Plastic-free Me: Keep on stepping

I’ll admit I’ve been overwhelmed at the enormity of Plastic Free July as a challenge since I switched my focus back to it after my supermarket-free posts. However, I think writing the last post helped me move forward, and a few days ago I grabbed my notebook and listed some areas I need to work on.

Within 10 minutes I’d filled a page of A5!

That feels okay though. It is good to have some tasks to work on. Because I’m a sucker for inspirational quotes, I rushed over to Pinterest to look up sayings about achieving goals to help me stay motivated. I quite liked this one:

To get through the hardest journey we need only take one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping. Chinese proverb

While I’m quite sure that a self-imposed challenge to reduce my single-use plastics doesn’t, strictly speaking, qualify as a ‘hardest journey’ (!), I liked the idea of taking one step at a time and that those steps must keep coming.

So far my ‘steps’ – or rather my tasks – look something like this:
Food – this is worrying me but I’ll keep this bullet point simple! I need a collection of plastic-free recipes, and I aim to fill my freezer in June with plastic-free food so that some of the work is out of the way before the challenge has started.

Drinks on the go – I need a suitable container for carrying water in case I can’t buy plastic-free refreshments when I’m out. I could also use a flask for hot drinks (although perhaps that’s not strictly necessary. It may just be because I’m lusting after this one by Orla Kiely!)

Snacks on the go – I need to carry cutlery for cafes that only supply the plastic stuff, and I need to think about nourishing snacks I can keep in my bag (I am not someone who can cope without eating for long periods!)

Carrier bags – although I have a wonderful collection of huge supermarket shopping bags, I really need more small bags that fold up to fit in my pocket like this one from Onya Bags.

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I use these all of the time and I simply can’t run out in July.

Birthday presents – I have at least two people who will need (plastic-free) birthday cards and presents in July. I’d like to buy and wrap them in June so that the job’s out of the way.

Shampoo and conditioner – I need to buy plastic-free versions of these, ready for July. I expect they’ll have to be in bar form (like soap). I don’t think I’m even going to test them. I’m convinced they’ll not work at all on my hair-type so I’m not going to put myself through that pain earlier than I have to…

Silicon baking cases – most of my edible treats will probably be home baked and, since I’m yet to find paper cake cases that come without disposable plastic packaging, now is the time to invest in reusables.

Toilet roll – I already buy Ecoleaf toilet rolls that come in compostable packaging (yay!) but I buy them online in bulk and all of these compostable packets come wrapped in…plastic! Where you can buy plastic-free toilet paper? I’m not ready to give it up…

photo (366)

Cooking oil – I need to get back along to a deli I found in Edinburgh that sells oil in refillable glass bottles and secure myself some.

Bread maker ingredients – I finally found some supermarket-free skimmed milk powder but it comes in plastic. It’s a key ingredient, as is salt which is also plasticy and problematic. I need to look into them, although I think I’ve got everything else to make a zero waste loaf covered.

As if that wasn’t enough to be getting on with, those of you with good memories will remember that I wrote this post in January that included a ‘to do’ list. I’ve made some progress but the following is still outstanding:

Medications – I still have to write to the suppliers of the medications that I take to find out if there are plastic-free alternatives. As I’ve said before, I don’t have any serious conditions, but I’m not prepared to have my health compromised for this challenge. If there are no alternatives then at least I’ll have registered an interest with the drugs companies.

Make-up – I have lots of leads to follow for plastic-free make-up thanks to this post. Perhaps this task will be more of a pleasure than a chore!

Junk mail – I need to write to all of the companies that send me unsolicited catalogues in plastic – or seal my letterbox!  I recently found this very useful post over at My Zero Waste.

No doubt there are more tasks yet to be added but this will keep me (very) busy at the moment. Now where shall I start…?


17 thoughts on “Plastic-free Me: Keep on stepping

    • Thank you so much. I wrote a post end Dec/start Jan on easy ways to cut down your plastic if that’s helpful…? You can make quite a big impact without having to do anything nearly as drastic as Plastic Free July!

      • We’ve already cut down a huge amount but it’s the food shopping where I think we probably turn a blind eye. Focus is the thing.

  1. You’re so organised, I’m impressed! : ) Can you not find any toilet roll wrapped in paper? I know Andrex used to make 2 roll packs wrapped in paper – doubt its recycled though. When I lived in Bristol one of the health food shops used to sell loose unwrapped rolls too.

    You could try the bulk bin stores for milk powder. Otherwise, could you change your bread recipe for a month? Most bread recipes don’t contain milk. But if you’re attached to the one you use, fair enough!

    If You Care make baking cups without plastic packaging. They also do baking paper and even FSC-certified rubber gloves! I think they’re a great company.

    Good luck!!!

    • Thanks that’s very helpful. I’ve been overwhelmed by people helping me out with this post so am hoping to write something to collate the responses so that everyone gets to benefit. x

  2. Pingback: Plastic-free Me: Sharing the love | westywrites

  3. What a great post. I’m inspired by the way you’ve thought these things through. I should re evaluate my plastic life too. Here not only about the plastics this is about the using of plastics in various way. Good job…..impressive post.

  4. Pingback: Plastic-free July: It’s almost July! | westywrites

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