Skip to main content

Plastic free July - summing up

As I wrote back in June, I decided to participate in Plastic Free July properly this year and keep a "dilemma bag" with all the plastic that we still used, even though we were trying not to use any at all.  It is now time to look through the bag and analyse its contents.....

Things that we managed to do without:
  • muesli bar wrappers - by making homemade muesli bars
  • rubbish bags (lined bins with paper)
  • plastic cups (we don't buy anything in a cup and I always use a real cup when I make myself a drink)
  • straws (again we never buy anything with a straw)
  • shopping bags (used fabric bags, I put a stash in each car, so no excuses!)
  • plastic bottles (we are in a very lucky position of producing our own milk, and I make fermented fizzy drinks and Pete makes beer, so we didn't have to buy any plastic bottles)
  • plastic wrap (I used some of the tricks in this link)


Things that ended up in the dilemma bag and what I might do to reduce this waste:
  • Various wrapping from things ordered online, I'm not really sure how to avoid it, and some of it was also posted in a plastic bag in plastic bubble wrap!  I am going to email each company and politely suggest that they use alternative packaging, its worth a try.
  • Food packaging - pasta bag and lots of little bits of plastic, for example the seal that goes around the lid of the bottle of sauce, and some punnets from buying strawberries (which I returned to the market stall the next month).  Maybe I need to learn to make pasta, unless anyone knows where to buy it not in a plastic bag.
  • Rubber gloves for washing up - I get a rash on my hands, which seems to be caused by hot soapy water, even since we use a soap shaker, so I need to wear rubber gloves.  I buy the natural rubber gloves anyway (which technically isn't plastic, although the packet is), and apparently the latex can be composted, so I'm going to try that.
  • I also had several bags from freezer meat, that I didn't keep in the dilemma bag for obvious reasons.  This is a real problem for us as we get 300 kg of meat at a time, and fill 2 freezers, so it really has to go in bags to make it last through the year and its difficult to wash and dry those bags to a standard to reuse them.  Any other suggestions for freezing meat in bulk amounts?

Did you join in on Plastic Free July?  What was in your dilemma bag and do you have any ideas to further reduce your plastic consumption?  Any ideas that I have missed?

From The Farm Blog Hop    

Comments

  1. Plastic is a wonderful product for vacuum sealing meat so I would use it for efficient purposes and focus on not using plastic bottles, grocery bags and all the things that are truly becoming a plague on the earth. Just watch the survival type shows on TV, those guys can be in the middle of nowhere and come up with several plastic bottles, it is incredible.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good post and very practical. I make my own pasta but still buy it sometimes as a quick meal from the cupboard and my preference is for the brand in the box Barilla. It does have a small window of plastic in some of the shaped pastas but it is the best alternative I have found. I hate that our society now requires all the "safety" packaging and tamper-proofing, it has added to so much more bits of plastic. Isn't it amazing how little rubbish there is each week when you make and grow your own. I get very distressed when I see people putting bananas in plastic bags.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We made our own pasta too and yes discovered Barilla as well. Tastes good will be buying this from now on (or making our own)Mx

      Delete
    2. Bananas in plastic bags drives me crazy too! Or when people put a single orange or apple into a produce plastic bag in the shop and then at the register get another bag! I want to shout at all of them, but don't, instead I use my reusable produce bags VERY obviously, or none at all.
      :)

      Delete
  3. Very thought provoking. It's the tamper proof packaging that I find the most annyoying. The plastic sleeve can sometimes be ten times (or more) bigger than it needs to be so I suspect there's a bit of customer duping going on too. More importantly there's no way of reusing it whereas if something comes in a plastic bag I can usually find something to do with the plastic bag to extend its usefulness.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well done you! I wish I had kept all the plastic we used. Either way was super challenging and I so enjoyed it. Mx

    ReplyDelete
  5. I didn't do as well as I thought I would but will do better next time. With me it is an ongoing challenge but soon I will have 2 more set dates for it. One when I am alone for a week and one when husband is home too. I want him to see how bad he is with it all, not that he cares...how can we overcome someone like that?

