Can you cut 1 Tonne of carbon pollution out of your life?Take the challenge
The Rogue Ginger A.K.A Erin Rhoads has just completed two years of living a plastic free life, and she's been documenting the whole journey. Read her inspiring story...
After taking the Plastic Free July challenge in 2013, Erin Rhoads stepped up and announced that she would try to eliminate plastic from her life for good. Then she decided to take it even a step further and go zero waste at home too. This means now Erin sends NO trash to landfill.
Erin shares plastic free alternatives to shopping, cooking, makeup, cleaning and travel (all while trying to create zero waste) on her blog 'The Rogue Ginger'.
After two years, Erin finally feels she is on top of this no plastic life. But it wasn't always so easy. She had to overcome many personal and lifestyle challenges with the support of her family and friends.
"I have scaled the peaks and conquered the mountain of change. I feel content and happy, and as silly as this might sound, more in harmony."- Erin wrote on her blog.
So how does Erin do it?
By reassessing every aspect of her life, from the food she buys, to the clothes she wears and even her health choices. She no longer buys any of her food in packaging (plastic or paper), shops at bulk food stores and always takes her own bags for grocery shopping.
"If we forget our bags we will carry them [groceries] by hand...or find an old box at the store," she says.
If an item of food must be purchased and it comes in packaging then she makes sure it is recyclable, or upcycles it herself.
She uses alternate methods to medication, like lavender for headaches, and keeps her vitamins in check by eating the right foods.
Erin even makes her own toothpowder! and reports that although she has not been to the dentist to check if everything is ok, her partner known as 'the Builder' has. The Builder was happy to report that his teeth/gums are very healthy and the dentist & hygienist were all for using bicarb. The dentist said that bicarb is great for keeping gums healthy.
Another thing she has changed, which has been discussed a lot in the 1 Million Women community, is essential female sanitary items which actually tend to be made with a tonne of plastic. Erin now uses cloth sanitary pads and a moon cup.
These are just a few of the MANY ways Erin is reducing the waste in her life. She has a more detailed post on reducing her plastic footprint by item here.
Is going completely plastic free possible?
Yes, but it can be difficult at times. Erin is completely honest in her blogging adventures on living plastic free, and always writes when plastic has popped up.
Her rosehip oil, essential oils and milk lids for example. "Sometimes I get upset that I have not found the willpower to live without these items," she says, and hopes soon she will find alternatives to those few products.
Something else Erin is often asked about, is what she does when she gets sick and has to take medicine,
"First things first, I am not anti plastic. I am anti the misuse of plastic. Plastic has done some great things for medicine. It has healed and prolonged life, made mobility easier, given the gift of hearing, walking - the list goes on and on."- Erin wrote.
Her advice when people ask her what they should do in such situations is make a decision based on what's best for them.
"The last two years has been hard work" she writes, but Erin is ready for some new challenges.
"There is another mountain in the distance, and the trek ahead of me is going to include moving from behind my screen to becoming more active in my community. I have changed my life now it is time to spread what I know to others to show others why we all need to make changes."- Erin Rhodes
Although she won't stop writing and sharing her journey on The Rogue Ginger blog (I'm so glad), but she hopes that maybe her journey from blogger to public motivator might inspire fellow introverts to find their voice and plastic-free groove too.
Erin's journey has inspired me that's for sure, and as a newbie to plastic-free living I am definitely making use of a lot of her wonderful tips.
If you are interested in learning more from Erin, please check out her wonderful blog The Rogue Ginger. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram too.
Look out for her guest posts on the 1 Million Women blog too.
[All images from The Rogue Ginger]
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