Here are links to helpful articles about the SUP problem and how small adjustments in our daily lives can reduce demand for SUP.
Consumer pressure can change business practices. Here are lots of things ordinary people can do differently to avoid buying SUP, with links to helpful resources and information on the plastic problem.
This bill, reintroduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate in March 2021, could be a huge step toward reducing some of the most omnipresent garbage in American life. Learn what this Act would do and how you can support it!
Our individual choices are only a small piece of the puzzle. The bigger issue is production management: what manufacturers and retailers make available to consumers, how they make it, and how they package it. Learn what you can do to hold big corporations accountable!
Institutions that welcome the public to learn about our environment have a special responsibility to minimize SUP used by the institution and offered to the public during visits. Phipps Conservatory here in Pittsburgh, along with Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, explain how they’ve approached this issue.
Food Service and Food Packaging
When you hold a plastic-foam plate, you hold material formed from creatures who lived millions of years ago, refined and transported by dozens of people into an object you will use for just a few minutes before it goes into a landfill forever. Is that really the way you want to live?
A composting company in Vermont offers this great breakdown of the issues surrounding disposable products that could be composted. What’s best for the environment? What’s the difference between regular and “commercial” composting? They talk you through making the best choice for your needs.
At a screening of Plastic Paradise, PASUP served refreshments for more than 80 people but discarded such a small amount of SUP, it could fit in your fist! Here’s how we did it.
Consumer Reports investigates the safety, marketing, environmental impact, and socioeconomic justice issues of bottled water and explains why we need to rethink what we drink.
A lot of grocery items are packaged in SUP. Here are tips for avoiding and reducing it, reusing or recycling the packaging you can’t avoid, and adopting a “new normal” in your supermarket strategies.
Choosing the right lunch-packing habits can make a big difference in how much garbage you create when bringing lunch to school, work, or picnics. Repurpose things you already have, or purchase durable supplies you’ll use for years.
A mother of four put a dozen different brands to the test! She explains the features that make a bag work well in the long run, which brands are best, and how to maintain them. Updated in 2020!
Bringing a dish to a potluck or picnic? These tips will keep your food looking nice on the way there, without any instant garbage! Instead of just replacing plastic wrap with aluminum foil or waxed paper, try one of these reusable solutions.
SUP shopping bags harm our environment, threaten human and animal health, and waste resources. Bringing your own bags is easy, once you get into the habit! UPDATE: Here’s how to use reusable bags during the pandemic.
“Bulk” doesn’t always mean buying an enormous package: Some stores let you dispense your own food into your own container, buying exactly the amount you want. This guide to how it’s done includes tips on which foods are startlingly less expensive when you’re not paying for packaging.
Where can you get a meal made from local ingredients, with minimal garbage on the side?
Five questions to ask yourself when you’re deciding which things to buy.
A PASUP member shares her experiences with 19 plastic-free or very-low-SUP products for household cleaning and personal hygiene. Reviews of some other products by a different PASUP member are here and here.
If you buy plenty of fresh, locally-grown vegetables and fruits at the farmer’s market, how will you keep them all until you’re ready to eat them? This veggie-by-veggie guide gives detailed instructions for getting the best results, without plastic bags.
Glass jars are safe containers for freezing produce or leftovers, if you follow the simple precautions explained here.
Liquid or powdered laundry detergent is heavy and bulky, requiring a large package (which usually contains some SUP) and substantial fuel to transport it to consumers. What if one load’s detergent could be compressed into something like a fruit leather and 30 loads could be packed in a cardboard envelope? This review of one such product includes details of the environmental impact of detergents and their packaging in general.
To avoid buying plastic bottles of liquid soap, you can choose bar soap with no wrapper or a paper wrapper . . . but who wants to handle a slimy bar lying in a puddle of water and stray hairs? This simple DIY trick lets you use every bit of the soap and get a great lather quickly!
SUP coffee pods make you pay 8 times as much for a cup of coffee, drink endocrine disruptors along with your caffeine, and circle the Earth with junk that will never biodegrade–all in the name of convenience! Here are some other options that are easy to use and much more cost-effective.
Here’s a simple, inexpensive method of avoiding those sticky labels, using material you can pull out of your recycling bin!
The reusable alternatives to tampons and pads actually are superior products, in many women’s experience.
Plastic and the Pandemic
Giant Eagle had just started to phase out plastic shopping bags when COVID-19 struck and many people over-reacted to the idea that reusable bags might spread germs. What can you do when a store won’t let you bring your own bags? Here’s what we’ve learned.
Dozens of public health professionals worldwide signed this statement reassuring us that reusable dishes, bags, and other containers are no more likely to transmit coronavirus than disposable versions.
The reality is that coronavirus lives longer on plastic than on other types of surfaces, yet plastic manufacturers are eager to make their products seem essential to public health. Here are some tips for staying green without getting sick.
Some schools reopening during the pandemic have changed the way they serve food and/or the way kids bring food from home. Which of these policies actually make us safer, and which are just garbage?
Environmental Issues and Philosophy
This “dictionary of the future and how to survive it” is a great antidote to the feeling that we’re trapped in Earth-destroying practices because there’s no other way. Hundreds of articles offer insight into better ways to move forward.
Rather Read a Book?
Feeling overwhelmed by the scope of the SUP problem or the number of changes you’ll need to make? Wishing for a guidebook to talk you through it? This might be the right book for you!