Sunday, August 31, 2014

August, and everything after...

Well I said I was going to monitor my single-use (ie non-recyclable or re-usable) plastic consumption for longer than a month, and I did! I got through August keeping everything aside. However as we now have two additional folk in the house for a while I'm not even going to try keeping that up as it will just get way too complicated. However once we're back to just the two of us again it will be interesting to try it again and see how much, if anything, my habits have changed!

The collection for August is larger than for July mainly from using things up: a couple of packets of microwave rice from the CDE Kit, some cotton wool that I've had since I lived in Wellington (so at least 7 1/2yrs old!), a thingy of liquid soap from a hotel that is a plastics number we can't recycle locally and the bottle has split so I can't refill it, a carton of rice milk I'd bought for when my parents were here late last year & hadn't needed then but was about to go out of date, and finally I finished off that bag of pasta I started in early July!

Of course there are the usual medication packs, strips off the top of bulk buy bags etc. as well. I've been thinking about how to reduce the amount of plastic I use that can be recycled as even reusing and recycling just postpones the day when it becomes waste and as is becoming increasingly evident there is no such place as 'away' to throw it.

So, there are a few changes in shopping habits I've decided to commit to and the idea is gradually I'll add in more things to the equation, basically the same way as I've phased in any other change in my shopping habits. Using the glass bottled organic cider vinegar (or refilled bottles from the health food shop) in my hair rinse rather than buying separate bottles of the cheaper stuff in plastic bottles was my first decision. I'd balked at doing this before but then realised just how long a 750ml bottle had lasted me and figured it was hardly a huge financial commitment! I'd been buying coconut milk powder when I could find it, but have switched to tins as the amount I use on a regular basis has increased enough now to warrant it, I just need to remember which brands don't have plastic linings in their tins! I've discovered I can get my long grain brown rice in 10kg paper sacks via the local food co-op so that is duly noted for future reference (I've quite a stash to get through first!). I've already mentioned changing the supplies in the CDE Kit, that will take a while to complete but at least I've made a start.

I'll see how I go with those, and no doubt as the weeks roll by I'll find other things to add to the list. One unlooked for plus is the dosage of one of my meds has changed so once I've finished the current supply I'll be taking one or two tablets not three which will reduce the amount of rubbish as well as hopefully improve my health!

I was quite impressed though that despite all the stuff being used up, two months worth of single use plastic still fit into one bag in the end. The info from Plastic Free July keeps coming through their Facebook page which is great, lots of ideas and plastic free products still being shared including some I hadn't even begun to think about - suncream anyone?! Mind you given the initiative comes from Western Australia I shouldn't be surprised that they were on to that one. I do have a recipe for making some, but I can't say as I've been enthused enough by it to give it a go. But who knows where I'll be on this journey by July next year - hopefully making even more of my own things and creatively avoiding more and more plastics in my life.

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