Friday, August 1, 2014

Plastic free - wrap up

This July Pete and I took up the challenge once again to reduce and analyse our single use plastic consumption with Plastic Free July. Throughout July I have shared with you our progress, and lots of tips and ideas, and its been great to see you all join in. Now its time to look at our dilemma bag of plastic that we ended up with in spite of all our good intentions, and think about ways to improve.  If you are going to post about your dilemma bag too, please link in the comments, it would be great to see what everyone learnt from joining in with Plastic Free July.



In Week 1 I wrote about food shopping and food storage, and for Week 2 the topic was rubbish and recycling, the next week I wrote about plastic in the bathroom and finally, last week was plastic free cleaning.  I offered a giveaway sample bag of soap nuts, which is a plastic free option you might want to try.  The winner chosen at random is:


Email me on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com to arrange delivery....

I hope you all took advantage of the great discounts offered by Biome and The Fregie Sack in July!

What's in out dilemma bag?
I feel like we did worse than last year.... the photos don't show every piece of plastic, but it is a representative sample of plastic that we ended up with in July....




Things that are rubbish or recycling:
  • Lots of packaging!  Ironically I bought a bag of plastic pegs made from recycled plastic - in a plastic bag.  Most of the thin packaging I can at least take to my local Coles for recycling.  
  • A few things that I should avoid in future - Cadbury chocolate is now all in plastic wrappers, there are plastic free options that I should choose instead (given that chocolate is an essential food group)
  • Ear plugs!  We usually wear muffs, but sometimes plugs are more practical and you can only reuse them so many times, if you work in heavy industry, this may be a tricky one, especially if you need double ear protection... I hate to think how many are discarded every day around the country
  • We bought a new lap top and it came with some packaging, although at least it was LDPE (low density polyethylene) rather than polystryrene, and can be recycled (and doesn't make such a terrible mess).

Things that I can reuse:
Not everything is a dilemma if you can think of another use for it.....
  • Small plastic bottles are useful for freezing water to use in cool bags over summer and to put in animal water buckets on very hot days
  • Berry season was a massive challenge for me!  obviously I'm going to have to grow my own in future, but for now, I can reuse the containers for seeds and produce
  • Bailing twine - I didn't put all our twine in the dilemma bag because we end up with an awful lot of twine at the moment... we try to reuse it where we can, but ultimately we would like to organise our pasture so that we don't have to buy hay.  We are also very lucky to buy our cattle and chicken food from a local farmer who reuses the bags.
  • Those stretchy string bags use for fruit and vege packaging are good for taking back to the supermarket, and I keep other things in them too.
Even though Plastic Free July is over for another year, the challenge now is to integrate some of our new habits into every day life and keep planning to make plastic free possible every day.

How did you go? What's in your dilemma bag and what do you need help with? What did you learn and what tips do you have to share?


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6 comments:

  1. I laugh re baling twine! I think our farm is actually held together with baling twine sometimes!! I think it would fall apart without it! Fences, the occasional gate and garden plants are held together with it at some point or another.

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  2. Everything here is being helg together with bailing twine, whatever happened to good old string, I am forever picking up bits of twine when out and about and I keep it all in a big bag. On the subject of your berry containers is there not a market you can buy them loose instead of pre-packed. The same with the fruit nets.

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  3. plastic is a problem for us too. I live in a private house in Ukraine. We had a resycling service, but now it is closed. What do you advice me to do with all plastic?

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  4. Hi Liz
    I can't believe I've never heard of plastic free july!!! where have I been...
    Going to read all your links to find out more and maybe I can do a little plastic free august.

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  5. what a wonderful challenge! One of the things I've been working toward is much less plastic in our lives. My goodness is it difficult. Everything comes in or with plastic!! I can't wait to read back on your previous links for this challenge. :)

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  6. what a great challenge! We've been trying to greatly reduce plastic in our lives and my goodness it can be difficult! Almost everything comes in or with some sort of plastic. I can't wait to read your previous posts in this series!!

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Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, if you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

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