Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Plastic Free July: The Navel Gazing

Oh my word it's over!  Never in a million years did I think that  would be so freakin' difficult.   Giving up buying and accepting single use plastic for a month was even harder than when I've forgone tippling for the  forty days of Lent.   Look around properly in the supermarket and you'll get an appreciation of just how many normal consumer items are off limits.   Just popping in to grab a quick lunch, for instance, is a nightmare.

A couple of times I've failed outright, the first time on day one.  I was a little merry at Kay and Rosie's wedding and so didn't give two hoots that there was only disposable knives provided to cut the cheesy cake.  I've been pretty damned pleased about the  plastic wrapped stuff that I had in my cupboards and fridge-freezer at the start of the month.   There's been a little bit of cheating.  I bought cheese and some delectable  tiny sour cream and chive crispbreads from Lidl in ziplock bags that I've kept to reuse.  And even though I chastised them by calling them eco-bastards I was still secretly over the moon when friends brought 'forbidden fruit' like crisps to my home and van.   I've been invented too. I ran out of washing up liquid when there was no chance of going anywhere The Zero Waste Shop for day.  I used shower gel from my toiletries stash as a replacement!

So will I be rushing back to the supermarket today to resume my old ways?  Well yes and no.   Here are some of the things that I've taken on board as permanent change:

  • My 'Milk and More' deliveries are a keeper for my milk and OJ.  So convenient.  I'll only need to buy plastic milk containers when I go away.   I invested in a dinky little pouring lid.  Plastic itself but not off limits as it will last for years.
  • I now carry a set of cutlery and a metal straw in my handbag.  They're good conversation starters and a little bit less aggressive at promoting change than leaving a pile of rubbish at the supermarket checkout.
  • I've changed to using Natracare pantliners.  I did consider the washable cloth variety but the ones that I saw looked liked someone had made them out of kaftan material. Making a statement in my knickers is not my style.
  • I'm baking my own bread again as evidenced by today's photo.  The ingredients for bread mostly come in non plastic packaging.
  • I'll be using the Zero Waste Shop and a scoop and weigh place that I've discovered in Kingsbridge for some of my store cupboard goods and cleaning products.
  • When I return from my holidays I'm going to resume a veg box order.
  • Popcorn will be on the menu a lot more as a replacement for some of those crisps.
  • And of course I'll opt for plastic free alternatives whenever they're available and not ludicrously expensive.

 I'll still be buying my yellow sticker good quality meat to freeze from the supermarket. It's  way cheaper than from the butcher's shop and economics has to be a factor for a single mum working for the NHS.  But guess what my first naughty shop is going to be?  I'm off out to buy some frozen peas.  I missed having them after I ran out half way through the month!


  1. I applaud your plastic free life, but it sounds like hard work. Also, many years ago, when all the boys were still at home, (so probably 30 yrs ago) I worked out what the difference in price would be if I gave up my milkman and bought milk from the supermarket.....even all that time ago, I saved over £100 per year!

    1. Ah! It's that balance between thrift and social conscience that I'm after. Will continue to save in other areas of spending. xx

  2. I had to give up almost at the start. My supermarket sells very few vegetables that are not in plastic. Bread I buy from my local artisan bakery so that was no problem but thinking about it, over-all, my kitchen bin is filled with wrappings and very little else.

    1. I do understand. It was pretty difficult. xx

  3. I applaud your plastic free life, but it sounds like hard work.

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