Plastic Free July... make do and mend year 2018


Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world. --Roald Dahl

And it's another month of Make Do and Mend!  Since the top of the year, we've been using the Make Do and Mend Sustainable Year Planner from My Make Do and Mend Life. Gen Gale, author of the site, now hosts a great a podcast, A Sustainable Life

The inspiration and goal for this month's challenge is PLASTIC... and more specifically, PLASTIC FREE! 

By now many of us are more aware of the disease that is plastic, which is affecting and infecting our homes, workplaces, schools, the environment. Plastic in many forms is killing wildlife and natural space, it is killing the seas and sea creatures. There are HUGE Garbage Patches floating in the oceans. Plastic is literally everywhere. Plastic is cheap and convenient. As a global society, as a collective on a planet, we are paying the sad price of decades of plastic convenience. 

Goals for this month:

* refuse single use plastic for the whole of July

* find plastic-free alternatives for daily use items.

* don't forget those cloth shopping bags... say NO to plastic bags!

* join the plastic free movement, take part in Plastic Free July

There are any number of other challenges to add to this! I use a lot of glass for storage. But a few large plastic containers are floating around in the kitchen for things like soups/stocks, but I'm hoping to eradicate this month.

Trying not to buy anything new that is plastic and finding alternatives is a continued thing...

Food is going to be a tough one... As I've spoken of before, a LOT, a tremendous ridiculous amount, of our food is packaged in plastic. Sometimes there is double plastic, which really boggles my mind!  A lot vegetables and fruits are wrapped in plastic or in a plastic container of some kind. We do not have bulk stores here. I'm still working on how we can eat this month and avoid plastic... :/  

A big challenge continues to be trash itself, and how to dispose of it without plastic. We have great recycling here where we are in Norway. But consuming and wasting less it the ultimate goal. We are required to have our non-recyclable/non-compostible waste put in plastic bags and into the wheelie bin at the end of our driveway. This waste gets burned at an incinerator facility. So we’ve not been able to completely avoid bin bags… yet. Kitchen waste, we collect (in a plastic bag, though it is degradable plastic) and it is picked up along with our plastic-metal-paper and general waste collection. The kitchen waste is recycled into biofuel...fuels local buses and public transport! 

Another eco-challenge... we have a cat. Looking into how to deal with that, without all our little poo-bags in the waste bin. It stinks, literally… haha! I've been reading a lot about homemade cat litters, etc., but even those have challenges...

I'm sure I'll be thinking of more as we go this month... One step at a time… one less plastic at a time! Every refusal of plastic matters!

Do you have a special project or focus for this month, or for the year?  Do you have any tips or ideas to share?!  Are you going plastic free this month?!



Comments

  1. Not plastic free but I admire that you are. But I am trying to be more aware -- cloth bags, not buying plastic containers and using what I have because tossing them has no point. It's the tossing that's the problem, once you already have them. Good luck with the food bags. And I'd draw the line at the cat! Lizzie is thinking out of the box again. I suppose that could be your option -- but you don't want it!

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    1. Great to see you here, Jeanie! Oh, but I'm far from plastic free! Just today TJ & I were at the supermarket this morning, and moaning--yet again--about how much food is in plastic. And, unfortunately, a few plastic packaged things came home with us. But we try! Oh, no... Miss Lizzie is going outside the box again?! No we don't want that! LOL... We do have kitty litter for a reason! ;)

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  2. I love these posts. I got interested in the garbage vortexes a few years ago. there were already five of them!
    and I did a post on all of it. the swirling masses so large they can be seen from space!
    when people don't even try... they maybe think "well I'm just one person what can I do?" that's when we need to realize... if just one person did ONE thing to help change it then look what we could accomplish!
    the animated film Wall-e is an eye opener. it should be seen by everyone. did you see it? why aren't they showing these in the schools? it's "their" future we're talking about! and of course Avatar. it was about nature and losing it all.
    you never know what urges some people to change their lives. to start doing what we can individually! your blog is one of those. thank you for your inspiration! xoxo

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    1. Oh, I do miss your eco-postings, Tammy! I love that you posted about so much... keeping us on top of things! ;) We love that film, Wall-e... It is so true, that film. Everyone should see it... And you have a good idea there, that all schools should be having the kids see Wall-e, and lots of other films besides... Bag It is another one. I do believe the each individual can change things, once choice at a time. And if each person does that... WOW!

