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.
Fiona Clements. Pakeha, Kai Tahu, Craftivist, Sustainable Fashion and Zerowaste Textile Practitioner. Conscious Consumer advocate.