I read a comment by someone who said they didn’t know where to start with going plastic free, she felt that there was just so much information out there and it was a little overwhelming what to do and what not to do.
Fair enough, sometimes it can all feel like a bit of a mine field, picking through what is relevant and whether products replacing plastic are actually that much better environmentally.
So here is what I do to try and keep it as simple as possible.
1. Look at what plastic we have been using in the past and for what purpose. eg.Plastic shopping bags, got replaced with fabric bags hand made from fabric offcuts we have.
2. Look for an alternative to the plastic we are using, an alternative that possibly my great grandparents would have used as well, eg. storing food in glass jars and covering food with a plate instead of plastic film.
3. I try and replace the plastic with a budget friendly alternative, something that we may already have, eg. light weight stainless steel mixing bowl replaced the plastic duck food bowl. Sitting the light weight stainless steel bowl in a terracotta pot that we no longer use stops it from tipping over.
4. Replacing plastic bit by bit, it isn’t overwhelming on the budget and slowly introducing things means they slot into our routines and are more likely to stick. It is easier for our whole family to keep track of new systems we put in place, eg. Pyrex containers are an investment. Buying one or two each time we go to the shops soon adds up.
5. Plastic food packaging. Look at what food we buy that comes in plastic packaging. See if we can either make our own or buy an alternative that doesn’t come in plastic packaging. Eg. buy food in bulk from health food shops that is scooped into paper bags, we either compost the paper bags or use them to start the wood heater.
Make our own food to reduce plastic packaging, eg. biscuits.
6. Try to hand make things to replace the plastic option. eg. handmade crochet dishcloths, bread boards/ chopping boards instead of plastic board.
7. If we can’t make it try and source something that is hand made that supports artisans or that is ethically made. eg. wooden spoons.
Our home isn’t plastic free, we aren’t ‘perfect’ and can I just say I am so sick of the new kind of militant shaming adopted by some people when it comes to plastic free or paper free living. We just don’t have the right to judge each other. We are all doing the best we can with what budget, resources or physical restrictions we have. When we know better, we try and do better.
I was in a new to us health food shop a couple of weeks ago ,when the person finished serving us she asked if we would like the paper docket. Yes please and thank you, actually I would. The shaming and eye rolling that followed was offensive.
It is my right if I wanted the paper docket to compare prices to see if it was worth the visit, the shop is out of the way for us, there is no parking close by which makes it more difficult for Lil to walk to and the cost of petrol travelling there was roughly the same as the postage to buy online from a great bulk food shop we really like. Buying from the comfort of our home means when we do go out we don’t have to be spending our precious time shopping or parking a fair distance away from a shop and walking to a shop that doesn’t have the range or compare well with pricing.
You know I probably won’t go back there don’t you. Towards the girl who served me I could have launched into a spiel about how I was at protest marches to save old growth forests while she was probably still running around in disposable nappies or listed all the things we do that have a low environmental footprint but I’ll save that one, it is so much nicer to just wish that “shaming person” a lovely day, after all when we know better we try and do better. I’ll vote with my money and continue to do the best I can.
Sending Light & Love,
Plastic free July
July 24, 2019