Replacements and Recycling


While we were Stateside in October, I picked a few things for our journey toward a more environment-conscious living. I'm very excited to try this... Bee's Wrap-- sustainable, reusable food storage wraps, which are organic cotton treated with beeswax, jojoba oil and natural tree resin which holds its shape. They can be used to cover bowls or plates, and wrap up vegetables, fruits, etc.  Rinse with cold water to clean, allow to dry and refold until next use--they can last a long time. I purchased two different sized packs to get started. Amazing stuff! No need for plastic wrap!! 


I stocked up on Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap...it only has 3 ingredients--olive oil, water and sea salt. No junk, synthetics, petroleum byproducts, or irritants. For a couple of years now this has been my favorite for hands and showering. We are making the switch from liquid soap, with too much packaging, back to bar soap, and so I bought home a nice stash of this olive oil soap for hand and other use too. I want to try using this to make laundry soap soon.  I'm not happy about the plastic packaging the trio of soap bars come in. But it is soft plastic, and it can be recycled where we live. There is a great recycling program in our area. But still... plastic... not good. :/ 


I like to drink with a straw sometimes. And since we're trying to use less plastic--reusable, washable, stainless steel drinking straws are a great alternative. This pack comes with two long brushes to help with cleaning them--which would be good for use after a smoothie drink, for instance. These straws are really nice! Not as flexible as plastic straws, so these take getting used to. The steel is thin though, so pleasant to drink from. Non-toxic, plastic-free, PBA-free, lead-free... We like! The bit of plastic packaging for this otherwise eco-friendly product is a pity, though... :(  A lot of things are like that... Just too much, unnecessary packaging, and too much plastic. 


Also this nice stainless steel travel cutlery set for two, which even comes with chopsticks and a bottle opener! This set will be great for picnics, travel, etc. Finding alternatives to plastic for use at home and while out & about!

During our two-week trip last month, we encountered a LOT of plastic. It was pretty depressing really, how much plastic is everywhere, in use all over, for so much... The amount of trash and things wasted... It made me really sad. I was going to document a little of this to share more about. But I also wanted to enjoy our precious time with family, going places, etc. So perhaps I'll share more about plastic while traveling another time... Our carbon foot print just to fly and be where we want to be is HUGE, so I think about that too...


Once home again though, and back to the usual routine... I had to replenish some baking supplies. Thankfully many things like flours, grains, sugar and such are available in recyclable paper bags or light cardboard boxes. Recycling is not really the answer to all the trash dilemmas, but at least these are not plastic packages!


We use some food in tins--things like chopped tomatoes and beans, as we eat a lot of plant-based meals. Also tuna and sardines, some fruit in tins too. As we don't have beans in bulk where we live--or anything else in bulk, really--buying beans in tins or boxes are the options. Thing is, these boxes are tricky, though--they are made of cardboard/paper, plastic and aluminum. Some places, these kinds of boxes can't be recycled. Thankfully, our recycling program will accept them, so we put them in our recycle bin. What I'm not liking much, is that these boxes seem to be taking over foods in tins at the supermarkets here. And tins of sardines are wrapped in a thin, useless plastic packaging... Why??!!??


Ah, you were missing seeing our trash & recycling situation, weren't you?! ;) haha...  (Maybe you remember this plastic & trash post from September?) Well, this was the contents of our paper/card recycling bin about two weeks after we got back from our October trip. This is actually just part of the paper, as newspapers make up the main bulk of our paper recycling. We still subscribe to/support our local newspaper. Among other things, you'll see a paper towel tube there. Paper towel use is WAY, way down here, I'm happy to say, and we're still working on phasing those out. ( I admit though, that having the odd roll of paper towels around for emergencies is OK sometimes--like for cleaning up cat vomit, for instance. :/ ) We don't buy a lot of pre-made food, trying to make most of what we eat from scratch. One day, shortly after home from travels though, a supermarket frozen pizza for a snack found it's way into our shopping basket...Whoops... The pizza itself wrapped in plastic and then in a cardboard box--VERY naughty! I had my period while we were away, and I bought some feminine hygiene products to have while we were on the go. (I'm in the process of making my own reusable/washable cloth menstrual pads and phasing out the chemical-laced commercial products.) This may be too much info... but it's life! 


