Inspired by Pam at PlasticisRubbish and Westywrites, I thought I would do a quick audit of my day to see how often I use single use plastics and just how hard it would be to go plastic free in July.
Poster sourced from PLastic is Rubbish
I think it is important to cut down on plastic for lots of reasons, it gets into the food stream and causes harm to animals, it leaches into our food but I found the image in the poster really compelling. Oil is a commodity and an expensive one at that, but we are prepared to waste it on things that we use for a second and throw away. That’s quite shocking.
So here is how my day went:
My cereal was plastic free but my milk came in a plastic carton. A quick internet search didn’t throw up any alternatives as the milk delivery service uses plastic too. Action 1 is to try to source milk in glass bottles.
My tea seemed to be fine (apart from the milk). I use tea bags from Brewhaha that come in a cardboard nix with paper wrapping. What I haven’t managed to find is what the tea bag is made of and whether there is any plastic in it. Action 2 find out what my tea bag is made of.
My dishwasher tablets come wrapped in individual plastic packets. I have made my own dishwasher powder in the past but I got out of the habit of using it. We’re nearly at the end of the packet so I’ll mix up another batch of homemade and try to persuade the hubby to use it! Action 3 is to make homemade dishwasher powder.
I use homemade laundry powder from Soda Crystals, Borax Substitute and Soap Flakes, my soda crystals come in a plastic bag but I try to buy big. I’m not sure if you can buy these in paper. I did read an article about heating baking powder to make soda crystals which would solve the problem as the baking soda comes in cardboard – has anyone tried this?
I use an Ecover fabric softener that comes in a plastic container, to my knowledge there is nowhere in Aberdeen that offers a refill and the Ecover website directed me to the Lake District for a refill, must be 300 miles away!! A search gave me two options, a homemade fabric softener using hair conditioner that would save money and use up my glut of toiletries but not solve the plastic problem, or a natural solution that leaves no scent. I’m a bit disappointed by this because I like my clothes to smell fresh. Is this something I just have to give up in pursuit of a natural option? Action 4 – consider fabric softener options.
Although I mostly use homemade cleaners I do have a Method floor cleaner which smels lovely – it comes in a plastic bottle. Action 5 the cleaner is very nearly finished to I need to find a homemade floor cleaner that works well and smells nice.
I’m using a Clinique cleanser that comes in a reusable soapdish. I’ve had it in the cupboard for years (seriously it could be 10!) and I’m using it up as part of my No New Toiletries in 2014 challenge. From memory the soap was wrapped in clear plastic but I’m not really sure. There is lots left and I suspect will still be using this in the new year.
I use coconut oil as moisturiser, it comes in a glass jar so it’s plastic free. I just scoop a big chunk into a smaller jar and move it to the bathroom, it works really well as a moisturiser.
I’m using a natural deodorant in a glass jar with a plastic rollerball. I tried using coconut oil as an alternative and I found it great in the winter but not so good in the summer, even in Scotland! Action 6 once I’ve used this lot I will look at alternatives and try to reuse the container and rollerball.
Mail.Window envelopes, that’s all I have to say. Why can’t they print on paper?
By now the plastic tally is looking a bit grim. Bacon – came in a plastic package, egg – came in cardboard and a roll – it came in plastic. I try to buy loose bread but hubby bought these (honest !). Avoiding plastic for rolls should be relatively easy but bacon? Action 6 – be brave enough to ask the butcher to put meat in my own containers. I’m a bit scared of doing this one!
I’m using up some sausages to make a rice and sausage casserole. The sausages are wrapped in plastic and sat on a polystyrene tray :0 My rice is in a plastic bag. My vegetables are packing free and I have homemade stock to use so no packaging there. My spices look safe but the glass jars have plastic tops and would have had a plastic seal when they were bought.
The day isn’t over yet but I’ve recorded enough to know we need to make alot more changes if we are to go plastic free! I’m surprised at how much plastic we still use as we have already made some changes. Any and all suggestions welcome – particularly if anyone can recommend anywhere in the Aberdeenshire area that sell in bulk.