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.
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.
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?