Week 4: Wrapping up Plastic-Free July

It’s true what they say about failure. You don’t learn from success. -Dustin Hoffman

For me, PFJ has been very much about the journey and not the success. I discovered that with every small achievement, came the uncomfortable realisation that my efforts were relatively flimsy in the grand anti-plastic crusade.

However, while my achievements were marginal,  they were made with the support of my family, and for me, that is the biggest success. I would have no hope of implementing any tangible change if they didn’t support the cause.  And my goal is to implement sustainable change, slowly but surely.

So, with that disclaimer shared, I am proud of the progressive changes I have made during the month of July in the following areas:

  • Plastic bin-lining –  restricted to the kitchen bin. All other bins in the house are now un-lined / lined with a brown paper bag (equates to a reduction of 7-10 single-use bags a week).
  • A greater proportion of groceries purchased from weigh-and-pay stores (a reduction in approx .15 single-use food storage bags p/week).
  • Avoidance of fresh fruit and vegetables packed in plastic (no more store plastic wrap or polystyrene trays).
  • Swapping plastic fresh produce bags for homemade net bags. (This has saved a minimum of 10 plastic bags p/week).
  • Most milk is purchased in glass bottles (a reduction in 3 plastic cartons p/week).
  • Increased production of home-made food, particularly snack and breakfast foods, eg: almond milk, muesli bars, scones, bliss balls, granola.
  • Wherever possible, purchasing foods in bulk to reduce packaging, in particular, meat, cereal, cheese, yoghurt, etc.
  • Setting up a compost bin, with plans to get a worm farm.
  • Trialling bamboo toothbrushes in place of plastic ones.
  • Swapping everyday loo paper for ethical loo paper.
  • Swapping tea-bags for loose-leaf tea.
  • Avoidance of disposable coffee cups, compliments of my re-usable cup.
  • A gradual plastic to glass pantry conversion. I will share my progress on this later.
  • Signing-up for an Earth-Carers course  later in the year.

PFJ has also sparked some ideological changes, namely:

  • A re-think on how / what I choose to buy / make as gifts for loved ones.
  • A greater focus on the seasons and how it relates to what I cook.
  • Responsible minimalism – how might I de-clutter without contributing to landfill.
  • Perma-culture – to what extent can I implement this in my own garden.  Kyrstie’s  A Fresh Legacy is a tremendous source of inspiration on this front.
  • Our diet – how does what we eat impact on our planet, and how can I make changes that minimises our impact and still satisfies tastebuds (particularly in a male-dominated home!).
  • Being on the lookout for plastic-free purchases wherever possible, knowing that right now, I cannot completely avoid them, but can certainly reduce them.

And so it continues… so grateful for the encouragement provided by PFJ over the month!

Green I go. Gradually...

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