The month of February means a big shift in daily habits for Rodale.com editors. Staff members are taking on week-long challenges of living life without plastic. That means no takeout containers, plastic shopping bags or even disposable toiletries like razors or shampoo bottles.
“Our editorial meetings have kept circling back around to issues surrounding plastics,” says Leah Zerbe, online editor for Rodale. “We wanted to take huge environmental problems and break them down to figure out how they affect people every day. Plastic is one that we can something about that has a huge affect.”
Along with Rodale editors, writers and staff members, the website is calling on bloggers and readers to join in on the challenge as well. Zerbe says that opening up the challenges has already sparked questions from readers that weren’t necessarily in the “green scene.”
“We’re trying to get as many involved as possible, and we’ve heard from people who had never thought of their daily plastic usage and are just getting started with this,” she says. “It’s not just environmentalists.”
Zerbe is starting her challenge on Feb. 13. While she says she already lives a low-impact life, she foresees challenges relating to her diet… but that could be a good thing.
“I have trouble with yogurt containers and takeout,” she admits. “This week, I will probably try to make my own yogurt. [...] I think there is a potential to lose weight because you pretty much can’t touch processed foods. They’re all in packaging. So, you’ll have to eat everything fresh.”
Zerbe admits that avoiding all plastics will be virtually impossible, as plastic is in everything from the computer you’re using to the car you drove to work.
“I think our main focus is the single-use plastic,” she says. “If you drive a car, it’s filled with plastic too, but I think you can make a big difference with all of these other little things you come across during the day that you don’t need.”
Anyone can join in on Rodale’s challenge. But if you can’t cut single-use plastics from your life, recycling is a small thing you can do that will make a big difference.