The vast amount of plastic waste that pollutes the environment today is driven in large part by the use of disposable, single-use items such as plastic straws, bags, cutlery, take-out containers, and even recyclable items like plastic beverage bottles. Single-use plastic items are generally used only for a few minutes before they're discarded, but can have a significant environmental impact in the manufacturing process and  remain in the environment indefinitely .
That’s why our first challenge is to reduce or eliminate single-use plastics!  
Tally the single-use plastics that occur frequently in your life, and where you encounter them most often Does your favorite restaurant have plastic or foam take-out containers? Does your drink order always come with a straw? Do your purchases come home in plastic shopping bags? Take a few minutes this week to notice when and where single-use plastics enter your life.
Start building (and using!) your own Zero Waste on-the-go kit . Many wasteful plastic items come into our lives when we are on-the-go and it’s hard to avoid them if we’re not prepared with reusable alternatives. Make a kit stocked with reusable options and show disposables who’s boss!

We recommend including the items below in your Zero Waste on-the-go kit, but feel free to pick and choose:
  • Reusable, non-plastic beverage containers—stainless steel coffee mugs, glass or stainless steel water bottles. Mason jars are affordable and work, too!
  • Reusable totesKeep one in your purse, backpack, car or bike so you always have one on hand.
  • Cotton produce bags—Make your own using old pillow cases, clothes, or scrap fabric. Can’t sew? Eco-Bags and Etsy are great sources for cloth produce bags (we especially like this set with the tare weight marked).
  • Stainless steel food containers for take-out or leftovers.
  • Reusable straws—e.g., Bamboo, steel, or glass (and a straw cleaning brush!)
  • Utensil sets- there are many non-plastic travel utensil sets available, or you can make your own with metal silverware wrapped in cloth napkins. Keep a few in your kit to share!

*Thrift shops are a great place to pick up silverware, cloth napkins, reusable water bottles, and travel coffee mugs for your to-go kit!
Place your on-the-go kit where you’ll use it most. Do you get coffee mid-morning with coworkers? Keep your travel coffee mug at the office! Do you bike to the grocery store? Store your shopping bags in your bike basket! Keeping your reusable supplies conveniently located will help you resist single-use plastic bags, cups, bottles, straws, and utensils.

Get more informed and inspired by watching one of the features below
(click the image to watch a trailer) 
National Geographic:
How We Can Keep Plastics Out of Our Ocean (3 min 10 sec)
Into the Gyre
 (45 min.)
A Plastic Ocean
 (1 hr. 42 min.)
Meet up on Facebook!
Want to add an extra level of support and accountability during this challenge? Join the Reduce Your Plastic Use Facebook Group ! Share your progress, ask questions, and interact with others taking on the challenge.

You can also submit questions directly to Eco-Cycle through this form . We'll try to respond within 24 hours!
Week One Giveaway!
To help you reduce your single-use plastic use, we’ll be giving away 10 prizes this week, including Eco-Cycle branded Chico totes, Kleen Kanteen stainless steel water bottles, reusable sandwich wrappers, cloth snack holders, and travel utensil sets.

You're automatically entered to win giveaways each week.

If you signed up for the challenge on or before April 30th, you're also entered to win the full Zero Waste on-the-go kit!
Eco-Cy cle is a 501(c)(3) nonp rofit social enterprise. All revenues generated are invested in programs to advance Zero Waste communities in Colorado.
Questions? Contact us!