You may have noticed that many of the businesses you frequent use excessive amounts of disposable plastic materials in their shipping, their products, their to-go ware, their bagging options, their BPA-coated receipts, and their general practices. You have the power to get them to change. When you give feedback, they listen because you are the source of their money. Pledge to tell three businesses, restaurants, online stores, markets, food trucks, etc. to rethink their plastic output.
Here are a few ways you can ask your favorite businesses and restaurants to avoid plastic, and how you can avoid it yourself:
1. Handwritten Letter: And oldie, but a goodie. Handwritten letters are still taken very seriously. Sometimes even more than emails. A handwritten letter to a company signals to them that you are dedicated enough to write them personally, and could be dedicated enough to do even more if they ignore you. Here is a sample letter to follow as a guideline: www.causes.com/reduceplasticletter
2. Email: This is a fast and effective option, and easy for busy people. Most business have a website with a contact form or email address. Again, here is a sample letter that you can use and tweak to personalize, in your request for them to change their business practices. www.causes.com/reduceplasticletter
3. In-person request: If you are out at your favorite restaurant, and the server asks you, "Is there anything else I can do for you tonight?" Say yes, and request to speak to a manager about excessive uses of plastic and possible alternatives they could be using.
4. Facebook post: Posting your opinions on a company's Facebook page is a great way for your friends to get involved in the process. Get them to post, share your post, or at least give your comment a thumbs-up. The more thumbs, the better.
5. Tweet: It's hard to ignore a public tweet from a customer. News outlets scan Twitter all the time for communications to and from companies. It's a very high profile way to get the word out, and each retweet is a reminder to that company to listen.
6. Corporate 800 number: These lines are specifically for customers airing grievances or giving their 2 cents. Utilize it!
7. Petition: If all else fails, or if the company is rude and doesn't want to hear from you, get their attention with a petition. Causes has a wonderful petition function that can be shared easily via Facebook. Petitions don't have to be perfect to be effective. Look up other examples on Causes or follow the Who What When Where Why rule of writing. Be clear, be honest, and make it personal. Tell your story and ask others to join you.
8. Do you want to go even further? Do you have the next big idea for reducing plastic pollution in businesses, restaurants, and the world? Plastic Pollution Coalition has just announced a contest called Think Beyond Plastic. It will award a $50,000 investment to the person or people with the best idea. Apply here: http://thinkbeyondplastic.com/competition/apply/
9. Encourage other whip-smart idea-driven people in your life to apply to the Think Beyond Plastic contest. Big ideas (and small ideas) that help consumers and businesses avoid plastic need to be rewarded and implemented!
10. Need ideas for reusables so you can lead by example? Our online store is inspiration central. And, we do care about our shipping practices! Please only get what you need to change your disposable habits, and let's keep consumption low. You don't even have to buy anything to go plastic-less. We are all about ideas, inspiration, and education. If you can make it homemade, do it. If you can upcycle or thrift, do it. If not, we have you covered: www.plasticantidote.com