Did I buy plastic during Plastic Free July?

 

We’ve now come to the end of Plastic Free July, and if I’m completely honest – I’m sorry to say it was harder than I thought.

I’m so pleased that we decided to take up this challenge, it’s been so eye opening as to how much plastic we use in our day to day lives – It’s literally everywhere!

So the question is, did I make the whole of July without buying any plastic?

And the answer is no!

  • I bought a glass jar of Coconut oil, thinking I got one without a plastic seal – I even ran my finger over the lid to check, and felt nothing. But once I got home and tried to open it, I realised there was a very sneaky plastic seal there.
  • My husband came home with a plastic bottle of juice on the third day, having clean forgot while at the shop!
  • The kids ran out of toothpaste, and although I’d made our own, the kids didn’t like this at all. So I had to buy a new tube.
  • My first fail was on our second day, and I’d picked up an apple that had a sticker on it!
  • I run my own Eco cleaning business, and we use Eucalyptus oil and white vinegar in our homemade products. Both these products have plastic in their packaging, and I’m yet to find a brand that doesn’t.
  • I’m someone who has to take daily medication, which is not safe to either stop or find a natural alternative. Most pharmaceuticals¬†come in plastic and foil blister packs.

Bread and rolls from the Baker. I asked them to put them in my new Onya produce bags.

Eliminating Plastic from ones life completely, was proving harder than I’d first thought. I was so shocked at the unnecessary use of it.

Here are a few small examples of unnecessary plastic that I found:

  • Plastic lids on glass jars, when metal is just as good.
  • Plastic jars – I’ve never understood the reason why these are used, when glass has an endless recycle life.
  • Plastic packaging inside already perfectly adequate cardboard packaging.
  • Those little bits of plastic that hold labels on clothes, when you can use string or a mini safety pin.
  • Veggies packed on styrofoam trays surrounded in plastic wrap.
  • I once thought these were a good idea – the plastic sealable spouts on nut milks and some juices.

About a week into July I went through a real stage of anger, I couldn’t understand why in so many cases plastic was still being used. It opens up a lot of emotions going plastic free, and it’s easy to get caught up in it.

Homemade toothpaste.

I didn’t know if we could live Plastic free forever, but we did discuss whether it was an option – we both came to the decision that we didn’t have enough time in our lives right now. I hate even writing this and admitting it, but I have to be honest!

I’d say the biggest change for me was how I did the weekly shop. I would love to say that I usually shopped at the local farmers markets, but I don’t tend too, mainly because my local market is way too expensive, completely the opposite of what a market is meant to be!

Instead of going to one shop for everything, I went to four. I still went to my local Supermarket for things like, tinned beans and tomato’s, flour, jam, tahini and stock. But I went to the Bakers for my bread and rolls, the deli for cheese, and my local Bulk Buy Wholefoods store for all our nuts, veggie chips, seeds, salt, dried herbs and spices, olive oil, oats, cacao etc.

My weekly stock up of Wholefoods from Scoop Bulk Buy, and bread from the Baker.

The kids did amazingly, they were very much part of the process. We explained to them what we were going to be doing, and why, and they completely took it in their stride. Bert would ask if he could have a juice sometimes when we were out, and Pixie would pipe up saying ‘No Bert, it’s not good for the World!’. They even told their teachers and friends as Pre-school while doing their daily News.

Although we’ve decided living plastic free isn’t something we can do right now, our lives have most certainly been changed for the better, by doing Plastic Free July.

There are so many small steps that we can all take to eliminate single use plastics from our lives, and they don’t take much effort at all. Here are some very easy steps you can take.

  • Carrying your own reusable bag with you all the time.
  • Choosing glass jars instead of plastic.
  • Saying no to straws when offered.
  • Shop consciously – do you really need it?

My biggest help over the month were my Onya bags. I had an old one from years ago that one of my best friends gave me, it must be 10 years old, if not more and it’s still going strong and un-damaged.

Onya recycle plastic bottles into new reusable bags, that pack away into a tiny pouch, making it so easy to carry in the smallest of handbags, or even in your pocket.

They also make Produce bags, which again are stored in a small pouch for ease. You can get 5 or 8 in a pouch, and they’re so light – 1gram in fact, that they don’t effect the weight of your veggies. These can be used in a number of ways, not just your fruit and veg. I used it to buy my bread from the Bakers, and also as a nut milk bag!

I’m in absolute awe of the amazing folk that take up Plastic Free as a lifestyle, I’m so jealous of you too! Maybe one day we’ll join the gang, but for now we’ll stay as a partial plastic free family.

If you’re interested in Plastic free living, I did a great interview with the lovely Tammy from Gippsland Unwrapped, who inspired me greatly and gave such amazing advise. Read interview >>here<< . Tammy I truly take my hat off to you.

 

 

 

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