Striving to be plastic free is fine on a good day when I'm super organised, the weather's good and I've had a reasonable amount of sleep but life doesn't always work that way once small fry come on the scene. You know the day....the one where I would have whipped up some healthy homebaked snacks for our trip to town but we had to spend half an hour finding the other shoe (only to discover that the dogs found it first and so we had to pick out another pair…). Or those days when the spare hand I had to bake and pack snacks was occupied carrying the stainless steel water bottles, extra clothes, packages to post plus the newly built airplane made from cardboard scraps that absolutely has to come along for the ride. You get the gist - it takes time and effort to be plastic free perfect!
So on days like this, I get stuck in town with a thousand things to do with hungry kids threatening to rock out a tanty if they don't get something to eat NOW (sometimes fruit just will not cut the mustard) and my resolve crumbles. I break down and just try to find something, anything to make the noise go away.
Enter my achilles heel of the plastic free journey - having a handy stash of ready made (plastic wrapped and storebought) snacks in my handbag would mitigate the issue immediately. But I really want to make the planet my kids inherit a better place and want to avoid processed snacks wherever possible so this was the challenge I set myself for this year’s Plastic Free July. No pre-packaged snacks for us - I must make my own. Considering what we had ready access to in the garden (fresh herbs from the patch, eggs kindly donated by the chooks) and what I have already in the larder (butter, cheese, flour, sesame seeds) it wasn't hard to come up with an easy savoury bikkie recipe which I'm keen to share with you. It got a double thumbs up from the shorties and from the big kids too (Rose would have eaten a tray-full if given half a chance).
I've baked them a few times now through Plastic Free July and are well and truly added to my repertoire of homemade take out snacks. I've been thoughtfully packaging them for transport - no cling film or ziploc bags in this household any more - it's stainless steel, paper bags or fabric snack bags all the way! Baking large batches reduces any need for the plastic wrapped, less healthy versions from a store. Here's the Easy Cheesy Bikkie Bites recipe:
Sesame, Herb and Cheese Bikkies
Zizz up the butter and flour until the mix is like breadcrumbs then add the eggs and mix well until it comes together as a firm dough. Mix in the cheese, sesame seeds and herbs then turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and roll out until it is about 5mm thick. Cut into squares (or stars, circles or dolphins if you wanna get fancy) and bake in a moderate oven for about 15 minutes or until golden. Cool and serve...Apply liberally to hungry children as required.
I often feel we are miles behind some families I've read about. Swapping out plastic for wood, glass, steel or bamboo takes a fair bit of time, planning and effort and I don't think there's a single family I know who has these in ample supply. But on the bright side, all the stories of more advanced Plastic Free families have one very similar element - none of them went cold turkey. The process of turning plastic free is not one the average family can knock out over the course of a single month. It's a lifestyle change made often as small increments, little bit by little bit of plastic. Make no mistake, no matter how tiny the changes are that you manage, every little bit counts towards an improvement in your health and a cleaner, greener planet for the future generations.
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It rained and the roof leaks, but the cat has found a patch of sunshine and the self-sown seedlings are taking over the garden...life abounds even in the dry!