Guides to Plastic Free living in the San Juan Islands.

Single-use plastics are overly abundant in our society. It is often hard to find everyday items that are not made of or come packaged in some form of plastic. This can make your journey to plastic-free, or even just less plastic in your life challenging. We have created some nifty guides and videos with easily accessible steps and resources to reduce plastic usage for individuals, community event organizers, and small businesses in the San Juan Islands, emphasizing the strength we have in the community.

With your help we can together work towards a Plastic Free Salish Sea!

You can download the complete set of toolkits here:

Individual Toolkit

As consumers, producers, and community members, we have the power to make WAVES with small habit changes. Below is a guide for getting started on your plastic-free journey!

  • Use reusable shopping bags
  • Carry a reusable water bottle and mug
  • Switch to reusable straws, or better yet just say no to straws
  • Switch to reusable sandwich bags and food wrap like beeswax wrap
  • Switch to bar soaps or choose products with better packaging
  • Buy or make low-waste/plastic-free home and personal supplies
6 easy plastic swaps

Learn how to create an easy car-kit with Nikyta Palmisani

Community Events Toolkit

Community events can sometimes be major centers for single-use plastic usage. But, they can also be an incredible way to highlight plastic-free efforts and garner support and awareness from community members for the Plastic Free Movement.

Despite variables of size, location, and nature of the event, there are many ways to make your event plastic-free. Ask attendees to ‘BYO’ foodware and make a fun activity out of it, get creative in what and how you use decorations, provide alternatives to the typical plastic cup for drinks, get vendors on the same page with your events’ ‘values and standards’, implement a best practice waste management strategy with clear signage to keep things organized.

For more, check out the toolkit for a few ideas to help make your event Plastic Free.

Kari Koski Friday Harbor Art Market
Kari Koski of Kari’s Elixers provides plastic-free options such as paper straws and returnable drink ware.

Steps for Small Businesses

Congratulations on taking the first steps towards making your Salish Sea business Plastic Free! Our planet is thanking you. It can be overwhelming to decide where to start on your small business plastic-free journey. Please remember, any progress is progress! Do not be discouraged if your business cannot completely switch over to being plastic-free at once (or ever). Baby steps create sustainable change! We hope this toolkit creates a starting point for your journey and can be used as a guide for some frequently asked questions and first steps.

Local business actions reducing plastics
Local businesses already implementing plastic-free alternatives are a great resources for other business owners. Katie Fleming and Sean Aylward of San Juan Island Brewing Co.

Easy ideas to influence retailers to use less single-use plastic

How to reduce plastic waste at schools

During the summer of 2020, a sophomore student from Spokane spent the summer with her grandparents in the San Juans. Something she has done every year for her whole life. This particular summer she interned with PFSS partner Friends of the San Juans and chose to focus her energy on the issues of single-use plastic. As a high school student, she took on creating a toolkit for schools.

A fun class project involving plastic is shown in the video below