anymore
- Using concentrated detergents and soaps for less packaging needs

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lisa

I keep my reusable bags in the car, and we don't use plastic for food storage. But it's hard to stop buying stuff packed in plastic.

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Not A Hipster

After use simply turn it inside out and place it in the dishwasher rather than tossing it in the trash.

I have not purchased ziplock/glad freezer bags in about two years. Though I do not use sandwich bags I imagine this could be done with those as well.

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FlatGreg

The amount of trash you get from takeout or to-go boxes is ridiculous. Frequently you get a pack of disposable plastic ware, and food in a styrofoam or other plastic container. While I don't think it's acceptable to bring your own reusable container, you can ask them to not include plastic ware with your takeout and use your own silverware at home.

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V. Patterson

Take cloth bags with you to shop, not just grocery stores, all stores. If you forget, carry your things to the car - bet you won't forget again :-) Rather than use sandwich bags, plastic storage containers, etc.. to take leftovers for lunch, I use the glass equivalent (like corning ware). It's a little heavier to carry but it's easy enough to store in the fridge, heat in the microwave, and take back home to wash.

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Jen

I save any junk mail I get (snail mail, I mean) and I use all the envelopes and backs of advertisements, coupons, etc, as my daily "pad" to jot down stuff.
I don't buy special pads and paper. I just use that stuff.
If you stack it all nicely, and keep it in a drawer, it looks fine.

After I'm done with them, I put them in a cardboard box I have under my computer desk, so I can easily toss ALL paper into it, and take it to the paper recycling bin at the local school parking lot every month.

So by recycling (I do plastic, glass, tin/aluminum, and cardboard, too) I've save sooooo much money in trash bags, and town trash bags, cut down our waste into the landfil, and sent stuff to be reused. (in our town, we have to buy special trash bags to put our OWN trash bags in, so the garbage company will take them. Stupid eh?)

Use that junk mail! You can't escape it anyway!

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Jen

The kids were distracting me, and I forgot the article was about recycling/reducing PLASTIC waste.
Oopsie!
Well, you can still use my tip!

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Sarah Lux

I use the paper and fabric bags and recycle anything I can. We have a recycling dumpster in our town so we are very fortunate because you can put a larger variety of things in there than the curb side pick up bins. I reuse bottles and buy the reusable bottles as well. A bottle that filters is so exciting! I get a little flack from family about recycling but I really don't care I know that God gave us charge over this earth and I want to do all I can to be a good steward of it.