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RylieCakes Plastic Free July

As a small business owner, I have always strived to be as green as possible; creating an environmentally responsible business was simply a no-brainer to me.

Back in the day, when RylieCakes was a brick-and-mortar bakery, we had compostable coffee cups (hot + cold), compostable to-go silverware + napkins, and take-out boxes made from recycled materials. We composted in the kitchen as well as recycled. We would turn the tops of cakes into cake pops and day-old cookies into cookie crumbs for crust. Waste was never an option.

As RylieCakes has evolved, moving away from my brick-and-mortar to an online store, my vision for what a business should be has not changed. RylieCakes pouches are made from 100% biodegradable material and are even printed with biodegradable inks! My cookbook is so green it has got an entire environmental benefits statement in the back 🙌 When we ship our goodies out to you, we use biodegradable packaging peanuts in recyclable boxes. And though we do have to ship, we do our best to minimize our carbon footprint by having our pouches and baking mixes manufactured right here in Washington State.

Being green for me though goes far beyond RylieCakes. I aspire to be as plastic-free as possible in my life and am working towards a more sustainable lifestyle one day at a time. That being said, I’d thought it’d be fun to share some ideas with you that I’ve either implemented in my home or plan on doing so. We can all do better but first, we must know how. Check out the 5 habits below that will start you on your way to a plastic-free life!

P.s. I always keep the following in mind and you should too: REMEMBER THIS IS A LIFE-LONG JOURNEY, changing everything at once will drive you nuts so just simply work on one new thing a week or even every other week. Practice makes progress.


  • ONE. Choose to refuse SARAN WRAP. This is a big one for me and honestly, extremely hard. I use it when baking and cooking all the time. However, I am currently working on eliminating not only saran wrap in my kitchen but ziploc bags as well. I’ve replaced saran wrap with bee’s wrap as well as other reusable cloth covers for bowls and such. I’ve also invested in more glass tupperware so I can start storing all those of little things that I used to put in baggies.

  • TWO. I live in Seattle and I can’t stand watching all the rain we get go to waste! My next garden goal is to build a rain barrel to act as a natural irrigation system that I can use to water my garden. Here is the how-to guide I’m looking at.

  • THREE. Start using TruEarth Laundry Strips. This might be the easiest change you can make. These strips are sensitive on your skin (I should know, I’ve been using them for a month now) and they are oh-so eco-friendly. They have a tiny carbon footprint compared to traditional detergent and are entirely plastic free. Plus, they take up practically no space in your laundry room!

  • FOUR. Buy in bulk as often as possible. I know right now, due to COVID, bringing your own cloth bags and buying from bulk bins isn’t possible. However, buying larger sized items is. For example, instead of buying 5 yogurts – one for each weekday – buy one big yogurt and either divide it up when you get home or simply portion it out each morning. This goes for bags of chips, containers of dip, and even slices of cheese (say goodbye to string cheese + start cutting your own). I challenge you to go take a look through your fridge + pantry and make a list of all the items you can buy in bigger sizes or even better, in glass containers too.

  • FIVE. Carry your own water bottle + coffee cup everywhere you go! Yes, EVERYWHERE. If this is hard for you, maybe consider keeping a set in your car so you always have one on you no matter what. I love the Corkcicle brand because they last forever – I’ve been using mine for 3 years now – and they can fit an entire bottle of wine 😉 making them perfect for camping + fishing. I never leave the house without my water bottle + coffee tumbler in hand.
    • Also, since we’re here talking about drinks here, THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK. Take the K-cup for example, these one-size serving coffee pods are trashing our planet with excessive waste. K-cups take thousands of years to decompose and it is estimated that the amount of K-cups in landfills right now could be wrapped around the planet more than 10 times! I also know there are tons of water flavorings out there now too – most of which come in tiny plastic bottles or individual packets. Remember, though tiny, all of this packaging adds up and will be in our landfills hundreds to thousands of years from now 😭 So next time you need a little flavor, try adding a slice of lemon or lime, some cucumber or strawberries, or maybe even some mint. It’s healthier for you + better for the environment.

Obviously, maintaining a plastic free lifestyle goes far beyond these 5 habits but we all have to start somewhere!


Lick the Bowl, It’s Gluten Free!

Tara Rylie

P.s. Here’s another great read: The Solution to Plastic Pollution.