Not only is plastic awful for the environment, it’s also shedding microplastics into your food and leaching toxicity into your body. But here’s the good news: Breaking up with plastic can be easy—and FUN!
FACT: Every bit of plastic ever made still exists today.
Somewhere. On this planet.
In your local river or yard — even your salt!
Because plastic doesn’t break down, it breaks up into millions of micro particles.
But how do you even reduce your use when plastic is, literally, everywhere?
You start here. You begin today.
Learn the little steps you can take to immediately make a difference.
In the 10-day Plastic-Free Challenge with Kate Nelson, you’ll learn inexpensive, easy, and empowering shifts to reduce your dependency on plastic, in all areas of your life from grocery shopping and food storage to travel essentials and beauty care.
It’s time to start breaking up with plastic to heal both your body and the earth.
WELCOME TO THE PLASTIC-FREE CHALLENGE.
We are so grateful you’re here.
10 daily sessions each focused on a different area of your life, from the kitchen to the bathroom to grocery shopping and travel. In total almost 5 hours of practical advice, tips, video recipes, and the latest science on the health and environmental impacts of plastic.
Downloadable course workbook with daily plastic-free checklists
Downloadable recipe eBook with 50 recipes to help you reduce your plastic use, from hummus and nut milk to makeup and deodorant.
An upcoming live Q&A call with with Kate Nelson (schedule to be announced)
Mobile app access, including offline viewing, easy listening on-the-go, and screencasting to TVs
Full access to The Plastic-Free Challenge along with 60+ courses on health, personal growth, and social impact
600+ daily practices including yoga, meditation, goal-setting, activism, and much more
Invites to all our live video calls with Commune teachers
New courses added every month!
Kate Nelson, known as the Plastic Free Mermaid, started her journey to plastic-free living while volunteering for Dr. Andrea Neal in Santa Barbara, California, at Jean Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society. It was during that time that Kate saw something she could not unsee: the Great Pacific Trash Gyre, a soup of garbage and microplastics inseparable from the plankton and small organisms living in the ocean.
Forever changed by this moment, Kate leapt into action. She lobbied government, spoke at corporate offices and schools all over the world, met with any politician who would listen, and founded a non-profit organization to inspire others to get involved.
Most importantly, she quit plastics. Seeing the tons of plastic in her life was a massive wake up call. And while it has taken Kate years of self-education, she is now a well-respected teacher on the topic of reducing plastic and embracing a rewarding, plastic-free lifestyle.
"I quit plastics ten years ago, a college kid eating ramen noodles, having takeaway coffees with zero concept for minimalism. If I can do it, you can do it. It’s simple. It’s not complicated. In fact, that’s the point. It’s stripping back to the basics, to what grows from the dirt and what’s found in nature, using what we already have. Remembering what we used to do. Making things simple."
Rethinking the Way You Shop at the Grocery Store
Bags and bottles to beeswax paper — the average grocery store is filled with plastic.
Did you know that most plastic packaging doesn’t get recycled? It ends up in landfills. Today, you’ll learn natural alternatives to single-use plastic you can incorporate into your future trips to the grocery store.
Keeping the Kitchen Clean & Simple
Today, you’ll do a kitchen tool audit and identify what plastic items you can get rid of, while learning plastic-free alternatives.
Learn about the 7 Types of Plastic
Did you know that of all the plastic produced worldwide since the 1950s, only 9% of that has been recycled? Or that the average U.S. citizen consumes 167 plastic water bottles each year, but only recycles 25% (or 40) of them?
Today's lesson is a bit of a wakeup call. You'll learn the seven different types of plastic, how these categories came to be, and their damaging impacts. Remember: knowledge is power.
How to Reduce Plastic Use While Still Having a Social Life
In this lesson, Kate discusses how you can avoid using plastic when dining out.
It’s important to look at all the plastics you might encounter when dining out in the real world, everything from smoothie cups to plastic bottles to bioplastics made from plants. The more you know, the more prepared you can be.
Dining out is one of the best opportunities to practice your commitment to use less waste and spread awareness about the plastic-free lifestyle with other people. In this lesson, you'll become more mindful about the places where you eat, noticing just how common plastic is used. It’s in everything from the cups to condiment packets. Keep an eye out, and you’ll see what we mean!
