Monday, July 3, 2017
Plastic Free July -the wins and the losses
It is Plastic Free July, and I am participating again this year.
You can find out more here
Our challenge is to try to eliminate 'single use plastics" like plastic film food wrap, one-use plastic shopping bags and produce bags, coffee cups and straws and of course plastic bottles like water bottles.
Choose to refuse single-use plastic by remembering your reusables and reduce plastic packaging. Signup today on our website www.plasticfreejuly.org and share with your friends, family and workmates. Avoid landfill waste, reduce your eco footprint and protect the ocean. Join us and together let's make a difference.
We have the coffee cups and straws thing down pat -it is easy. If we are out to have fun, we sit down at a coffee shop and drink coffee from a ceramic mug. Recently I was disappointed that the coffee shop near where I work has eliminated their ceramic mugs and plates, even for dine-in customers. I told them I wouldn't be back until the crockery was back too.
The plastic bag thing is a bit harder. I have shopping bags and about 80% of the time take them with me to the shops, but we are kind of "hardwired" to have some plastic bags around the house to line bins with. We don't subscribe to hard copy newspapers so we can't use them to line a bin instead.
We also have got used to using freezer bags to store food in the freezer- although I have a fine collection of glass and Tupperware-type containers which are also used. I read today that it was possible to freeze things in silicone type baking paper -that might help us achieve our goal there. So this is a partial win-we are reducing the amount of plastic we use.
Food wrapped in single use plastic in shops is harder to avoid too. I found some wax wrapped local cheese in my IGA but it was twice the price per kilo as the plastic wrapped version from the same factory. I didn't buy it, so am a bit of a failure at the 'refuse' option in this case. Maybe there is a shop nearby which will cut cheese from large pieces and put it in my own container, nearby? This is something I need to investigate.
My bulk food store provides me with some options to buy food in cardboard and tins . For example, the bulk bag of bread flour I bought today was in cardboard..
DH loaned his plastic barrow to a group of mulch spreaders at the church, and it came back with a large crack in it, probably due to the brittle plastic getting a bit too much UV. He thought he would have a go at repairing it, so the hardware store provided some repair strapping. If we can do another of the 4 Rs -refuse, re-use, repair, recycle - this time repairing something-that is good too. Might keep this plastic barrow out of landfill a bit longer.
Today we set up yet another of our wicking beds which are made out of used olive barrels-see the first two here . This is a "re-use' option -thus saving the barrels from landfill, whilst giving us cheap large pots in which to grow herbs and veggies.
We have finally had some winter weather -the rains were a month or more late this year, and our poor farmers were distraught. Hopefully the rains have penetrated enough into the farming areas to mean that there will be feed for the sheep. I don't know that the wheat harvest will survive everywhere, though. Our climate is changing -rainfall is much less than it used to be. That is why anything we can do -no matter how small -in changing our patterns of behaviour to protect the earth more -whether from plastics or carbon in the atmosphere -is worth the effort.
On the quilting front, I have started the baby quilt! This is for grandchild number 3, due in September.
I am now working on the borders which are 4 patches in the medium to dark colours.