Today I finally got my milk order set up properly for Plastic Free July. I went to great lengths during Lent (when I was giving up supermarkets) to find a milk provider who would deliver in glass bottles. I got as far as setting up a trial order with them for a couple of litres of organic milk a week – the only way the company serve organic milk is in plastic bottles. However the plan was supposed to be that I’d phone and change the order to include bottled (non organic) milk for July.
I forgot to make that phone call last week!
I believe though, that in this sustainable living game, if you slip up, you simply pick yourself up, brush yourself down and plough on! Today, therefore, I spent a bit of time on the phone perfecting my order. I increased the amount of milk we will get delivered so that I will hopefully stop relying on the supermarket altogether for milk, and I included a couple of glass bottles each week.
Over the past few months I’ve been close to cancelling my order as there have been a few problems with it – the first two deliveries were left in our neighbours’ bin (!) and we’ve had a couple of pints that have gone off before their use-by date. I’ve phoned each time however, and have always received excellent customer service and my money back. Today, free of charge, they offered a cool box for me to leave outside so that the milk doesn’t heat up in the early hours of the morning. I’m a happy customer again and am looking forward to receiving my bottled milk.
I’m glad I’ve worked through my issues with the local delivery, and haven’t just reverted back to supermarket milk, which I’ve written about negatively in the past. I don’t know though how much profit the dairy farmers themselves get from my business, so my next step should be to look into that. From what I’ve read on the internet though, the dairy I buy from seems to be assuring its customers that the farmers are getting a ‘sustainable price’ and there is no involvement of processing companies.
As per a Twitter discussion sparked by @Ecothrifty earlier today, I am finding that it’s hard to balance different priorities during Plastic Free July – in this case buying milk plastic-free, organic, fair trade and supporting local business.
In today’s other plastic-free news, I met some friends for lunch at Earthy in Edinburgh. Above the café is a lovely shop (which I’ve written about before here) which sells some plastic-free delights. I had my children with me, so leisurely browsing was out, but I did remember that they sell Ecover refills so I heroically took along my empty bottle for a top-up.
Can you spot my little bottle refilling?
For the non-bio laundry liquid, the cost was £3.95 per litre which, according to my calculations, means that I paid £5.93 to fill up my 1.5 litre bottle. On price comparing with other sites I found that to buy the same amount, but with the bottle, would be £6.99 from Ecover’s own site, £6.75 from the Ethical Superstore and £3 from Tesco, who currently have an offer on this product – usual price £4.57. I couldn’t find the same product on Sainsburys’, Morrisons’ or Asda’s sites. Hmmm, the search is on now to find a cheaper refill!
I also picked up some of these unpackaged Rose & Geranium Suma soaps, which the assistant said are so good that sometimes customers come for that product alone. Indeed they are gorgeous!
I am still slipping-up all over the place with my plastic-consumption, but I’m finding that Plastic Free July is really making me notice where I come head-to-head with disposable plastics, and I’m working much harder than usual to find solutions.