Takeout & All that Online Stuff
Easier isn't always better. Pre-packaging might be quicker and take you less time; but in the long run, it requires a price we can no longer pay as individuals and a society. Today, you'll start to reframe the way you look at online shopping. You'll learn why it's not actually a convenience but, rather, something that has consequences on your personal health and the planet.
When you order delivery or buy something online, think of it as an opportunity to ask yourself questions. To check in with your values. Today, you'll learn what to ask yourself and why asking these questions is a vital part in better understanding how you can put your values into action.
You'll also learn today the number of ways plastic affects your health and the ways you unknowingly consume it through ingestion, inhalation, and absorption.
More Good Food, Less Food Waste
You’ve likely tossed good food away because it’s turned bad before you have the chance to eat it. Today’s lesson encourages you to get creative and repurpose what you already have at home to store food in a way that minimizes food waste.
The Right Way to Store Food to Reduce Waste
Knowing how and where to store fruits and vegetables can minimize the amount of food that goes to waste.
Cleaning Up the Trash
Plastic is not recycled easily. In fact, only a small percentage of plastics actually get recycled, which is why you want to minimize the amount you personally use. Because when you use less, less goes to landfills … or, worse, into our rivers, lakes, oceans.
In this lesson, you'll check in with your mindset around trash and recycling, and learn a few tips on simple changes you can make at home to clean up your trash.
Why Composting Matters
According to the U.N.Food and Agriculture Organization, 30% of food is wasted globally across the supply chain, which contributes to 8% of total greenhouse gas emissions. If you can rethink what you consider "waste" and see it, instead, as a "resource," then this one shift will have a big impact on how you interact with food.
Homework: Wiser & Less Wasteful Now
It’s time to look at how you can implement the ideas, tips, and information you learned so far in this course into your life, and celebrate how much wiser you are today!
Cleaning with Natural Ingredients
Most of the cleaning products you’ll find on store shelves are quite toxic. Today, you'll learn how you can simplify your cleaning routine (and reduce the number of plastic bottles) by using natural ingredients like sodium bicarbonate, lemon, soapberries, and vinegar.
In this lesson, Kate shares some of her favorite cleaning tips and shortcuts to ensure you disinfect your home without the need for conventional (and toxic) cleaning products.
The Environmental Impact of Fast Fashion
The clothing industry has started using synthetic fibers (read: plastic) to make a lot of the clothing you and others buy. But fast fashion is a huge problem for the environment.
Today, you'l learn how to be an informed, conscious consumer when shopping for clothes. In today's lesson, Kate shares tips on how to make doing laundry more environmentally friendly, from washing with cold water to making your own laundry detergent.
Plastic-Less in The Bathroom
Shampoo bottles. Conditioner. Toothpaste. Body wash. Take a glance at the products in your bathroom and you'll see they’re covered in plastic. As you'll learn today, you don't need tons of plastic-lined products; all you need are a few tools, and nature provides the rest.
In this lesson, you'll learn how to make all-natural beauty products, including deodorant, sunscreen, and even bug repellant.
Today’s lesson challenges you to rethink how you see “self-care.” This is an important one!
The Chemicals in Skincare & Natural Alternatives to Try
Most skincare products marketed to you contain chemicals and artificial ingredients that could have a short-term benefit but likely a long-term negative impact. Today, you'll learn how the skin absorbs the toxins in these products and why opting for natural alternatives is best for your health.
Simple rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.
In this lesson, you'll learn how to make all-natural versions of beauty products, including face masks, mascaras, and bronzer.
Plastic-Less While Traveling & Caring for Your Kids or Furry Friends
Is it possible to reduce your use of plastic when traveling or on vacation? YES!
As you'll learn today, traveling is a great opportunity for you to reduce the amount of single-use plastics you put out into the environment.
You'll also learn in today’s lesson that there are many things you can do to make sure your furry friend, for example, isn't tied to plastic-based products. Remember to be gentle and patient with yourself as you do the best you can with what you have.
You don’t have to do it alone. Join this plastic-free challenge and learn practical tips and recipes to free yourself from ubiquitous plastic. Plus, get support and encouragement from the community!