One of the ways our family has tried to simplify our lives is by vowing to not purchase any more plastic. We decided this about 2 years ago now and have (by and large) followed this guideline successfully.
As you can imagine, not buying plastic eliminates MANY purchases. Every time I step into Target and start piling goodies into my cart, I pause and ask myself “is it plastic?”. This goes for toys, trinkets, household items, dishes, shoes, purses, party favors, gifts, organizers, food storage containers… you get the idea.
Some areas of deviation: containers that things (like shampoo) come in, toys from garage sales (especially things that don’t have a wooden substitute like Legos), things that are only available in plastic (VHS and DVD’s come to mind- though we only buy these 2nd hand as well), etc.
We’ve found that we buy SIGNIFICANTLY LESS with this rule in place. I’ve also found that the things that are filling up our spaces in place of plastic are so much more aesthetically pleasing: glass jars, cloth napkins and table cloths, wooden versions of popular kids toys, jelly jars to drink from, wicker baskets, etc.
Also, I received several glass bowls with lids for Christmas last year and LOVE them. I’ve yet to break one, I feel better about storing and heating our food in them, and they wash like a dream. Of course, we still have plenty of the take-or-toss plastic version from yesteryear that we also use. (We are not legalistic about this “rule”, but instead use it as a guideline.)
ANYWAY, I know I probably sound like a totally smug asshole for even talking about this. However, I feel like it’s been such a positive change for us in so many ways: definitely cheaper as we buy waaaay less stuff (though, TRUE, sometimes the things we DO buy cost more), environmentally friendlier in many ways (less “disposable” of a mindset since things cost more, for one thing), and less plastic JUNK cluttering up our lives.
(Does it help to tell you that we still eat at McD’s sometimes and have PLENTY of PLASTIC little ponies around here to prove it?)
All of that said, I wanted to share with you my very favorite-est kitchen… erm
that I currently own, the Bird Tray (not it’s real name; I don’t speak IKEA
<img src="http://www.ikea.com/PIAimages/0097583_PE238293_S3.JPG" alt="<span class=" id="SPELLING_ERROR_8" /
It’s PLASTIC, but it was only $5.99. Despite what it’s made of, I strongly feel that you should all buy one too, and then we can all be bird tray twins. And we can all sigh happy sighs together whenever we walk by our prettttttty bird trays.