And this was part of our plastic recycling, as well as some metal recycling for the last bit of October... An empty bag of Luna's kitty food. Thankfully the bag of dry food can last a good month/month-and-a-half. Some folks make their own pet food. I want to research that more. Most of this is soft plastic that food comes in. The bulk of our plastic trash is that--from food, and other every day products. We would have to seriously re-consider eating, when avoiding plastic, as sooo much food comes in plastic here. We don't have bulk food stores. And we don't have much of farmer's markets in our area. Trying to learn to grow more of our own. It's all a huge process of seeing what one buys--what it's packaged in?...what season is it?... can I opt for something else... can I make this? Choosing the least packing option available. Or doing without. It's a lot to think about...


Another thing I'm thinking about, and learning about, in terms of food, is how I can make even MORE of what we eat and enjoy... including condiments and all those other "extras." Here's a peek in our fridge--a pic which I took many weeks back. I'm researching and trying out recipes for all sorts--pesto (already been making our own--and it's MUCH more tasty than anything in a jar from the supermarket!), jams (making more of those!), chutney (need to make more of those!), ketchup, hot sauce, etc. Some things, like HP Sauce and Worcestershire Sauce, are a bit harder to make at home, so I may still buy those ready made. Some items I won't be replacing at all. I've pretty much given up making certain Asian-style meals, as I'm often disappointed with the results--there's often an ingredient I can't get, a spice our local store doesn't have, etc. So it's more a treat to go to a restaurant, where it's made well, than feel like I'm wasting ingredients, resources, time, packaging, etc. 

Care to share what's in your recycling bins?!  Oh, and lately on The Guardian was a very disturbing article about plastic in our drinking water, contaminating land/farm land, oceans... We are living on a plastic planet



Comments

  1. I became almost fanatical about it all a few years ago. I did a post on the huge swirling masses of garbage in our oceans. I understand they're so large now that they can be seen from space. I think there were 5 of them at last count.
    the oceanic wildlife that are endangered by it was and is devastating to me.
    I began recycling and trying to cut down on all that then and have continued!
    but like you... I'm dismayed at the sheer over use of plastic in our society.
    you ask "useless plastic packaging... Why??!!??"
    the answer would be the same as the answer for most modern questions ... MONEY.
    you can be assured if more money is made for any corporation they will go that route.
    it matters not to them that we're destroying this beautiful planet.
    I love your ideas for the soap and the beeswax covers. definitely going to try to find that.
    and two thoughts! ... you might want to try a menstrual cup. people seem to swear by them and will never use anything else. I had a total hysterectomy when I was 38 so I never had a chance to use one after finding out about them. TMI? LOL. as you say...
    life!
    and one last thing... drinking from a straw makes wrinkles around your mouth like smoking a cigarette! LOL. just sayin'. but those stainless steel straws are so cool! xo♥

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    1. Thank you for your sharing, Tammy! Yes, very sadly, all the big oceans have these horrendous "trash pools"... it's absolutely heartbreaking. And oh, yes, big money is behind the trash woes, along with much else. :/ We've been eco-friendly for many years, or as much as we can be. Making, what we hope, have been better changes. But we've been up-ing our game a lot this year. I'm in my more fanatical stage just now, I suppose... LOL! It did try a menstrual cup two years ago...and tried. Without going into a lot of detail here, I'll just say that was not an easy one for me. I did have some cloth pads, but they reached the end of their life, so to speak, after many, many years use. Very badly, I feel back on commercial feminine hygiene in the meantime. But am now making my own pads & things to use, which feels very good! You're right about the straws... Thankfully I don't use them all the time. ;)

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  2. This was such a great post Tracy! we could all be doing more for our planet. I would never buy anything with microbeads in it. They are the worst, but like you I despair of all the plastic that is covering our foods in the grocery stores, etc. I cook mostly from scratch, and I try to reuse containers and avoid styrafoam whenever I can. What really annoys me is that often when I am sent food items to try they come in styrafoam packaging. That stuff never degrades. Never. Its a nuisance! I have not had to worry about feminine hygiene products for a few years now, so that is okay. I love the bee wraps. I was sent some a year or so ago and I use them all the time! Love and hugs! xoxo

