I wanted to share a few tips that I use all the time for reducing the amount of trash that I accumulate, and since we are in #plasticfreeJuly, I figured this is a great time to post about this. 

I found the easiest way for me was to incorporate one step at the time, and once it is engrained in my brain I moved on to the next one. All of the products that I show here you can click to buy, I wanted to make things a little easier for you, and if this saves you up some time then I'm all for it. 

R E U S A B L E   B A G S .

I have collected about 5 or 6 reusable bags, mostly from Trader Joe's, that I take with me every time I go grocery shopping. I have one for cold, frozen stuff, and the rest are just the regular ones made from recycled plastic. You can get them on almost all grocery stores or you can buy them online.

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I recently incorporated the reusable veggie bags by NHB, which I take with me as well. I use these for fruits and veggies that could be squished and that I get a lot of, such as tomatoes, carrots, and zucchinis, jalapeƱos mainly. Avocados, lemons, onions, garlic, apples, bananas, I usually put together in one of the other reusable bags while I'm shopping so they are not in direct contact with the shopping cart, but when I get home they usually go on the fruit bowl or in a bin on the fridge, so, no need to waste a bag on these. You can get yours here.

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R E  U S A B L E   C U P S .

I have several reusable cups that I would bring with me everywhere. I would take my morning smoothie to work on one of them, and after drinking it all, I would rinse it and fill it with water from the tap, instead of buying bottles of water. I would also always carry my water jug to yoga. This is actually what made me get used to drinking more water during the day.

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I don't buy coffee from coffee shops very often, I usually prepare coffee at home and if I have to leave the house I grab an aluminum reusable cup and off I go. It saves me both time and money, plus I really love brewing my own coffee.  

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R E U S A B L E    S T R A W S .

I bought a steel straw a couple of years ago that I would use at home but would never bring it with me when I went out. Luckily, most of the drinks I order don't involve a straw (water, wine, mimosas), but if you enjoy sipping your drink from a straw, bringing a reusable glass or stainless steel would be very convenient. Some, like the glass straw from Natural Home Brands, come with their own protective pouch that you can carry in your purse and  a brush for easy washing.

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B U Y   I N   B U L K .

Buying in bulk gets me so happy! I started getting stuff in bulk since I moved to Oregon. I finally had the time to try and cook new healthy recipes and what I had found out is that a lot of this prepackaged food was pretty expensive. Once I found a supermarket that carried a lot of food in bulk, I now get all of my grains, flours, sugar, oats, spices and sometimes even pasta. And even though I did use plastic bags, I have been reusing them and will continue to do so until they fall apart. I want to be prepared when they do, so I will be making some muslin bags, since I have a lot of muslin at home. I will share how I did them here in case you want to make your own. 

I store all my bulk food in glass jars, I had to buy bigger jars for stuff we eat a lot of and more often, but other stuff I keep in reused food containers, which bring me to my next point.

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B U Y   G L A S S   I N S T E A D .

Even though it is not always possible, I have found that this step is useful in two ways: you avoid using plastic, and you end up with a toxic free container that you can use over and over again, to store your bulk food for example. I have found a glass container version of a lot of the things that I buy, which is very convenient.

I also use these containers for home made salad dressings and salsas. They last so much longer and are safer than keeping them on plastic containers. 

I also now store all my leftovers in glass containers instead of plastic ones. You don't risk releasing toxic chemicals into your food and you can microwave them if needed. I don't use the microwave a lot but it is a lifesaver that I don't have to worry about this anymore when I do use it. These are the ones that I have:
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R E U S E   S I N G L E   U S E   P L A S T I C . 

You know a lot of you might already have some plastic containers in your home, so what would be the best, to throw them away or reuse them? I say let's reuse them! I have empty skincare containers that I will be reusing a lot, either to store my own homemade masks and toners, or to take with me for travel. I also use other plastic containers to store homemade house cleaners and laundry detergent. Whatever I don't have a use for I'll check if it is recyclable and pray to the gods I'll remember not to buy that next time.

U S E   C O M P O S T A B L E   P I C N I C W A R E .

It is amazing to me that people still use styrofoam/plastic cups and plates for their gatherings and bbq's. It makes me angry in fact, it takes an insane amount of fossil fuels to be made, contain carcinogens and almost every piece is still floating around somewhere . So, if you are like me and want to make a better decision when inviting people over, use compostable picnicware. I recently discovered Repurpose Compostables, which carry everything from compostable straws, plates and bowls, utensils, and cups. They compost in around 90 days after they've been used. 

Hope these tips and products are helpful for everyone trying to be more conscious consumers. If you are interested in learning more about plastic free July you can head over to www.plasticfreejuly.org where you can find more information about the movement and what it entails, you can subscribe and you'll receive more tips and recipes