How will you reduce single-use plastic?

Members of the Plastic Impact Alliance collected written pledges from attendees of the 2020 Outdoor Retailer Snow Show.
Word cloud featuring "plastic, bags, reusable, grocery, etc.

Making a dent in single-use plastic will require a million little baby steps.

The anti-plastic warriors were out in force at last week’s Outdoor Retailer Snow Show. Exhibiting members of the Plastic Impact Alliance, a coalition of more than 350 outdoor companies working to eliminate the industry's dependence on single-use plastic, displayed PIA signage at their booths, hosted water stations, held plastic-free booth events, and touted their brands' sustainability goals and achievements.

At The Voice booth, we wanted to highlight some of the admirable steps our community is making in their daily lives to eliminate single-use plastic. So we created a pledge board and asked visitors to write their personal plastic pledges for 2020 on paper leaves, which we pinned to a tree. 

a cork board with paper leaves pinned to it and a backdrop that reads The Voice: Independent, Unfiltered, Engaged.

Show-goers pinned their plastic pledges for 2020 to a cork board at The Voice booth.

What started out as a fun exercise, quickly turned into a wonderful learning experience, with hundreds of show-goers stopping by to talk about plastic waste and how we can all make a difference in our daily lives. 

We compiled the answers into a word cloud (above) to track the most-used phrases; no surprise, the biggest culprits in day-to-day waste production, according to our research, are disposable coffee cups, single-use grocery bags, and plastic water bottles. Every response was great, but in the end a clear winner emerged—short, sweet, and simple:

What are you doing to curb your plastic habit?

What are you doing to curb your plastic habit?

The Plastic Impact Alliance has a simple (but big) goal to eradicate single-use plastic from our industry. We all know it will take time to actually get there, but in the meantime, there's a lot of small things we can all do in our daily lives to  turn the ship.

We are all faced with a million little choices every day that involve plastic. At the grocery store, will you buy loose carrots or bagged ones? Will you buy milk in a plastic bottle or the pricier glass ones? Will you order take-out or choose to eat in or cook yourself. No matter where you are on your plastic journey, know that every little choice you make to reject single-use plastic and opt for a sustainable alternative makes a difference. 

Here's a list of some of the plastic (and sustainability) pledges that we collected. We hope they inspire you.

Buy more products/brands that reduce their carbon footprint. Support local.

Purchase carbon offsets.

I will use reusable grocery bags and water bottles.

Use more reusable bottles.

Reject mini toiletry items in hotels.

Stop buying plastic wrap.

BYO grocery bags.

No more single-use plastic cutlery. Pack my own.

Carbon offset my travel.

Decline housekeeping during hotel stays.

No more polybags.

Started a backyard compost.

Ride my bike to work.

Cancel the newspaper (which comes in plastic) and read online.

Buy eggs in paper cartons.

Stop making plastic! Plant trees.

Go to refill revolution for household cleaning and hygiene supplies.

No more plastic ending up in our pristine places.

Buy reusable household supplies.

Only support restaurants that reduce plastic in takeout.

Recycle and use stainless steel.

Carry my bottle, always!

Stop using plastic sandwich bags.

BYO my own takeout containers.

Use less paper towels.

Reusing my yogurt containers as leftover Tupperware for friends after family dinners.

Carpooling more to reduce carbon footprint and don’t eat out.

Choose loose produce (carrots, celery, etc.) over bagged.

Don’t use plastic straws/lids.

Stop using disposable gas canisters.

Buy in-season produce not wrapped in single-use plastic.

No more coffee cups.

Convince our company to only use compostable utensils.

Remember to bring my reusable mug to coffee shops

Reuse Ziploc bags.

Say no to Keurigs!

No travel-sized containers.

I plan to not use any single-use veggie bags at the stores.

I will buy from brands that do not use polybags or plastic packaging.

Switching to a fully electric car.

But a metal straw and use it.

Bring my own Tupperware to food trucks.

No Styrofoam containers.

No more plastic Saran Wrap on food.

Fly less.

Say no to single-cup coffee in hotel rooms.

Use laundry strips instead of pods or liquid in plastic.

Today is my last single-use coffee cup!

#plasticfreefridays and beach cleanups in Hawaii

Bring my own water bottle and encourage others to.

Replace Ziplocs with silicone bags and jar lids.

Buy OJ in cartons rather than plastic bottles.

Reuse single-use plastics to make them multi-use.

While grocery shopping, always opt for the non-plastic choice.

Incorporate recycled plastic material into my products.

Carry a reusable H2O bottle to all fitness classes!

Using my own and traveling with my own reusable utensils.

Find another way to dispose of my cat’s litter (not plastic bags).

Make sure to always bring my reusable produce bags to the market and farmers market.

Buy bulk in my own containers.

I’m encouraging our local grocery store to request more products without plastic packaging.

Invest in glass Tupperware and go to refill stations.

Use shampoo bars instead of bottles.

Replace plastic toothbrushes with bamboo.

Replace plastic wrap with beeswax.

Starting to backyard compost.

Buy meat at the butcher and ask for paper wrapping.

No more clamshell produce packaging.

Stop buying single-use flossers.

Buy bread from the bakery department in paper bags.

Begin launching an LNT initiative at Western State.

Use dental tabs in glass bottle rather than toothpaste.

Use reusable stainless steel lunchboxes/containers for my kids’ lunches.