    Barb.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I didn't know about plastic free July, but have been trying to do this anyways over the past several months. Yes, the plastic they wrap most of our food in is non-recyclable. It is so annoying. I did read that one guy was putting his into bales and would place it in a concrete block when he makes blocks for a retaining wall. I don't have any concrete blocks to make so this is pretty much what's in my garbage.
    Smiles,
    Lady Locust
    http://www.thelocustblossom.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  7. I did not participate in this challenge, but have been thinking a lot about the plastic that is everywhere in our daily lives. I appreciate this round up, the intention and thoughtfulness behind it all. I also really like the idea of a dilemma bag, so as to track all those little pieces you spoke of that really add up!

    ReplyDelete
  8. What an interesting experiment.

    I too find it frustrating. It almost seems that corporations are incentivized to use as much plastic packaging as possible. :-/

    ReplyDelete
  9. This post speaks to me - I hate, hate, HATE plastic and do whatever I can to avoid bringing it into my home. I'll reuse plastic bread bags to freeze tomatoes from the garden short-term, and refuse to buy anything that's over packaged. I only use my own canvas bags or none at all when shopping. I've learned to make my own frozen-banana-pudding ice cream, so no packaging there. ;-) I've learned to make my own yogurt and pasta primarily to eliminate the packaging - so easy. No one can do EVERYTHING, it's all about moderation, but I'm doing everything I possibly can to avoid plastic. Thank you for sharing this post & increasing awareness. (Visiting fro Homestead Barn Hop)

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

Popular posts from this blog

What to do with eight acres

Behind the scenes of my blog I can see the search terms that led people to find my blog.  It can be quite interesting to look through them occasionally and see what people are looking for.  Most of them involve chicken tractors, but another question that comes up regularly is “what can you do with eight acres?” or “how much land is eight acres?”.  Today I will try to answer this question.

Of course it is a very broad question, there are lots and lots of things you can do with eight acres, but I’m going to assume that you want to live there, feed your family and maybe make a little extra money.  I make that assumption because that’s what I know about, if you want to do something else with your eight acres, you will need to look somewhere else.

If you haven’t chosen your land yet, here a few things to look for.  Focus on the things you can’t change and try to choose the best property you can find in your price range.  Look for clean water in dams, bores or wells, either on the property …

Growing and eating chokos (chayotes)

** Sign up for my weekly email updates here, you will find out more about my garden, soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon....

Cooking chokos (not be confused with another post about cooking chooks) has been the subject of a few questions on my blog lately, so here's some more information for you.
Chokos - also known as Chayote, christophene or christophine, cho-cho, mirliton or merleton, chuchu, Cidra, Guatila, Centinarja, Pipinola, pear squash, vegetable pear, chouchoute, güisquil, Labu Siam, Ishkus or Chowchow, Pataste, Tayota, Sayote - is a vine belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, along with pumpkins, squash and melons, with the botanical name Sechium edule.


The choko contains a large seed, like a mango, but if you pick them small enough it is soft enough to eat.  If you leave the choko for long enough it will sprout from one end and start to grow a vine.  To grow the choko, just plant the sprouted choko a…

How to make coconut yoghurt

Lately I have been cutting back on eating dairy.  I know, I know, we own two house cows!  But I am trying to heal inflammation (bad skin) and dairy is one of the possible triggers, so as a last resort and after much resistance, I decided I had better try to cut back.  Its been hard because I eat a LOT of cheese, and cook with butter, and love to eat yoghurt (and have written extensively about making yoghurt).  I had to just give up cheese completely, switch to macadamia oil and the only yoghurt alternative was coconut yoghurt.  I tried it and I like it, but only a spoonful on some fruit here and there because it is expensive!





The brand I can get here is $3 for 200 mL containers.  I was making yoghurt from powdered milk for about 50c/L.  So I was thinking there must be a way to make coconut yoghurt, but I didn't feel like mucking around and wasting heaps of coconut milk trying to get it right....  and then Biome Eco Store sent me a Mad Millie Coconut Yoghurt Kit to try.  The kit is…