Living Plastic Free: Sage Advice From Beth Terry


I took the Rodale Plastic Free Challenge in 2011 and my family and I tried to live “plastic free” for one week…realization for our family – impossible. Yet Beth Terry, author of Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too

Used with Permission

and founder of the popular blog My Plastic Free Life, has been working at living “plastic free” for about 5 years, and seems to have most of the bases covered.

I am thrilled to be part of the Plastic Free Book Tour. Beth’s book, Plastic Free is a wealth of knowledge, tips and resources. From the moment you pick up the book – published by SkyHorse Publishing – feel it in your hands and see how it is put together (without any plastic materials, including plastic glue, coatings, or even synthetic thread!) you know that Beth is about “walking the walk” and not only “talking the talk.”

Below are my top 5 reflections and highlights from Beth’s book, Plastic Free, How I kicked the Plastic Habit and You can too.

1. Honest – I love the honest look Beth takes of herself and of the world we live in. Beth isn’t shy to shows us her flaws and her failures, or to point out our own.

2. Practical – The book is full of checklists, resource lists and how tos. I would love to see a companion resource guide down the road! (hint, hint!)

3. Realistic– Chapter 8 of Beth’s Book addresses feeling overwhelmed, something I feel every once and a while working full time on climate change education and advocacy. I found Beth’s advice so helpful: breath, spend time outdoors, spend time with loved ones, read inspiring stories, write it down, one thing at a time, congratulate myself for my progress, and finally very important and something I don’t do enough – make a game at it. This last point is so important to remember as we consider “heady and life altering” issues like plastic pollution and climate change. Beth’s advice “gives us permission” to make things playful as a way to remind ourselves that while we shouldn’t “rest on our laurels,” the balance of the world doesn’t rest on our individual shoulders!

4. Hopeful – Following up on point 3 above, I loved Chapter 10, Nine Reasons our Personal Changes Matter. Too often when dealing with big issues like plastic pollution and climate change people, organizations and politicians tend to “cop out” by saying that only policy change can bring forth the seismic changes we need – so in the intractable partisan times we are living in – people seem to be throwing up their hands and saying: “nothing can happen now.” While Beth acknowledges the importance of policy change she reminds us that our individual actions matter too.

5. Humorous – similar to the “vibe” you get and the reasons Beth’s blog is such a runaway success, Beth is really funny and irreverent. Beth and Plastic Free keep you reading and engaged while you learn about key tips, references and facts that will empower you on your personal journey to live a more sustainable life.

Beth has reduced her plastic waste from 4 pounds monthly to about 2 pounds annually, an incredible feat! Beth is an inspiration and one of my role models; someone who has strong beliefs about being a better world

Beth Terry: Used with permission

citizen, and then “owns” her beliefs in every way. Beth is one of my Green Mom Carnival friends and a fellow Women Eco Warrior, and I feel privileged to regularly be on the receiving end of valuable information, research and advice from Beth.

My take on Plastic Free? Amazing!! Buy it and keep it handy as a reference for all things “plastic!”

Also, consider buying a signed copy directly through Beth’s blog to benefit the Plastic Pollution Coalition ClimateMama’s new “go to adviser” on all things plastic free. Look for regular updates from the Plastic Pollution Coalition on our Product and Services guide.

Make sure to check out what others have to say about Plastic Free!


Climate Mama

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