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    1. Styrofoam is some of the worst stuff out there, isn't it? We can actually put it in recycling here, as it's considered plastic-derived, but I'm not sure how they actually deal with it. Mircobeads are horrible little things. I don't buy any of those lotions and potions anymore, as I don't think we can trust the contents of them. I use olive oil for all-over moisturizer now... and it works well! Closing in on age 45 now, I'm not sure how much longer I'll been needing feminine hygiene help, but for a while yet still...*sigh*... :/ LOL...

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  3. what a blessing to get that nice soap!!! I am so glad for all the blessings in your life! :)

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    1. The olive oil soap is sooo good for the skin! I helps my skin and body get through the long, cold, dry winters here.

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  4. You do make me think more about what we use, recycle items and OH MY condiments in my refrigerator. That one thing does bug me that we have so many there.

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    1. As you can see, we have waaay too many condiments hanging on the fridge door... LOL! Some of them, I realized in recent months, that we don't even use them that often, or every week even. The waste bothers me, and we're doing something about it. It's been fun learning to make versions of some of these condiments--and very tasty they are too!

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  5. You are walking the walk and I really admire that -- and you do make me think even more about the things we use. We always end up with boatloads of condiments after we clean the lake fridge in the summer. Takes a year to use them. I'm amazed we haven't all died.

    Love the Kiss My Face products -- and those bees cloths sound really interesting.

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    1. Trying to walk it, Jeanie... it ain't easy! :/ But it feels good! We have waaay too many condiments for just two people. So whittling that down, making what we can, and not replacing some things at all. If it's not used weekly, it's not staying in the rotation. Some home made things will have a slightly shorter storage rate than store-bought, but that's OK. Oh, I love the Kiss My Face products too! I can't get them here, so trips home do double duty of fun and practical stocking-up. ;)

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  6. I have seen the beeswax wraps advertised but have not tried them. Anxious to hear how they actually work. I need to pay more attention to recycling. Buying without plastic is almost an impossibilty! I know plastic is necessary (medical tubing, syringes, blood storage for safety and sanitary means) but it does not have to be on EVERYTHING! good grief.

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    1. Will do an update on the Bee's Wrap after a bit, after trying them out a little while. So far, it's a great alternative to plastic wrap! Not all plastic is "evil" though, no... Some plastic is very useful and sometimes necessary--like in medical/health situations/solutions. But plastic in general is just used way too much all over the place. Our foremothers & forefathers lived very well without plastic. We can to! ;)

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  7. Oh my dear friend, I loved reading about your war against plastic. You are certainly making me more aware of the need to cut back too. I really hate how things are wrapped in plastic and some of it is so hard to get out. We are a plastic world. Thanks for all the tips at the beinging of things that you are using instead of plastic products. You are such a good example of protecting our environment. I do know that our loving Heavenly Father wants us to take good care of His creations. In the process we are caring better for our own bodies. It’s good to elimate all the bad incrediants found in so many pre-packaged goods that we purchase.
    I think that it is good to go back to the good earth for our food. Going back to the basics like it used to be before the world of manufacturing.
    Thanks for haring of of this and the photos too. You are the best at helping to save the earth.
    Sending blessing, hugs and lots of love to my sister in Christ!

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  8. This is so interesting - I’ve never come across bee’s wrap, but it is a great idea to have reusable food wrap. It is a shame that it is so expensive though, especially as it is priced in US $. I am shocked every time I empty the recycling box and see how much waste is generated. We fill 6 or 7 blue bags per month which accumulates, as they only collect it once a month. Like you, I’m always trying to make meals from scratch and not rely on prepackaged food, as the taste is far superior and at least I know what we are eating. Fun to see some of the products you do buy, which are also in my larder/fridge :-) Marie x

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    1. The Bee's Wrap is a littl expensive, yes, and was a bit of a splurge in terms of something to replace something else. I wanted the two different size wrap packs to have some flexibility in coverin/wrapping different thing. With good care though, they will last a while, and may save us money in time by not buying plastic wrap! :/

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