Although bringing my own bags when shopping was something I already did, and using our own water bottles and coffee cups when out and about was also already second nature, I wanted to embrace Plastic Free July and see what more I could do to save the planet for our kids and theirs. (… and theirs).
It has been an eye opener!
It’s has become clear that going plastic free is an investment. It takes time and money to eliminate mindless one-use plastic out of our lives. I had all these good intentions but it’s just not possible to do them all in one go, as I need to replace/buy quite a lot of products to be truly plastic-free. However, I have used the month of July to make a start and have been able to put some changes in place.
When it comes to food and being as plastic free as possible, there are quite a few things I have been trying to do. For instance, we try to bring food with us whenever we go out, instead of buying (plastic-wrapped) snacks along the way. To wrap up left-overs we no longer use cling film but use silicon bowl-covers and beeswax wraps, and we are trying to buy items made of bamboo, wood, stainless steel and glass.
I carry some bamboo straws and a straw cleaner in my handbag for little one and me.
I now go shopping with a selection of cotton produce bags and Tupperware boxes and where possible, buy bread, fruit and vegetables without plastic wrapping. Even the butchers in the supermarkets are happy to use the containers to put the produce in.
We have started to get milk in glass bottles from the milkman and their orange juice is a lovely treat as well! We drink a lot more squash (from glass bottles) and no plastic pop bottles in sight anymore. I do still like my diet coke so I now buy that in large plastic free boxes filled with cans!
Likewise, I’m trying to ensure I choose glass instead of plastic, say for example if I’m buying ketchup or things like that.
When I do need to buy products in plastic, natural yoghurt for instance, I buy it in large tubs (wit lids) which we reuse for storage of all sorts, including toys and pencils! We currently wash and keep all our glass jars (jam etc) to use a storage jars and gift containers.
We now only buy either loose tea or 100% plastic-free tea bags.
As big coffee lovers we took the plunge and exchanged our Nespresso machine for a “Bean to cup” coffee machine which is a real indulgent treat, with a lot less waste!
This is an interesting area as there is a lot of room for improvement here for me. I am also of the opinion to use up everything first before replacing it with a plastic-free alternative (where possible). But so far, I have managed to move away from pantyliners to reusable pantyliners and from menstrual pads to reusable pads, plus I will be trialling a menstrual cup. I purchased toothpaste tablets & bamboo toothbrushes for the family for our upcoming holiday, and have introduced shampoo & conditioner bars and replaced the plastic soap pumps with hand soap bars in the bathrooms.
We also have started to use toilet paper from a company that delivers, packs it all plastic-free and produced them totally sustainably. (Plus they do good for the world in building toilets for people who don’t have them).
I have replaced my plastic tube eye cream with a glass pot one, (only the lid is made of plastic, but this pot can be reused).
All our deodorants are now 100% plastic free, made in Wales and smell divine, and we also have introduced a Himalayan rock deodorant (although not quite convinced of that one just yet).
We are finishing off the shower gels in plastic bottles and I have just ordered some “soap on a rope” as a trial alternative.
Around the house
Plastic free July inspired us to get a ‘Green Joanna’, a hot composter with a small kitchen compost bin. This takes both raw peels and cooked food (time will tell the success of this, but we have started to use it).
I do still have lots of cleaning products which we are using up before either refilling or replacing. The laundry washing pods have been replaced with eco-friendly washing powder which comes in a large box without a liner, and the washing up liquid has been replaced by an eco-friendly version.
Plastic Free July Life.
I am so grateful that my husband and my daughter (6 yrs) have embraced my journey and made it “our journey” and we will be continuing to make changes with the objective to become as plastic-free as possible. Plastic Free July has inspired us and we are committed to do as much as possible for the planet and our children’s children.