My Plastic Free Week

Day One. Woke up went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth with a plastic toothbrush with toothpaste from a plastic tube.

Which got me thinking (and googling).

Every plastic toothbrush ever made still exists (read more here https://www.brushwithbamboo.com/)

This looks like an easy swap to make AND when your bamboo toothbrush is no longer any good at brushing you can use them in the garden

So, Day One, in a nutshell (ha ha that’s an anti plastic bag pun) is about deciding to make good swaps.

 

Day Two. Walk into sandwich shop, declare loudly that I’m trying to get through the week without buying any plastic and I don’t want that flimsy plastic inside my SINGLE USE DISPOSABLE paper bag. Two lovely ladies behind the counter take me through their process for checking with customers if they want disposable forks etc. Yummy sandwich and no plastic. Result.

Go to random Londis on way home, come out like I’m ready for Ready Steady Cook (minus the carrier bag) with a TIN of tuna, a GLASS JAR of pickled cabbage and a CAN of Diet Coke.

I know. I CANNOT wait for a timbale of Tuna and red cabbage accompanied by a glass of Diet Coke.

Feeling rather happy with myself though. And a little bit like it’s the 1970s.

Which got me thinking. Remember when wine always had a cork? I thought there was a cork shortage and that’s why we have plastic corks. TURNS OUT THAT IS AN URBAN MYTH. So if you like wine and want to do a good swap… check out if your bottle has a plastic or CORK cork before you buy…. https://recork.org/corkwatch/

 

Day three. And I’m feeling like an urban hunter gatherer.

Went to a farm shop, had it not been #plasticfree week I could easily have walked out with every item covered in cling film on a plastic tray. However navigated past the plastic and have exciting vegetables, eggs, bread, steak (the butcher was happy to wrap in paper only – I was so delighted I didn’t notice the price. Whoops).

A scan of the coffee aisle revealed GROUND COFFEE in a PAPER BAG. Whoop whoop. Managed to contain the urge to jump up and down.

Smiled all the way home though.

With the window down.

Tearing off bits of fresh baked bread, feeling like me aged 7 with my sister and cousin Suzanne eating teacakes in the back of my Mum’s blue Honda on the way home from school.

For someone who’s shopping experiences are, 99 per cent of the time, grabbing a few epicurean delights from the fridge in the petrol station (I know)… #plasticfree is making me do little leaps of joy as I shop.

Here is the TED talk that is making my resolve strong this week and not letting me think … oh go on it’s only a pot of cream.https://www.ted.com/…/capt_charles_moore_on_the_sea…/up-next

 

Day Four. Monkey (my pug) is (metaphorically) running with the #plasticfree baton now and his three (3 IS A MAGIC NUMBER) easy swaps are…

  • Food from a CARDBOARD BOX or PAPER bag only (problematic vis a vis his treats, but it’s definitely a case of a nanosecond on his rubbery lips a lifetime on his perfect pug chunkiness…. so no treats is a probably a good policy.. )
  • BIODEGRADABLE poopy bags (with the least amount of packaging)
  • Swapping pamper pads (don’t judge him) for WASHABLE ones.

In addition he has a bag of leads, collars and toys which he is donating to a local dog rehoming charity (he doesn’t know about the toys, but was very happy to see the pink crystal encrusted collar and lead go).

Monkey wants to know what three swaps you’re going to make.

PS I usually put my kitchen bin bag out on a Thursday (that’s normal for a one girl one pug household) there is approximately 20% of the usual weekly amount of rubbish in the bin…

 

Day Five. The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker… … and the cheese emporium lady.

Three (yes, THREE) totally amazingly brilliant things happened today.

Number 1. I went to The Cheese Shop in Holmfirth and bought a slice of cheese, just enough for a risotto tomorrow. It was wrapped in waxed PAPER.. But best of all had a lovely chat about all things non-plastic with the lovely cheese purveyors ie made new friends (woohoo).

Was such a lovely shopping experience I took a photo of my cheese being handed over the counter and a snap of the shop too (v pretty). And all for £1.92…..

Number 2. The owner of Andrew’s green grocers, I’m assuming Andrew, told me there isn’t a shop selling milk in bottles in Holmfirth (HIS SHOP IS PACKED FULL OF FABULOUS LOOSE VEGGIES THOUGH) so I got myself a MILKMAN and he is delivering me a pint on Thursday IN A GLASS BOTTLE.

When I was on a total high of how well Day 5 of #plasticfree was going, I got home to find I had managed to tick ‘auto re order’ and so a box of contact lenses had been delivered. Wondered if I could pretend they hadn’t arrived, but felt my moral barometer being pushed, so had to come clean and had a moment of glumness.

