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My Plastic-Free Life


Recently, GreenCitizen had the honor of giving Beth Terry, of the “My Plastic-Free Life” fame, a tour of our Burlingame headquarters. James Kao, our CEO, and Terry shared their experiences in attempting to spread awareness about the need to both reduce consumption and change the way we dispose of our unwanted possessions.

Terry began her journey as an environmental advocate in 2007 after reading an article detailing the skeleton of a dead bird, its stomach filled with plastic. She committed herself to finding ways around the excessive use of plastic and sharing her ideas through her blog and recently published book Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too.  Though Terry notes that many people cite recycling as the first step to improving waste management, she cites another precursor step as much more crucial: using less. Terry works three days a week as an accountant. It’s simple: she doesn’t buy that much stuff, so she doesn’t need to work that many hours. “More doesn’t make you happy” is one of her mantras.

Terry has all but eliminated single-use plastic from her life: refusing to use plastic bottles and bags, and urges others to do the same. She is wary of Tupperware and other plastic encasing used for food, noting her concern for the potential of leaked chemicals into food. Her suggestions span consumer habits as well. She frowns upon the constant upgrading of technology that so quickly renders electronics obsolete. Buying refurbished electronics extends the life cycle of a usable product, and lessens the demand for constant manufacturing of new electronics. She advocates for consumer responsibility in researching which companies use the least toxic materials, and “voting with their dollars.” You can follow Beth on Twitter: @PlasticfreeBeth and email her at

One Comment on “My Plastic-Free Life

    Ugh, yeah. I think my husband tears them into sleamlr booklets and hides them in the regular paper recycling they’re not incompatible, just too bulky to be accepted in their full form.They’re ready thin paper for wrapping small stuff, though and I know they make good papier-mache strips. Ooooh also tear out the map that includes your address (work or home), so you’re ready if you need to mail directions to someone without internet. I’ve also heard you can shred them and slowly feed the shreddings to a compost pile but I haven’t tried that (yet).

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