So its Plastic Free July again, we have really got to the point where we need to do this. I have been trying to eliminate plastic from my life for some time, since last Plastic Free July in fact and I am 80% there.
Reusable shopping bags, shopping in the fresh produce section only, picking out things with no stickers and New Zealand produced, realising that I was buying single use trash every time I buy a product from the supermarket, changing of habits, where I buy and how I buy, being more prepared with food for my week of work and knowing what I am comfortable asking for "No plastic, thank you".
I even managed to find an Indian restuarant willing to fill up my own take away containers, thanks India Gate at 102 Princes St, Dunedin. Although the first time I still did get some sauce for my Onion Bahji in a small plastic container, now that gets refilled until it dies than I will ask them to just put it in the container with it. Whats my Favourite curry?... Palak Paneer the medium heat is excellent!!!
Reusable water bottles, beeswax food wraps, jars are all awesome things, Bin Inn at 126 Crawford St, Dunedin has some great fill your own options, just remember to take your own bags, jars and bottles to fill and get them tared first. They do provide plastic bags only on site so Take Your OWN!!!!!
Food wise I am working on making alternatives to bread like the Life changing loaf of bread which I love, but it can be expensive to make as it has a lot of nuts and such in it. I also need to find Psyllium husk plastic free, I haven't been able to source that yet, everything else is easy to find though.
Food processors are amazing things, I love my tiny little Kenwood I found at the Restore Dunedin for $8. Second hand is better, its small but it works. I love making my own nut and seed butter in it, SO YUM! and coconut milk/water/flour, there are some great resources here that I have been using at Wellness Mama the next thing I am going to try is making some coconut kefir milk/yoghurt.
The only place I still need to change a few things is in the bathroom. I only use coconut oil, baking soda and apple cider vinegar on my hair and body apart from my teeth which need some special attention for the rest of my life to keep them well. After years of not really caring about my oral hygiene I now need to to keep a healthy mouth, Ive just had 5 teeth fixed and still need a couple of crowns, I must clean between each tooth everyday with floss and an inter dental brush, time consuming put important for the longevity of being able to eat. And these brushes are not very strong they break after a couple of days when you need to brush between every tooth, I wish someone made them from bamboo and they were bio degradable. I also don't enjoy homemade toothpaste and use Vicco Ayurvedic Toothpaste and some small Sensodyne's my dentist gave me. I also want to change my razor, I still have the same handle I've had since I started shaving moons ago and only buy the heads, but I want to change this to something less plastic. This will find me I am sure.
These are the things I wish I could find non plastic versions of, but being at 80% I'm actually OK with and can't pressure myself to change everything all at once as that would be very hard with all of the OTHER that happens in my life, small steps are OK too, in fact its probably the best way as to not shock the system. As I type on Sunday night there are 2 loaves of life changing bread proofing and nut/seed butter freshly made for my week.
Best of luck with your own Plastic Free Life journey, take it easy and don't pressure yourself it's a great start that your even thinking about challenging yourself to try.
The Plastic Free July website has lots of info to help you out.
Here's also a support group you can join via Plastic Free JULY - Support Group
and Plastic Free New Zealand
Don't forget to take 3 for the sea too, when your out and about, Pick it up and take responsibility for the prettiness of your country New Zealand and the welfare of our oceans and wildlife.
Aroha NUI Kaitiakitanga.
How do you feel about New Zealand right now? Do you think we are in good shape as a country? Do you want to do something to change the way we function? Well artist Tess Sheerin thinks New Zealand's worth loving and has started a mural tour of the country to raise awareness of water pollution and it's damaging effects on marine life. She spent some time in Dunedin in May 2016 creating this mural at 56 Timaru St, Dunedin. Its in the supermarket car park. I hung out with her on the last day and watched her finish the mural and sign it off, which was pretty special! She's pretty awesome, and highlighting a prominent issue facing our environment and consumers at present.
Where does it go? when you finish with that wrapper/takeaway cup/bottle and drop it on the street? when we consume so many things that we have 5 Gyres of plastic pooling in our oceans, letting our marine and bird life eat plastic, treating our planet like one huge rubbish dump, well this landfill needs to be mined and returned to resource, I say!
Single Use Plastic - it's everywhere or that's what it feels like to me. We had a lengthy chat about it and she told me about the harbour clean up she had organised the weekend before, I wish I'd been here to help. Thanks to Our Sea's Our Future and Keep Dunedin Beautiful for helping Tess out with that, there is now less plastic in our harbour Dunedin, which I think is great, I am always picking up trash on the streets and I get looked at funny by a lot of you in passing, well actually if you'd stop putting it there we wouldn't have that issue. It was only yesterday I spotted a sign stating that Dunedin has a littering policy and that you will get fined, who's policing that eh? and what are you doing to reduce your consumption today?
The murals will grace walls in Queenstown, Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.
You can follow the tour on FACEBOOK!
NZWL co-ordinates and supports clean-up events and public awareness campaigns that concentrate on waterways, lakes and coastal areas around New Zealand.
So far they have teamed up with like-minded initiatives; Our Seas Our Future, Keep Dunedin Beautiful, New Generation Rotary Queenstown and Anti Plastic Population.
I'm looking forward to the future of Tess's work and to see what she gets up to, you never know there might even be a collab in the mix!!
Shaping our future and sharing our skills to help others wake up to the world, that we need to care for our environment and be the kaitiakitanga that we are here to be!
Pollution art its the next big thing!
<3 your work Tess
Arohanui and good luck with the rest of the tour!
<3 Senorita AweSUMO
Fiona Clements. Pakeha, Kai Tahu, Craftivist, Sustainable Fashion and Zerowaste Textile Practitioner. Conscious Consumer advocate.