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Plastic-Free February, Days 12 and 13

How to stay plastic-free: live at the zoo!

We spent the day at the Fort Worth Zoo because I thought that it would make my plastic-free February attempts a little easier. That and I just like the zoo.

Plastic at the Zoo

The zoo has several rules that kept us away from plastic. Straws and lids are prohibited in the zoo because of the danger to the animals. A lot of the food they sell is finger food that comes in a paper tray or on a wooden popsicle stick, so no plastic there.

Ice cream comes with a choice of a cone or a plastic cup with a plastic spoon. I chose the cone. Usually, I would choose the cup. The cones are typically flavorless and they just add calories. So now I’ve come upon a quandary: single-use plastic vs. flavorless calories.

Then there’s the souvenirs. Kids always want a souvenir. Nearly everything in the gift shop is made of plastic, except for those paintings by the elephants. More plastic in my life.

Plastic at Home

When I went to the store, I didn’t find shampoo in bar form. I started at Whole Foods, figuring that if anyone had bar shampoo, they would. They didn’t. It looks like there are plenty of choices online, ranging from $3 up to $12. Once my current shampoo stocks start to run low, I’ll order one.

My biggest disappointment of my shopping trip was the laundry detergent. I was looking for a powdered detergent for my high efficiency washer, since they usually come in cardboard boxes, rather than plastic like the liquid laundry detergents. I found one by 365 – the Whole Foods brand. Since it was my only choice, I bought it.

When I got it home, I found out that inside the cardboard box was a plastic bag holding the powder. Really Whole Foods?

Whole Foods isn’t the only company to do this, of course. I’m realizing that most companies put their product in a plastic bag inside another container, whether cardboard or plastic. Sometimes they add plastic shrinkwrap to the outside, too.Β  It’s incredibly frustrating.

Images (c) Heather Carr

8 comments
    1. Becky Striepe

      Yeah, sort of a bummer, right? Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of control over some of the ads on the site, and that’s one of them. :( If you know of anyone who’d like to sponsor that spot, don’t hesitate to contact us!

  1. Mels Bells

    For washing your hair, I’ve been using baking soda and apple cider vinegar. My hair so clean, soft, and manageable now! Basically, you dilute a T of baking soda in a cup of warm water, pour it over your head in sections and massage it in, then rinse with water. Then, dilute a T of ACV in a cup of warm water and pour it over the bottom 2/3rds of your hair (some people pour it all over their head). Let it sit for a minute or two then rinse out! People adjust the ratio depending on how oily/dry their hair is. If you want to learn more, do a search for “no poo” (for “no shampoo”). I’ve been doing it for over a month now, and I’ll never go back to shampoo.

  2. By George

    FYI: I looked into this and this is what I found, the plastic bag used inside the Whole Foods Laundry Detergent box will biodegrade in a compostable environment, or biodegrade on it own in less than 5 years, how friendly is that, as well the box is made of 98% post consumer fibre, the ink used is soy based and is 100% recyclable basically everywhere, you could almost eat that packaging :). Unlike regular laundry boxes that have a inside plastic coating with another coating on the outside that is not compostable at all or easily recyclable.

    1. Heather Carr

      Thanks for looking into that! I’m almost done with the laundry detergent, so I’ll be composting the plastic soon.

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