Wednesday, June 17, 2015

preparing for July

I've printed off posters about Plastic Free July for the EcoCentre and I was delighted to learn that CBEC have got someone going round local schools promoting it. So good to know it is being promoted locally without me having to take that on myself! I'll be doing my bit to get the message across though that's for sure.

I've been looking back at my posts from July & August last year about my first attempt at signing up for the challenge. I went for the whole month option rather than just a day or week as generally my life doesn't have that much single use plastic in it compared to many folk, and I actually did two months in the end. It is interesting to realize just how much my habits have changed in the last year, especially considering I was thinking this year wouldn't be that much different from last. Through the year I've been replacing all sorts of plastic things in my life one step at a time.

The area of my life that I've made the biggest changes to is regarding personal care. I think by July/August last year I was already making my own toothpowder in lieu of toothpaste. It has worked just fine and my gums have been healthy too. I've got a wee pottle of it I keep in my travel washbag and it has the bonus of not being liquid/gel so one less thing that can leak and doesn't have to be declared in your hand luggage when flying overseas (not that I'm planning any such travel yet mind!). I've been washing my hair with baking soda since early December and it has worked better than any shampoo I've ever tried! I did try with baking soda before but for some reason my scalp wasn't that happy so I stopped and reverted to shampoo in case that was the cause. It wasn't, but it still took me a while to get around to trying baking soda again.

Earlier this year I discovered how easy it was to make cider vinegar and so now my home made hair rinse is totally free! Granted this is due to having apples and rosemary growing in the garden which not everybody has but great for me none the less. So, no plastic bottles for hair care, no plastic tubes for toothpaste, and I use a bamboo toothbrush. I use soap for washing and once I've used up the stocks in the cupboard of assorted provenance I can buy paper wrapped bars at the healthfood shop. The only thing remaining for me is deodorant and the crystal sort I use lasts over a couple of years so hardly a huge amount of plastic - mind you due to a psoriasis flare up I've only been using homemade kawakawa balm for the last week because of broken skin and bizarrely that seems to work too! But then again it might just be too cold for any sweat to form.. I was already using plastic free pantiliners (I'll spare you the details, but lets just say I need them most days) but decided to make some cloth ones out of old pyjama trousers and flannel sheeting which have that well washed softness new fabric doesn't come close to. Much better than spending money on something that gets thrown away as well as being environmentally friendly as they get thrown in with the wash that is getting done anyway!

I'll be keeping my eyes open for a another wooden hairbrush as I travel around - I used to have one that lasted years but had to replace it at a time when I couldn't find one locally and ended up with plastic again. The trick is remembering to look, which isn't easy when I don't actually need one yet...

I've made a couple of waxed cloths to use as food wrap instead of the likes of clingfilm/glad wrap or even lunch paper (which can at least go in the compost heap). Mostly they get used for packed lunches as we've already got a selection of those shower cap type covers for bowls and mugs etc that get used for leftovers and so on in the fridge. We do have a roll of clingfilm in the drawer but neither of us ever use it and it must be several years old!

I've gradually been replacing plastic scoops and storage tubs with metal and glass and have made some cloth bags to use at the health food shop for bulk bin goods. I've been very good at letting go of what I had and passing it along to individuals or op shops, given my mission to reduce how much 'stuff' there is in my life I'm determined not to get stuck in 'hoarder' mode, well not with plastics anyway!!!

No comments: