Sustainable living

We live in a culture of convenience. It doesn’t matter what it is – we want it fast and we want it now. In our narrow minds, we just don’t have the time to wait.  Unfortunately, the convenience culture is hurting more than just our ability to be present in the moment — it’s harming the earth in big ways too. On the upside, more and more people — like the six we’ve profiled here  — are waking up and presenting themselves as examples of sustainable living.

Sustainable living solutions

Plastic free living is becoming a new segment for those interested in sustainable living. More and more people are standing up and declaring they will rely on plastic no more — and writing about their journeys. These six amazing people are living proof that we can live plastic-free if we set our minds to it.

1. Beth Terry, author of “My Plastic-Free Life”

Beth Terry

We’ve interviewed Beth Terry here on Earth911 before and reference her work regularly. She’s considered a pioneer in the plastic-free revolution. Her blog, My Plastic-Free Life (formerly “Fake Plastic Fish”) has been inspiring others since 2007.

I’ve met Beth a few times and she is a true inspiration. If you want someone you can truly talk with about plastic-free living, she’s your gal. I learned so much from her in our brief 10-minute conversation. Not only does she have an encyclopedia’s worth of knowledge in her head about plastic, but she puts that knowledge into action. She goes beyond just replacing plastic with more sustainable options in her life and works to get big corporations to change too.

Her book, Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too, was published in 2012. It’s an amazing guide if you want to jump into plastic-free living. While you’re waiting for your copy to arrive, be sure to check out the Plastic-Free Guide on Beth’s blog to get some tips you can implement now.

2. Sarah, author of “Wanderlightly”

Sarah Wanderlightly Sustainable Living
Image Credit: Wanderlightly

In June 2015, Sarah from Wanderlightly came upon the Plastic Free July campaign and jumped on board. While she only initially committed to trying to go plastic-free for that first month, she has now made it well over a year into her journey and she’s continuing to refine her strategy.

In her first year striving to live plastic-free, she created 2.09 kgs in total plastic waste. Out of that, only 0.8 kgs could be recycled according to the product label. She has started this year with a commitment to produce less plastic waste this year than she did last year. Read her reflections on her first year of sustainable living, plastic free­.

3. Erin Rhoads, author of “The Rogue Ginger”

Erin Rhoads The Rogue Ginger Sustainable Living
Image Credit: The Rogue Ginger

Like Sarah from Wanderlightly, Erin from the Rogue Ginger decided to give up plastic for the month of July — in 2013. That month changed her life and she has preached plastic-free living ever since.

On the Rogue Ginger, Erin shares how she gave up plastic and reduced her waste. Her journey has led to a happier and healthier life. Along the way, she has learned the importance of eating real food, developed a plethora of new skills, created a more sustainable living environment at home, and simplified her life — all while saving money too.

If you’re looking for tips on how to live plastic-free, her blog is a great resource.

4. Lindsay Miles, author “Treading My Own Path”

Treading My Own Path Sustainable Living
Image Credit: Treading My Own Path

I think I see a trend forming here — Lindsay started her plastic-free journey after watching the documentary Bag It! during a Plastic Free July event. She shared her journey on her blog Treading My Own Path. She covers a full array of topics on zero-waste and minimalist living, including;

  • How to incorporate reusables into your life
  • Share and buy second hand more
  • Make your own personal care products
  • Avoid the grocery store

She shares how her journey started with plastic, but along the way, she discovered another way to live.

She learned to live a life of “enough.” She learned to take time for the things that are important and let go of the things that weren’t. So you’ll find those themes incorporated into her blog as well.  Sustainable living 101.

She has also written an ebook, That’s a Wrap: Practical Tips, Tricks and Inspiration for Living Plastic-Free. This complete guide to reducing plastic use will teach you how to eliminate plastic from your daily life and change your consumption habits learning how to make sure you stick with it.

5. Michelle, author of “Being PALL”

Being PALL Sustainable Living
Image Credit: Being PALL

Plastic-free blog Being PALL – Plastic A Lot Less — was started in November 2008 by Michelle. A photographer and amateur surfer, Michelle was spending a lot of time at the beach when she realized the epidemic of plastic in our oceans. Every day, she watched more and more plastic wash up on shore and knew something was wrong. Something had to change. She recognized that the first step to change was changing her own habits.

Michelle went from being the regular consumer of plastic products to becoming a plastic-free advocate. While she’ll admit she’s not perfect, she shares some great tips on how you can PALL (plastic a lot less) too.

6. Taina Uitto, author of “Plastic Manners”

Plastic Manners Sustainable Living
Image Credit: Plastic Manners

Taina started her blog, Plastic Manners to document her journey to plastic-free living (starting in 2010) and encourage others to think over their own plastic manners. Plastic Manners is an in-depth resource where you can learn about Taina’s favorite alternatives and how the changes have benefited her life. She’s a new mom and shares some great tips for plastic-free life with a wee one.

After seeing how people responded to her blog, Taina teamed up with her brother to create a documentary, From the Waste Up – Life Without Plastic. In this film, she documents the journey six families take in minimizing their plastic use for one year. Watch the documentary’s trailer here.

Want to follow Taina’s lead in living plastic-free? Join her REFUSE! Challenge. It’ll help you jumpstart your own lifestyle changes.

These are just six real people proving that it is possible to live a plastic free lifestyle if you set your mind to it.  All it takes is each of us making small changes to equal a big impact.

Feature image credit: harodominguez / Shutterstock

By Chrystal Johnson

Chrystal Johnson, publisher of Happy Mothering, founder of Green Moms Media and essential oil fanatic, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former corporate marketing communication manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family's life.