So my family and I have been living without plastic for three months now, yay! I was planning on blogging as we went along but it turns out I am useless at creating a blog site. :(
Now that my daughter (Thanks x) has me up and running I will give a recap on our life without plastic, thus far.
Once the decision was made to move on without plastic, I decided not to just go around the house and throw everything plastic out; that would defeat the whole purpose of reducing waste.
Rather we will use all the existing products in plastic until empty and then I will introduce the plastic free options.
I did put excess plastic containers, plastic bread boards, baking ware onto to gumtree and on sold it to a young girl starting out. Cleared some of my clutter out!
I took an old cotton sheet, cut it up and sewed it into produce bags. In the past i used the paper mushroom bags for all my vegetables but these bags are reusable and much more sturdy, I even made some out of an old shirt given to me. I am not a sewer by any stretch of the imagination, these are very easy (it needs to be a light material so you are not paying extra for your fruit and veg)
Next I cut up and old baby wrap I was holding onto. Most of my storage space is taken up with the kids things I have attached meaning to, crazy I know, I'm working on it. I turned the flannelette wrap into makeup wipes for my daughters, they work great and I just wash, hang them out to dry and they are good to go again! (Mascara does stain on the light colour but they don't mind)
I cut up another flannelette wrap into smallish squares, popped them into a jar on the bathroom bench and hey presto, reusable tissues or as us old folk say 'handkerchiefs'.
I brought a four pack of the small softdrink bottles for a treat and instead of buying expensive glass water bottles I used these empties, lighter and more portable.
I didn't want to become an excessive consumer again in another another guise, so I am trying to reuse, not rebuy. Instead of purchasing beautiful jars, I am just washing out our empties and taking them to 'The Source' to fill with nuts, legumes, chocolate frecklessssss mmmmmmmm.
The Christmas tins I was gifted with cookies or chocolates now empty :). I now pass to my local butcher who tares the weight and fills with my weekly meat. They are then put into the freezer or fridge until we need them. * Warning, wash these in warm soapy water the dishwasher can rust them.
I made a couple of larger product bags and the bakery puts unsliced loaves in. When I get home I wrap the bread in one of my large bees wax wraps and I slice as we need it. Because we live in the tropics and it gets really hot, I like to keep the bread in the fridge.
Now let me share with you a couple of experiences. My first trip to my local Coles I passed the young man in the deli my glass jar and asked if he could fill it with chicken thighs, oh and if you could please use tongs not a bag? He looked at me as if I was crazy but obliged, I thought that went well and decided this was going to be a piece of cake.
The next time the older lady behind the deli said she would have to speak with a manger as this could, not okay? I walked over to a store manager and explained what I was trying to do, she didn't really care and phone another manager. I said it was fine I would go to Woolworth, telling her, "I am sure they won't have a problem" she asked me to wait for the other manager who wasn't answering the phone. I put the rest of my bounty back on the shelf and left. I walked 100m to Woolworth's onto another older lady telling me, no. I went to the butcher where a young girl served me eagerly, she thought the whole idea was marvellous and asked lots of questions about how to get involved.
I learnt a couple of things from this and similar outings; The younger workers are more open to helping you and interested in making change for the environment, baby boomers seem quite happy with how things are and quite intent on keeping them this way. You have to say no plastic bags, before you say hello at the deli, otherwise they just grab the plastic instinctively.
I have had success out all other Coles and Woolworth's stores but not the one near my home; I just go to the ones near my work or IGA and look for the young workers. Fresh produce is basically the only thing NOT wrapped in plastic, even cans are lined with plastic!!!!!!
I am not sure how much I should talk in one blog???? I don't want to bore anyone who stumbles upon this sight, I really want to inspire.
So I'll finish here and add another tomorrow about what products I have been able to find locally. I will also show you how to make the produce bags and bee wax wraps. First I need my daughter to show me how to put photos into these blogs.
Be the change you want to see in the world and....