Plastic free July round up

Wow what a month Plastic free July was. I went into it thinking I can do this since we already are really good at not using plastic. Well yes true but what was also true was that I was really good at recycling. I mean I had not using plastic within the home down to a tee but what I didn’t realise was that I was still bringing plastic into my home in the form of food packaging. Actually even though it’s now August we have continued to keep up everything we’ve learnt in plastic free July. So what did we do to reduce our plastic consumption? Cloth, wood, glass, glass, metal, more cloth, more wood, more glass and even more metal. Reuse reuse and more reusing and then recycle.
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So what were we already doing?

plastic free storage basically glass for everything!
bake your own bread we already did this but now we do it all the time
glass baby bottles
I’m sure there are plenty of other things we were doing to not have plastic in the home but what did I learn this month? I really focused on the big four biggest plastic waste creators;
straws, shopping bags, drink bottles and take away coffee cups. Though I found this easy once I really made a huge effort to always have my rethink bags with me and my ECOtanka everywhere I went. I also put a metal straw in my handbag so that solved the straw issue.
It was the items I buy at the supermarket that I had to think carefully about so basically if it was wrapped in single used plastic I didn’t buy it. A few exceptions to this was the vegetarian “meat” we buy but short of making all our own items which wouldn’t really be practical so that has stayed in our freezer and in our recycle bin. Also my toilet paper is wrapped in plastic but I buy it on sale and it’s made from recycle paper with some recyclable plastic wrapping. May still work on this. I also still buy sodastream since we like the occasional soda drink and sodastream is much less plastic than buying soda from the supermarket.
In general we didn’t really do without though I was more careful about what I bought.
What we did do without was buying lots of store bought items that we could make ourselves ie bread and muffins. I even learnt to make pasta but I have now found you can buy pasta in cardboard boxes at some supermarkets. What I really would like is a good muesli bar recipe. Anyone have one?
I also bought more items in bulk which you can either fill your own or they come in resealable zip lock bags which we wash and reuse over and over again until they fall apart then they are recycled. We cook from scratch and are vegetarians so this helps reduce a lot of plastic we bring into our home.

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Not to mention my crowning glory from plastic free July was plastic free cheese!!! woop woop!!!

So plastic free July actually was the step up (kick up the bum) I needed as I was rather comfortable with what I was doing.  I found it very challenging and I will certainly be continuing with the plastic free life (well reduced plastic life). We did still use some plastic but I found the plastic in our recycling bin was massively reduced.
I want to say a huge thank you to the amazing companies who supported me and gave away wonderful prizes to you all during this fantastic month. Thank you so much to the amazing ECOtanka, wonderful Go bamboo, fabulous Rethinknz, incredible 4myearth, and terrific Soapnuts.
Plastic free July will lead into zero waste week (2 to 8 September 2013) which I could never really have considered doing without having done plastic free July. Did you take part in Plastic free July? if so I’d love to hear how you went and will you join me with zero waste week?
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13 thoughts on “Plastic free July round up

  1. August 7, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Wow! Impressive. I think what you’re doing is great. I got rid off all the plastic containers in my home about three years ago but it’s an ongoing challenge since plastic is everywhere. I will be sure to check out the resources you have listed on your post. I love anything bamboo so look forward to reading more about that. Keep up the great work!

    1. August 8, 2013 at 1:26 am

      Aww thanks Caroline. I try hard. Good for you. Yes plastic is everywhere!!! It seems to creep up on you when you’re not looking! Mx

  2. August 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    My pantry is full of big plastic tubs for flours, pasta, rice, nuts, etc etc. Where do you get big enough containers in glass? The largest I can find are the French Kilner jars but despite the price they just are not big enough for things like flour and rice which we get through very fast.

    1. August 8, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      I totally hear you. I use 2 quart Agee jars (like your mason jars). Mine hold about 1.2L of flour/ sugar etc so still not huge but big enough for several loaves of bread. The rest of the bag I have to store in my crates. I can get about 1.5L of rice in one jar so that’s cool. I buy these jars when I find them cheaply on line. I generally pay no more than NZ$5 per jar. Though then I still need to buy lids but after several years I now have enough jars so in the long run it all balances out. So I would check out second hand shops/ ebay for large preserving jars. Mx

    2. August 9, 2013 at 11:28 am

      I so want to go plastic free in September, but am nervous! But then again, if I don’t try how will I ever know if I can and even if I fall over it’s better than not even giving it a go. August for planning, September for action. Thank you for the kick I needed.

    3. August 9, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      Good on you. You don’t need to be nervous I still recycled and threw out some plastic in plastic free July. It is more about being aware of what you’re buying and trying really hard to make a difference. Please keep in touch and let me know if you need help with anything also would love ot hear your progress. go you!! Am so proud Mx

  3. August 9, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Great blog and thanks for taking on the challenge and sharing your journey through your blog. Going to a recycling facility and seeing the sheer volume and energy involves in recycling turned it from a feel-good behaviour into wanting to reduce how much packaging we had in the first place!

    1. August 9, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      Aww thanks. It’s all thanks to you guys. I loved the challenge and look forward to my next one waste free week! I love a good challenge. Mx

  4. August 15, 2013 at 1:58 am

    Hi Madeleine, I found your blog through my friend, Janet Luke and have really enjoyed reading your posts. I have a great muesli bar recipe. It can also be frozen in little squares; I pop them in my kids’ lunchboxes and they’re defrosted by Morning Tea – perfect (and no plastic!!) I’ve just posted up the recipe here https://thefigtree01.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/the-muesli-bar-challenge-3/ Enjoy!!

    1. August 16, 2013 at 8:24 am

      Wonderful thank you so much for sharing Sarah. I’ll be sure to check it out! Thanks for your lovely comments. Isn’t Janet the best!! I’m going to check your blog out now Mx

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