We haven’t bought a new bottle of dish soap, hand soap, dishwasher soap/detergent, or kitchen multi-purpose spray for our house in all of 2023. It’s a fact. And no, we still wash our hands, clean the kitchen counters, use a dishwasher, etc. We get dirty and clean up the same way we always have. How is this possible? I go to Fulfilled Goods LLC on Washington Street in Newton once a month to buy a paper bag of dishwasher soap pods, refill containers with all the soap products we need, and use a concentrate (from Method) for our multi-purpose cleaning spray. We recently bought hand lotion from Fulfilled Goods as well.

It’s not hard, and it feels really, really good.

The easy plastic reduction doesn’t stop there. Thirty times so far this year we’ve ordered take-out of delicious grilled salmon, kale salad, black bean burgers, falafel and greek salads, chicken kabobs and more – with no disposable containers going into the trash or “wish-recycling.” How? The delicious food at Grape Leaf, Judith’s Kitchen, and soon Johnny’s Luncheonette is available for takeout in reusable containers through the Recirclable app. Just download the app, request reusable, enjoy, and return.

No one in the family knows the difference. The food tastes just as good. The soap smells great, the dishes are sparkling clean. It may seem a subtle act, but I am using my buying power as a consumer to demand less toxic plastic in our lives. It’s daunting to walk through store aisles full of single use plastic containers that may or may not get recycled. Our cities are buying “litter-skimmer boats” for $550,000 to clean up plastic bottles that clog up our waterways. We need to buy and consume things differently, and this is how I am making a difference.

Here’s hoping you will follow suit and stop by Fulfilled Goods and give it a try. And, order food from Judith’s Kitchen and Grape Leaf!

John Lewis is a Green Newton board member and a resident of Newton.