M.A.Center, Atlanta

7 Tips for Tackling the GreenFriends Plastic Challenge

As the GreenFriends North America Plastic Challenge launched, it was clear that in a country surrounded by plastic, knowing where to start and how to move forward would be daunting tasks. In the following article, Amala's tips, illustrated by her own heartwarming and humorous journey, both encourage us to take our first step forward and remind us what's at the heart of this campaign - to increase our awareness of how our choices contribute to this issue…and that, hopefully, we begin to make better choices in the long run, to align our lives to be more in harmony with all beings on our precious Mother Earth : 


1. How to Start 

2. Measuring Your Current Plastic Footprint

3. How to Measure 

  • I opened our fridge and made a count of all the fruits and vegetables that were in plastic throwaway packaging and how many reusable plastic containers were there. 
  • I counted the number of plastic bags in the cupboard  and... there were 30... EEK!!

4. Targeting Areas to include in Plastic Pledge 

  • The 3 areas that were most challenging for me were:
    • For weekly shopping, reduce the use of plastic bags and plastic wrapping
    • Reducing the amount of plastic in merchandize stores 
    • Reduce the amount of coffee take out cups and take out food cartons.

5. Submit Entry on the GreenFriends Plastic Challenge Form 

6. Form a Strategy for Change 

  • Instead of throwing away bags and Ziplocs, I decided to REUSE them.  When they are no longer reusable recycle them.  DON'T BUY MORE.
  • Find an alternative for Ziplocks:  Bee Wrap. Bee's Wrap Assorted 3 Pack, Eco Friendly Reusable Food Wraps, Sustainable Plastic Free Food Storage, available on amazon. There are several companies that make  wrap like this. It is also possible to make your own, Beeswax Wrap recipe linked here

7. Identify and Document How You Plan on Meeting Your Plastic Reduction Goals 

  1. Use cloth bags for all shopping: groceries, cloths, electronics, hardware, etc.
  2. If we forget to bring in a bag have items returned to basket and take to car.
  3. As plastic containers break replace with glass.
  4. Use Bee Wrap or other alternative
  5. Recycle everything we can.
  6. Use Greenpeace Calculator to Calculate Monthly to chart progress.


I hope this helps. 

Aum Namah Shivaya, 


Do you have a personal story to tell about how you are working to address the problem with plastic? Send it in (preferably with photos) to macenteratlanta@ammagroups.org .
This story was submitted in response to the GreenFriends 3 Step Plastic Challenge.