Sunday, 22 March 2015

I spent my yesterday doing a plastic inventory of my day. 

I have been having a good read through Down to Earth blog – I have already read the book several times – it is where I got the soap recipe I use (so nice and easy and gorgeous soap to use), and it is where I read the best quote about crafting!

Anyhow, somehow it got me onto thinking about Plastic Free July – something I have never attempted – and I was honest with myself, I am not at my best in the freeze of winter, so I might never get around to anything much in July! – but I figured, I could always do a Plastic-Free last week of March.  Yeah why not – how about joining me?

My inventory was my experiment to see what plastic I could cut out.  Here’s my list:

Item containing plastic
Alternative
Egg flip/spatula
Bamboo
Coffee machine
Metal grinder and pot
Hairbrush; comb; hair elastic
Bamboo brush and comb; ?rubber band
Toothbrush
Bamboo
Toothpaste (plastic tube)
MYO = make your own
Deodorant (lid)
MYO
Milk container (incl milk powder in plastic bag)
Glass bottle, bulk powder
Bread bag
Home baked!
Clothes (some polyester)
Stay with cotton; wool; etc
Shoes (I assume the soles are synthetic, not rubber)
Not sure…leather soled shoes do exist
Polyester blanket
This was a gift, so we will keep it and cherish it.  All our others are wool or cotton
Eyeglasses – plastic on arms
Not sure if fully metal arms are available
Gardening equipment – plant pots, bucket, irrigation pipes
At least they are all recyclable.  Could use earthen or wood pots and buckets.
The pen I wrote the list with!
You can get wood cased pens – or use a pencil with real graphite.
Microfibre cleaning cloth
Stick with cotton rags
Plastic bottle of cleaning vinegar
MYO – I am giving this a go right now – in a glass jar of course!
Food storage containers
Change to glass!
Toaster machine
Could use camp (gas stove-top) wire toaster – but not with my induction cooktop…what to do?
Duster (wool with plastic handle)
Wooden handle
Mending supplies – plastic button; needle case and scissor handles
Wood, shell or metal buttons; cloth only needle case; metal scissors
Recycling bag and wheelie bin
Could use a cardboard box – but council requires the wheelie bin
Wheelbarrow – plastic tray
Metal!
Sharp kitchen knife – plastic handle
Metal
Laundry basket and pegs
Wicker trolley basket (very hard to find a good quality one, will have to try harder); wooden pegs (I only buy wooden, but have been given plastic over the years)
Clothes horse
It is metal, but with plastic ‘ends’…
Clothes line – currently using rope – some plastic
Stick to fabric rope – and get Hills Hoist in the ground one day soon…(all metal)
Food packaging – plastic bags and wraps
MYO foods – cheese, yoghurt, cold meats – at the very least, buy in bulk
Kettle – plastic handle
Fully metal stove top kettle
Tea bag – plastic wrapped box
Grow your own tea – buy bulk
Craft supplies – almost everything is plastic or is in a plastic container or wrap L
MYO recycled paper J.  Buy other supplies second hand.
Grater and saucepan - ?rubber/silicone coated handles
All metal
Silicone baking tray liner (apparently good quality, non-coloured silicone is just ‘sand’ (silicon) and oxygen so no probs – mine are ‘good quality’, but are coloured).
Oil +- flour base instead
This computer!!!
Could always use the public library computer instead…

I was quite shocked to see how much plastic is part of my daily life.  It will take a bit of investigating to find the alternatives that I know exist – but worth it I reckon!

And just to be clear, I won’t be replacing everything – quite a bit of the above have been gifted to us and many other things have been purchased second-hand – we do try to be conscious of buying with the least packaging, but I do think some things have slipped in, so I am going to have a go at getting some of the alternatives as things need replacing.  The egg flip is first on the list – it broke last week (a good 15+ years’ service though). 

The first ‘big’ challenge is upon us too – milk about to run out – we have plenty of UHT and some milk powder – so I just need to avoid the shops really (and pretend the alternatives taste ok)!  Next to run out will be the dish detergent – I will see if I can find a re-fill bulk alternative at the health shop – otherwise it will be home-made soap and water this week.  And bread is in the machine as I type – so here’s hoping I got the recipe right to get a good tasting loaf.

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