Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Preparing for a plastic-free month - Part 1

Posted by Amanda Villaruel | |
For one year now I've thought about 'going plastic-free', but not knowing how to go about it. And frankly, I wasn't ready for it despite that we're pretty much surrounded by plastic, and almost everything you buy in the stores is wrapped in plastic.

A couple of months ago I watched a TED video of Lauren Singer (founder of Trash is for Tossers), explaining why she decided to live a zero-waste life. What she said was a kick in the butt.

I must to be the change I want to see in this world, as Gandhi wisely quoted. So, what the hell have I been waiting for? ;)
Preparing for a plastic-free month in the city
Preparing for a plastic-free month in the city

Our plastic-free month starts tomorrow!

Every week I'll be documenting how much (or little) plastic we've reduced in our home. The plastic we seek to reduce, is the single-use plastic including food packaging.

Eliminating plastic in our everyday living is impossible in our case. Single-use plastic doesn't only occur in the food department, but also when you're buying soap, shampoo and toothpaste. Hell, even my contact lens solution and allergy tablets are wrapped in plastic!

How much plastic is reduced?

To see how much plastic we have reduced, we obviously need something to compare it with. The plastic trash we've generated the past month has been collected in the basement, so we can make a comparison at the end of the plastic-free month. Today was Judgement Day!

For the past month we have generated seven blue recycling bags filled with plastic. The total weight is about 2,1 kilo. I've added photos so you won't think that we're cheating ;-)
The household plastic waste we've generated the past month
The household plastic waste we've generated the past month
We have weighed the household plastic waste
We have weighed the household plastic waste

2,1 kg in plastic waste might not seem a lot. But think about it; we're only talking about the plastic. Everyday we generate other kinds of waste; food, paper, metal, glass - you name it. Plastic waste is only the tip of the iceberg.

If we continue producing this much plastic waste for one year, we would end up with about 25 kg non biodegradable plastic! (we're only two in the household)

Grocery shopping

An important thing to prepare for is where to go grocery shopping, and how to avoid food in plastic wrap.

We don't live in downtown Oslo anymore and don't have immediate access to bulk food. This means that we have to make some detours on our way home, to the nearest bulk food shop. But if we plan the grocery shopping and actually stick to the plan, this shouldn't be a problem ;-)
Reusable produce bags for bulk shopping
Reusable produce bags for bulk shopping

Reusable produce bags is an excellent way of shopping vegetables and fruit the plastic-free way. You can make your own from old curtains or old (clean) t-shirts, or purchase some online. On Etsy you'll find a lot of cute produce bags with leafy patterns or organic gardening slogans. They are normally made from cotton, a breathable fabric.

For quinoa, rice and oat flakes, we will need to bring empty glass containers with lids.
Sustainable food storage. Photo courtesy of Bee's wrap.
Sustainable food storage. Photo courtesy of Bee's wrap.

We also need to replace the plastic wrap in the kitchen. I'm considering Bee's wrap, but haven't decided on size and how many we need :-) According to the site, the Bee's wrap is made from organic cotton, bees wax, organic jojoba oil and tree resin. It's brilliant that you can wash the wrap and use them all over again.

Make our own products

What to do when we run out of toothpaste, body lotion or deodorant? Make our own! (hopefully)

I've bookmarked a couple of recipes for coconut oil toothpaste and body lotion. Thinking about it now, I'm not sure if we're there yet to 'go through the trouble' of making our own products. I mean, are we ready to take it to the next level? Oh well, we'll see how it goes :-)

OK, this is it. Be sure to follow the progress here on the blog! :-)

Continue to read:
Simple ideas on how to reduce the plastic in your everyday living.

Get a crash course to eco-labels and certification systems.

Have your say about what you just read :)

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