It’s time to retire– the extra plastic


Welcome to our month long buy less plan! Read here to get caught up on what’s going on.

Day: 6

Product: We were at a retirement party not too long ago. It was a fun time of stories and laughter and free appetizers and drinks.

I walked to the bar, “Can I just have water please?”

The bartender grabbed the plastic cup to fill and then a plastic bottle of water.

“Oh, I don’t need bottled water. Tap is fine.”

She looked at me very confused. “Oh you don’t have to pay.”

“I know. You just don’t need to use bottled water.”

“But this is what we serve…   ?”

“Just give me a soda.”

Sometimes it is confusing to others when you’re a weird as we are. It’s just that when you’ve embraced simple living like we have, there’s nothing quite as confusing to us as bottled water.

Why have manufactures taken something so healthy and important for life and encased it in plastic?

Of course the answer must be that there needs to be a cheap way to get safe water to people. That is certainly true—in developing countries. When the water is few and far between or questionable, bottled water is a lifesaver.  In fact, I have happily bought bottled water many times—in developing countries.

But here in America it just doesn’t make any sense! Where I live the water coming out of the tap is not only healthy but wonderfully tasty. Where we used to live the water was not quite so tasty (plagued with high levels of iron) so we just refilled gallon jugs in town where the water was much better.

Individually sized plastic bottles are just such a waste of resources (both the environmental kind and the kind in your bank account.) Check out this article, specifically the first point about the value. Then, make sure to watch this video. It’s worth your time.

If you’re looking to simplify your life and, in the process, live a better life; kicking out bottled water is a no-brainer. Pick up a stainless steel water bottle to throw in your car or backpack. (There are lots to choose from at your local thrift store! Just start off with a little boiling hot water first and you’re good to go.) You will do EVERYONE a favor.


This is what extra plastic waste looks like in our country.


This is what extra plastic waste looks like in other countries. This is just what has washed ashore in an African country. Not the people. They were just visiting.

At that retirement party I finished my soda and was still thirsty. So I walked to the bathroom and got a refill of what I had really wanted to drink.

Thanks municipal water system.

Next time I need to remember to bring my own cup as well. There’s always room for improvement!

Reason to buy less: You don’t want to have to try to unload it later when everyone else is. (For an examples think of any old technology or the movie Titanic– every thrift store has 7 VHS copies of that thing.)

Suggestion: Make a list. Always make a list. You aren’t thinking as clearly once you get into the store. If you make a list before you head out you will know clearly what your objective is and can accomplish it cleanly.

Grocery list

For grocery shopping I have a standard list that covers the things I usually keep in my pantry as well as standard recipe ingredients. When I do my monthly shopping I print a fresh list and head to the pantry and just mark things off. Easy peasy… Peas? Do I need peas? No, I don’t. My list doesn’t say I need them.

photo credit: <a href=”″>trash mountain</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)</a&gt;

2 thoughts on “It’s time to retire– the extra plastic

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