But shortly afterwards….. an unexpected and totally amazing thing happened …

Number 3. Went across the road in my village and for THE FIRST TIME EVER there were eggs in a reused box at the EGG HONESTY BOX. Levels of #plasticfree happiness hit an all time five day high.

Thank you for all the pointers, videos and updates, tomorrow Monkey and I are going to address the issue of DISPOSABLE WIPES…. clearly a trade description issue here as they’re not disposable at all…. contain plastic … have a little look here…

https://www.google.co.uk/…/baby-wipes-93-percent-matter-cau…

Anyone who knows me will know it’s pained me to post such a toilet-related article. Am chanting and thinking of unicorns to erase the horror from my head.

PS thank you Joanne for nominating your compost bin for me to buddy up with.

 

Day 6. Woke up, had a bath, washed hair, dried hair, make up on. Every single item used for this sequence of events was in a plastic bottle or container with what I now know to be a ‘green dot’ sign on it.

Misleading on the basis that it appears to be black and white on packaging and is in a shape that I realise I’ve totally misunderstood as being a sign that it’s recyclable or recycled.

It means neither.

It means that the company has made a financial contribution to recycling costs. More on that here….https://www.recyclenow.com/recy…/packaging-symbols-explained

So on the make up and beauty items front….. I’ve got ‘pencils’ which are plastic propelling things… well that will stop. Realised how silly that is. If it’s called a PENCIL let’s not recreate the pencil experience in plastic!!!!

I’m going to BUY BIG (one big item is less packaging waste than lots of convenient sized ones) and decant, so I fished out a recently finished shampoo bottle from the green bin so that I’m ready for my de-canting experience.

I’m also going to swap make up remover and cotton pads for water and a little pad thing that you wash…. my lovely niece Alex is going to sort that out for me (woohoo).

I’m sure I could say something worthy like BUY LESS make up, but half of it has been given to me (looking forward to Stephanie having another clear out soon, she’s always got lovely blusher that she doesn’t like the colour of ) and equally pledge to MAKE IT LAST but there’s a lovely Bobbi Brown eye shadow still going strong from 2007!!!

All this made me have a moral dilemma about having my nails done..

Moving on….

It’s Oscar season so Paula and I went to the Picture House Bradford to see Darkest Hour. Paula came armed with not ONE but TWO REUSABLE CUPS. Went to the cafe, didn’t even have to ask or explain the reusable cups, barista did not bat an eyelid. WOOHOO totally brilliant reusable cup service from our fave cinema (utterly brilliant film too).

 

Day 7. (Thought it would be the last day, turns out it’s the first.)

Sprung out of bed at 6 to bake a cake, as cream cheese, buttermilk and fresh berries in non-plastic have alluded me, I made an all-in-one VICTORIA SPONGE filled with buttercream and strawberry jam. Quick review of the cake ingredients (from store cupboard/drawer) revealed flour in a plastic topped box (won’t be buying one of those again) and the baking powder is in a plastic pot.

Quick google and a few whatsapps with my Book Club and we’re going to BUDDY UP and buy baking powder and bicarb in bulk to DECANT into EXISTING CONTAINERS (CHEAPER TOO).

There was a small cake calamity when it split on transfer to the cake stand, so I had to eat a slice (WAAHOOO thank goodness it’s not a non sugar day).

There was just enough time for Monkey and I to have a little review of othe plastic bought this week. There was a little PUG FACE downturned smile over the surprise CONTACT LENSES (spurred me to rebook appointment to swap to monthly lenses though) and then we looked at the rest of the plastic purchased……

TWO PIECES of flimsy PLASTIC

(that sandwich shops put inside MY SINGLE USE PAPER BAG)

TWO!!!!!

Danced around the kitchen and sent a photo of said plastic to Cupcakebunnyrabbit (daughter).

The doorbell rang, Mr Gorgeous arrived with a gift…Tahini Paste in glass jar with a metal lid (no plastic)

Doorbell went again Andrew and Kevan …Kevan with a new dress for me rolled up under his arm (no plastic)

So….. I thought it would be a challenge for a week and that I would make some good swaps. BUT it’s been BRILLIANT … made me feel differently about FOOD…. confront my plastic CONSUMPTION … I’ve made GOOD SWAPS… and resolved to make some BIG CHANGES.

THREE is a MAGIC NUMBER. So I’m going to do three things.

The first thing of my #threethings #plasticfree is to only buy food/drink that is not in plastic.

I’m going to have a BIG THINK this week about my other two #threethings #plasticfree as I want them to be AS BIG.

And I’m going to do a #threethings #plasticfree update once a week to keep on track.

Monkey and I would love you to join us with your #threethings #plasticfree

PS … if the news hasn’t persuaded you this is OUR PROBLEM … this statistic might… it seems to coincide with me being an adult …

Litter has increased by 135% since 1994, with plastics increasing by a staggering 180%