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How to be as plastic-free as can be on San Juan Island

 

The Transition Waste Reduction Guild sent in this information. San Juan Islanders can take steps in their daily life to minimize plastic use and waste.
With a curious, can-do mindset and a little know-how, you can live more sustainably, supporting the health and beyond. 

PLASTIC-FREE RESOURCE LIST


SAN JUAN ISLAND FOOD CO-OP

BULK FOOD ITEMS: 

olive, sunflower oil, apple cider vinegar • spices 

oats, sugar, flour, nutritional yeast • granola, popcorn 

nuts, seeds, rice, whole grain 

BULK HOME ITEMS: 

dish soap 

all-purpose cleaner 

dishwasher detergent 

shampoo 

conditioner  

hand soap  

MILK IN RETURNABLE GLASS BOTTLES


FRIDAY HARBOR MARKETPLACE STORE 

BULK FOOD ITEMS:

candy  

snacks 

dried fruit 

nuts 

rice 

sugars 

coffee 

spices 


FARMERS MARKETS

Besides the obvious benefits of buying food from local farmers, most fruits and vegetables sold at  the farmers market are not put in plastic. If items are in a plastic bag, most farmers are happy to  make a switch for you by placing the items in your own bag and in turn saving themselves a bag  too!  


FARM SHOPS 

When you stop in at a local farm shop, there is even more opportunity to walk away with incredible  produce and no plastic bags. Again, it’s also a wonderful chance to talk to and get to know your  local farmers.  


BRING YOUR OWN TO-GO ITEMS 

Incredible strides had been made in ditching the mindset and habit of using to-go coffee cups,  plastic straws and take-out containers. Then, COVID hit and concerns about transmission reversed  this progress. Let’s get back to bringing our own containers! 

BRING YOUR OWN REUSABLE SHOPPING BAGS!  BRING YOUR OWN COFFEE MUG! 

BRING YOUR OWN REUSABLE UTENSILS! 

BRING YOUR OWN CONTAINERS FOR TAKE-OUT FOOD! 


WASTE LESS RESOURCE LIST 


MAKE BETTER CHOICES AT THE GROCERY STORE 

As Americans, we’re very used to convenience and the idea that we can and should buy  whatever we want. Companies vying for our money really want to keep it that way. On the  other hand, the power we have as consumers can be used for good – by making good  choices. Money talks; our demand and purchasing decisions drive what goes on the shelves.  Let’s consider the packaging material as we are deciding whether or not to buy a particular  item. 

Here are some examples of conscientious choices: 

  • Get to know your companies: Many companies are taking the health of their consumers  and the environment seriously and are using compostable or 100% recyclable packaging.
  • Choose no packaging as much as possible: buying in bulk with reusable jars and bags
  • Choose glass instead of plastic: glass is 100% recyclable while only #1 and #2 plastics can  be recycled  

KNOW YOUR RECYCLING AND TAKE PROPER CARE 

If you feel dubious whenever you place items into the recycle bin, you’re not alone and you  have good reason. Recycling is a very imperfect and troubled business. While we feel better  placing items in the recycle bin rather than the trash can, most recycling ends up there  anyway.  

Here are the top reasons why: 

  • Food is left on the packaging contaminating the contents and rendering them unusable  • Items that are not recyclable are placed in the bin  
  • Glass, plastic, cardboard and aluminum are co-mingled making cross contamination high.  When items such as glass break and spread shards onto paper or other items it all be comes unusable  

What to do: 

  • Make sure and food is cleaned out of glass jars and plastic containers  
  • Only put recyclable items in the recycle bin 
  • Choose to lessen reliance on the recycle bin by choosing to go plastic free as much as  possible, reusing anything that can be used again and reducing our need for purchasing  items in non-recyclable packaging  

COMPOSTING FOOD  

Federico Farm is offering a drop-off food composting program that uses fermentation to break  down food matter. Composting bins can be purchased for a one-time charge of $20 and $5  for a bag of inoculant that assists in the breakdown of food. Once your bin is full bring it to  Federico Farm and dump it into the compost bins. Repeat.

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