Say Goodbye to Plastic Recap
On Thursday, January 21, Sustainable Lafayette, along with the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and sponsors MCE and Reasonable Books, held an author talk with Sandra Ann Harris who wrote Say Goodbye to Plastic: A Survival Guide for Plastic-Free Living. We also heard from Sustainable Lafayette’s newest volunteer, Acalanes sophomore Kylie Choi. Here’s a quick recap of the evening along with some tips from Kylie and a resource guide for clothing, packaging, places to donate, learning about clean water, deforestation and global warming.
Tips from Sandra
The focus of the evening was Sandra’s book. We got a chance to hear her read the preface and we learned her inspiration for going plastic free. We also got a quick look at the damage plastic debris is doing to our oceans. We also learned a few tricks to replacing plastic items in our homes, such as using bamboo toothbrushes or replacing plastic tubes of toothpaste with powders. If you’d like to pick up a copy of her book, it is currently for sale at Lafayette bookstore, Reasonable Books, located between Trader Joe’s and the post office.
Meet Kylie Choi
Near the end of the evening, we got a chance to hear from Kylie, a high school student at Acalanes. On December 20, 2020 she started giving reusable mesh produce bags away for free at the Moraga Farmers’ Market every Sunday. The goal of the booth is to use her wealth and privilege for a good cause -- to help save our environment by spreading awareness on plastic use and reducing single use plastic waste. She’s been buying the bags at Trader Joe’s where you can buy 2 reusable produce bags for $2. She does accept donations to keep her booth going.
Kylie approached Sustainable Lafayette and presented her reusable produce bag project to the board. As a result, she is our first candidate for the LEAF award. The board will be voting on her project in early February and there’s a good chance she will become our first recipient of the award. To learn more about the LEAF award, please read this blog post. To qualify, you must be a student in the Lamorinda area with a viable sustainability project that you want to undertake.
Top Three Tips for Living More Plastic Free and Sustainable
Here are Kylie’s top three tips on sustainability...
Tip #1: Don't Buy It If You Don't Need It
If you see delicious foods in plastic packaging or some clothes online that have polyester or made of plastics, go ahead and buy it! But before you buy, really think about how much you REALLY want that thing, and if your joy from that product is worth contributing to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Make sure that you're aware of the benefit and cost.
Tip #2: Be Consciously Aware of Materials
Since plastic is so easy to produce, it's everywhere -- it’s in your clothes, your packaging/containers, and your kid’s toys! Make sure you are aware every time you buy plastic. This tip is easy: all you have to do is make a short mental note every time you notice something is made of plastic. In other words, always ask questions. What is this made of? Where did it come from? Where will it go when I throw it away or recycle it?
Tip #3: Educate Yo'self (and Family and Friends)
Watch Netflix documentaries while you munch on popcorn, or save the world by taking a little extra time out of your day to research plastics! For example: not many are aware that RECYCLABLE PLASTICS AREN'T ALWAYS RECYCLED! Recycling plastics takes money and time, and sometimes recycling is more expensive than dumping it. Make sure you outsmart companies trying to prey on humans' laziness by learning what actually gets recycled and what is just thrown into your waters so you can choose what to buy the right way.
To get you started on helping our planet, here's a link to Plastic's 101 by National Geographic.
Sustainability Resource Document
Kylie has a QR code that you can use to download a PDF filled with a few pages of resources to learn more about sustainability. Use your phone’s camera to scan the code and download the PDF.