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  3. I do love your passion in this area. I agree with all that you wrote about and I will try to do my part even if it is one less plastic at a time. I have been trying to slowly get rid of plastic storage containers and other plastic items. We have been using a lot of paper products but that is wasteful also. I think it is pure laziness on our part. We do need to protect and love our wonderful planet more. It is amazing to me how wasteful we are in so many ways. It boggles my mind how much food is wasted when there are so many around us who need food.
    Thanks again my dear friend for doing what you are; you are an inspiration.
    Love you much for your dedication to changing in so many good ways. Loving thoughts, blessings and hugs for you dear sister in Christ!

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    1. The plastic storage containers are difficult, aren't they, LeAnn? They are use to use, easy to replace, lots of sizes... LOL! The whole thing around food, is some of the hardest. Food waste too... it is so sad, and shouldn't be that way. But bit by bit, we can do small things to help make this better! :)

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  4. Hi Tracy, as you have noted, food packaging and how to deal with the garbage are my biggest hurdles. Summers allow for buying veggies/fruit from farmsteads and I can get by with cloth bags for that. Going to the supermarket and avoiding plastic is harder to do.

    Plastic free July sounds like a great way to change habits. I'll take a look at the site and keep it in mind.

    I am interested in seeing what alternatives you explore. Wishing you success.

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    1. Hi, Juana! Good luck to you too, if you take on come of Plastic Free July! We're only a few days in, and it's been hard so far... :/

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  5. Like you I am astonished at the amount of waste and plastic in the world. We are so very plastic reliant it seems. I have consciously been trying to avoid plastic as much as I can, but its hard as there is so much of it on everything. I recycle what I can, and do my best to avoid the rest. Thankfully the planet is waking up to this disaster, and hopefully it is not too late, but sitting here in my lounge this morning and observing around me, I see plastic everywhere. Even my electric fire is made of plastic, where once upon a time it would have been metal. Cheap yes, but in the longterm is costing us everything. Love you sweet friend. Hope all is going well with your mil. Keeping her in my prayers. xoxo

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    1. It's amazing, isn't Marie, how much plastic is around us, and part of things we might not even thing has plastic--like your electric fire! Some plastic seems almost unavoidable at this stage. But somethings we do have a choice about, which is good. I just so wish our food here was not packaged in so much plastic. That's where most of our plastic accumulation is from--food. :/

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  6. Morning Tracy,
    I am still in the baby steps stage. It is hard to buy oranges for instance without the plastic red net. Iceberg lettuce comes wrapped in plastic. Mushrooms come in a plastic punnet. Thankfully the punnet is made from recyclable plastic, but you are right, it is so hard to avoid! In this season we are eating a little from the garden, but it isn't enough. For me I have to try to make a conscious decision on a daily basis to try to avoid plastic and non recyclables. At least we are in the habit of using yarn and fabric bags.

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    1. The food in plastic, it breaks the heart, doesn't it, Melanie? We're eating from the garden too, but it's not enough, for sure... I would like to be able to expand our growing more and stretch the growing season long, but that would mean a lot of expense to get that going. And you're so right--the daily "battle" with plastic is very much an every day thing, and what choices to make!

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  7. I am becoming more aware, but isn't it amazing how much plastic is in our lives!! When I stop to notice I am astounded. I do use my own bags at the grocers, but I know some of them are made from plastic. And now the grocers are putting more and more in plastic clamshells that I know are not recyclable. I have been even reading that plastic puts contaminates into the food held in them, which also isn't good. Good luck! It can be such a struggle once we try to pay attention.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Marilyn... The amount of plastic we accumulate in a week often makes me feel very sad. And most of it is from food/food packaging. We don't have much in the way of farmer's markets here where we are, which is odd, considering we live near rural areas where farming is happening. But our fruit, veg and other things are still mostly at supermarkets, they most of it is in plastic. We try to avoid those clamshells too, and don't really get take-away from restaurants or cafes much, so that helps.

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  8. Tracy, As I began reading, my first thought was that the grocery stores all package their produce in plastic and how can I avoid that? We buy a lot at the farmers market and use our own bags, but the food from the stores are packaged. I'm glad you addressed that.
    When we lived in Indonesia, we burned out own plastic waste as there was no garbage pick up. Otherwise it would just blow away in the wind.

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    1. Great to see you here, Willow! I wish we had more farmer's markets here, and at least during the growing season wouldn't have to use the supermarket so much and all the plastic wrapped food. I know that in some parts of Asia, trash collection is still an issue. It seems like all trash is still an issue for us all, really! :/

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