Here it is, the final day of Plastic Free July 2014. Huge congratulations to those of you who have taken part in the challenge by cutting out every little piece of single-use plastic that you possibly can! I can imagine your relief, although my more manageable adaptation was mere child’s play in comparison.
My own experience of Plastic Free July was worthwhile. Although not religiously cutting out all disposable plastics, I had a few things that I had banned for the month (cereals in plastic, shampoo, conditioner, juice in cartons to name a few) plus I avoided a whole lot more by mostly cooking from scratch and trying to choose plastic-light options where I could. Single-use plastic was on my mind a lot during the month and it definitely made me aware of how much it’s used everywhere.
There were three big wins for me this month:
1. Getting back into the habit of cooking and baking. I realised that it’s not too hard to squeeze in a bit of extra food preparation as long as I plan ahead. I found it satisfying to be providing the family with healthy options, and felt really good about reducing my food waste by using up as much as I could from my veg box. I might even have enjoyed it sometimes!
2. Reducing my rubbish. This is something that I always mean to focus on but never quite get around to. Not so funnily enough, when you cut down on single-use plastics, you cut down on what goes in the bin for landfill…
3. Tea bags! I learned that most tea companies use plastic to stick their bags together. As well as switching to tea leaves, it was satisfying to know that others were reading the blog and communicating with the companies they had (previously!) bought their bags from. In fact, if you are interested in this area, as I definitely am, then Lindsay at Treading My Own Path has a campaign to get individuals to contact the big companies. You can read all about it here - she’s even made it really easy for us all!
So will I be carrying on trying to reduce my single-use plastics?
Definitely! I think once you’ve thought about it, written about it, tried it and become slightly obsessed by it, it would be hard to go back to consuming plastic mindlessly. No doubt the topic will crop up in future blog posts so you’ll be able to see how I’m getting on.
Zero Waste Week is happening from 1-7 September and Rae Strauss, who runs it, is looking for people to sign up with their pledge. Why not take a look at the website and consider joining in?
Thanks so much to everyone who has read my blog this month. To those of you who have commented and encouraged, you’ve helped me hugely! Cutting down on single-use plastics is certainly a challenge, but blogging about it regularly is probably as much of a challenge. It is enjoyable and worthwhile, however, especially when I know it’s being read! Many thanks.