As Plastic Free July looms, I have a confession to make…at home, I'm not quite Plastic Free. I know I know, we blog about Plastic Free-ness and post on our Ecolosophy social about it all the time. Surely, I must be Plastic Free by now? Well… truth be told, I'm not quite there yet. I guess I'm what you'd call a Plastic Free Wannabe. But I really, really wannabe!
I read blogs from the likes of Lauren Singer's 'Trash is for Tossers' and I feel a touch inadequate. If you haven't come across this chick, prepare to be amazed. She is the queen of hard core minimal, waste free, plastic free living. Her pantry shelves are immmaculately laid out with bulk store bought supplies, her fridge is pristine and her bathroom and laundry cupboards contain nothing more than handmade beauty supplies and cleaning products. Everything is in glass jars, neatly labelled. All tools are wooden handled with natural bristles beside neatly folded stacks of reusable cloths. She produces no more than a small jar of waste over the course of a year and it's worth checking out if only to satisfy any OCD tendancies you may harbour.
Now whilst Rose at Ecolosophy, is aiming to give Lauren a run for her 'hard core minimalist' money (she's tending towards despotic plastic free-ness) I have a way to go and although I take my hat off to Lauren for her ability to live a minimal Plastic Free life, I think the reality of achieving that level of waste-free awesomeness for my family and I could take a while!
Our lives are very different. Lauren Singer is based in New York City so she has access to the best of everything for an aspiring plastic-freer - a plethora of markets and bulk whole foods stores that simply eliminate her waste from single use plastics. Whereas, I live in a remote country town and although we have chickens and a big vegetable patch, for all other supplies we're reliant on a couple of independent supermarkets, one big box supermarket, one green grocer and two butchers. All providers do their best to service our tiny town's population but often the 'waste free' alternative is unavailable without a long drive to the big smoke. Lauren happens to be single with no kids while I'm subject to the whims and whines of family life which means that in situations where I, myself would be happy to do without or compromise to reduce waste, I'm often forced to bend in favour of peace and family harmony.
Imagine my relief when I came across this blog recently called 'Being PALL - Plastic A Lot Less'. This sounds much more do-able to me! This blog takes a more relaxed and lighthearted approach to the journey towards a cleaner environment and it got me thinking that maybe instead of beating myself up for using any plastics at all, perhaps it's better to start celebrating my small triumphs like removing single use plastics from our home.
I gave up cling film yonks ago, haven't used plastic shopping bags for years, I'm still swapping out plastic containers for food which means the old plastics are recycled into toy/craft supply storage or short term housing for insects, worms or geckos that my sons insist need closer inspection (don't panic, we diligently distract the boys and release the creatures back to their natural habitat before the situation gets dire). If I can find a bamboo or stainless steel alternative for plates and cups for kids or camping...I'm on it.
I save all the lids from bottles and jars I wash and recycle, along with any small groovy boxes or plastic containers, to pass onto the school for the kids to use for craft projects and discovery learning. My beloved cupboard full of recycled jars (please tell me you have one of these too and I'm not the only nut with a jar fetish) gets plenty of action but my biggest triumph this year has been bread. Yep *chest pushed out proudly*, this year, we've quit using supermarket, plastic bagged bread. I'll tell you more about that in my next blog but in the meantime, tell us about your proudest moments being PALL or plastic-free...
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This year, it's time to sow… quite literally. Tanya's back to sowing seeds, getting her hands dirty in the potting mix whilst I'm cranking up the vintage Singer and getting touchy feely with fabric, friends and Boomerang Bags...
No doubt that our global consumption of plastic products is bad for the planet but it ain't all about the waste. Plastic can be pretty bad for us too...here's some top tips to avoid single use plastics for Plastic Free July.