Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The plastic-free challenge - part 2

Posted by Amanda Villaruel | |
We started the plastic-free challenge exactly one week ago. What have we learned? How much plastic have we generated in the past week?
The plastic-free challenge - part 2
The plastic-free challenge - part 2


First of all, how much plastic have we accumulated?

This week's bag weigh 182 grams!

I can't say that I'm psyched about how little plastic we've reduced. I feel that we could have reduced much more plastic than this. My boyfriend reminds me though, that I shouldn't be so hard on myself. Because A) before we started the project, we bought lots of items in plastic wrapping. We didn't exactly start with clean slates. B) It is difficult to live totally plastic-free.
Identifying types of plastic waste
Identifying types of plastic waste

To keep reducing plastic in the future, we need to identify the major culprits. Not surprising, coffee, cheese and other food plastic packaging is the number one culprit. The next weeks we need to find bulk coffee and cheese :-)

What we learned this past week

Stop with the spontaneous trips to the grocery store

The first trip to the grocery store was spontaneous, and when we realized that it was impossible to shop plastic-free without the reusable bags, we aborted the trip.

Not knowing what we were getting into, it felt impossible to shop anything when you see plastic wrapping 'everywhere'.

But we don't give up that easily. We drove home, picked up a few bags and returned to the store. The cashier wondered why we didn't use the plastic bags, and looked strangely at us. Eventually he weighed the content :-)

Get used to planning the meals

Until now, me and my boyfriend have rarely planned a dinner. We take one day at a time. This approach though, won't do us any good during the plastic-free project. We realize that we have to plan the meals beforehand if we want to save time and reduce plastic.

So, a whiteboard in the kitchen helped us through the week. Reusable bags were also placed easily visible in the kitchen.
Whiteboard for planning meals during the plastic-free period
Whiteboard for planning meals during the plastic-free period

Making food from scratch (again)

Making food from scratch is one way of reducing plastic in our home. We made our very own round bread, pizza dough and pesto with kale (the kale was harvested from the balcony). There wasn't much kale to harvest yet, but enough for one pizza :-)

As major consumers of popsicles, we also made mango popsicles from scratch!
Kale harvested from our balcony garden
Kale harvested from our balcony garden
Homemade pizza dough and homemade kale pesto
Homemade pizza dough and homemade kale pesto
Making mango popsicles from scratch
Making mango popsicles from scratch

Bulk food shopping

Sunday's grocery shopping went to a Turkish grocery store, where they sell lots of vegetables in bulk. Kale, cherries and halloumi cheese on the other hand, have plastic packaging.
Reusable produce bags for bulk food
Reusable produce bags for bulk food

The following day I tried to find bulk kale at Helios (an organic health store), but according to the cashiers, the kale was "not in season".

So, the hunt continues. There's an upcoming farmer's market this week :-)

Making products for the first time

I knew that we would run out of hand soap this week. Instead of introducing new single-use plastic in our home, we re-used the bottle and made our very own hand soap (I used this recipe for "DIY rich and creamy moisturizing hand soap").
Trying to make hand soap with Castile neutral soap, boiled water, almond oil, essential oils and agar agar
Trying to make hand soap with Castile neutral soap, boiled water, almond oil, essential oils and agar agar

We bought one large bottle of neutral Castile soap, organic almond oil and two essential oils (citron tea tree oil and mandarin oil). I chose tea tree oil because of its antibacterial properties, and mandarin oil for its lovely smell. As a side note; lavender and thyme essential oils have also antibacterial properties.

The only ingredient we didn't manage to find in the stores (or order in time), was the guar gum. As an alternative, we experimented with agar agar, which also acts as thickener. Well, this experiment failed. I don't know anything about guar gum, but with agar agar, you need to boil it and then cool it down for the mixture to thicken.

If we would to boil the mix, what would happen to the essential oils and antibacterial agents? I couldn't risk it.
DIY foaming hand soap

Our hand soap didn't turn out creamy, but it was foaming, moisturizing and smelled ridiculously good. It turned out to be soap nonetheless :-)



Continue to read:
7 easy ways on how to minimize food waste.

A nomad's green moving tips and free checklist.

Have your say about what you just read :)

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...