Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Put the plastic bottle down or the environment gets it!

Well, it's been a little while since I treated you all to a plastic free update, so here are my latest thoughts on it.

The first week was hard. Not only did it involve trying to figure out alternatives to plastic packaging, but then I had to hunt around and source them, milk being a good example. But, really, once I got on top of that, it started being much easier. I knew where to get my vegies, cheese, milk and bread in non-plastic or, even better, no packaging and this experiment started coasting along more smoothly.

The fact that the only things I seemed to buy were edible goods helped, admittedly, but the fact of the matter is that my mind set, when it came to purchasing/consuming, has changed a lot over the last few weeks. I'll be in a shop, and something that in the past might have not only caught my eye, but ended in a purchase now prompts thoughts like "Hmmm, do I really need that? Is it manufactured using sustainable and ethical practices? Can this purchased be justified? Can I reuse the packaging? Does it meet my environmental/moral standards?" If the answer to any of those questions was "NO!", then my wallet stayed safely in my bag, and I walked home with a halo of shining goodness hovering over my head.

Not to say that I haven't been tempted. I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to buy the Donna Hay autumn magazine, but it came wrapped in plastic with a free giveaway kitchen timer, which really has to be the most stupid giveaway of all time, because doesn't pretty much every stove have a timer? And if they don't, then wouldn't most people have a microwave timer they could use? Sheesh! So, no Donna Hay for me.

And - confession time. Once my 21 days was up, I gave up trying to get milk in glass. The delivery schedule was just too unreliable, and the cost was astronomical. $2.90 for 720ml is just too much for a family that easily drinks over 10 litres of milk a week, so it's back to organic milk in a liquid paper board carton for us.

However, I think generally I will continue trying to be plastic free. My bread will be from local bakeries in a paper bag, my cheese wrapped only in paper from the local cheese shop, no more juice/drinks in plastic bottles, and most grains and cereals I'm now buying from an local organic wholefoods shop, where you scoop out what you need in a paper bag and pay by weight.

I'm shampooing my hair with the awesome shampoo bars from Lush (no more shampoo/conditioner bottles!), my facial stuff (moisturisers, cleansers etc) come from Aesop which package their products in glass bottles (ok, the lids are plastic, but they are 100% recyclable, and this was the best I could find), I'm only buying soap that comes in either nothing or a cardboard box, and for general house cleaning it's bicarb and eucalyptus or tea tree oil.

Whew, that's enough babbling for one day. I'm going to sign off now, before the humungous storn that's heading our way hits and we lose power, plus I'm a big scaredy cat who actually turns off the computer when the Bureau of Meteorology tells me too. Enjoy your Tuesday, folks!

6 comments:

  1. I think you are doing a fantastic job! I know what you mean about the questions when considering a purchase, i do it myself.

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  2. very impressive - you're an inspiration!

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  3. I love Lush. They're also doing a deal at them moment (in Melbourne, anyway) where you can take your old shampoo container in for them to recycle, full or empty, and they'll give you half a solid shampoo for free.

    You can also get really nice soaps from most markets that don't come in any packaging. There's a stall at the Preston Market where they sell eggs, honey and the package-less vegetable-based soap at really good prices.

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  4. I've really enjoyed reading about your plastic-free escapades. I thought I was doing real well buying vegetarian, organic, SLS-free and phosphate free shampoo and conditioner. But it still comes in plastic. *sigh*
    I think I'm going to find my own paper bags to take to the wholefoods store. Is that really weird? We do reuse the plastic bags that we get from them (for cooking, or packaging lunches)

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  5. You're doing such a great job.
    Maybe you could borrow the magazine from the library.

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  6. thanks for this -- great tips & info -- very inspiring!

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