Plastic Free July 2017

I’m delighted to see friends, from different spheres of life, announcing their intentions on Plastic Free July! It warms my heart.  As this is a public blog, many of my friends know I have posted at length about my Zero Waste hopes and intentions!

So, what am I doing for Plastic Free July?

  1. Use it up challenge for moisturisers.  I have a handful of small containers (from flights or samples) of moisturiser.  I’m not a regular moisturiser user, so… there’s that! The idea is to get to one bottle, and then refill it (where, I haven’t sorted yet).
The use is up area. Notice anything Lucinda?

Ok a numbered list might have been overkill there!

Let’s revise what changes I’ve made since blogging (and for long term readers, it’s a check in and update on this post). It’s great to see progress in four years (items in italics)

This is what I have on me most days
  1. Joco glass cup for take away coffees daily, upgrading from plastic keep cups
  2. Glass bottle with silicone sleeve – a bit heavier than the steel one I lost, but pretty
  3. Bamboo cutlery – always in my handbag, to say no to single use packs.  It was a ‘gift with purchase’, which I’m thankful for 🙂
  4. Bamboo straw – a recent addition to the cutlery in my handbag.  Still mastering learning ‘when’ I might need to warn against a straw.
  5. Fold up shopping bag – also always in my handbag with 3 & 4
  6. Pyrex glass dishes with plastic lids – this removes almost all my need for cling film or similar disposable
  7. Hessian bags for grocery shopping (cough… or work out bag.  Nothing if not multi purpose)
  8. Deodorant – years ago I tried Lush and it’s so so, I also found a cardboard ‘pop top’ style deodorant, which is even poorer at odour control.  But these two are all I’m using currently
  9. Shampoo bar from Lush – I do re-use stockings with runs, to hold fragments together
  10. Lunette menstrual cup – not ideal I have two, but one seemed to cause bad smells
  11. Cotton buds with cardboard stems – so at least there’s a little less plastic
  12. Toothbrush – it’s bamboo with charcol bristles
Stylishly plastic free
  1. Bottle brushes – again, no plastic.  How often do I was my bottle? Not enough!
  2. Glass blender – I freecycled a plastic one, then bought second hand a glass one.  Small things, but all are minimal waste.

Things I need to work on:

  1. Toothpaste – or perhaps tooth powder.  I want something that works for travel as well as day to day.  So far, a powder has seemed a little ‘far gone’
  2. Conditioner – solids ones are a fail (from my trial), but I can either get a Lush bottle (you can return their containers – not clear if for refill or recycling) or refill at a bulk store
  3. Dental floss – I tried and failed with silk thread… SInce then, there’s a great company  in Germany who provide it in a glass vial, then Dental lace from the US
  4. Face wash – I have two.  One is the biggest I can get (Cetaphil) but the other was a purchase when I forgot to pack face wash
  5. Body wash – I have one that’s scented; another is an exfoliant
  6. Razors – one handle, and only replacing the head.  Perhaps when I’m through the blade heads, I should look at a plastic free option, but there’s a little fear.
  7. Freezer food – so, since I’ve been single, I’ve resulted in buying and eating meals ready-to-eat from the freezer.  They are cheap.  They have more vegetables than I’d otherwise be bothered with.  The containers are recyclable, but the soft plastic is often soiled and NOT recycled.  I’m icky that I’m this lazy.

Things that are acceptable passes for me

  1. Band aids
  2. Medication or painkillers in blister packs
  3. Ear plugs – I use them for SO long, but they are foam which isn’t recyclable
  4. Storage of bulk items (flours etc) as they aren’t heated, and 2kg of rice is heavy without ALSO storing it in glass
  5. Dish sponges – still cut in half to use one for longer. Though I could retry natural alternatives or options

Finally, some things are just building habits.  Things like:

  • preparing to grocery shop, so taking your bags
  • thinking to take a Joco cup for a coffee, or having a sit down coffee
  • storing cutlery, fabric serviette and a straw in my handbag with a fold up shopping bag
  • planning to refill certain items from a bulk store
  • planning when and where to drop off compost at community gardens with compost bins. Thankfully there’s one near the library I go to

15 Replies to “Plastic Free July 2017”

  1. Hi Sara, I have decided not to participate in plastic-free July because I feel it’s impossible for me to buy plastic-free for even one month. I think I will post about it, though, because you have inspired me to try to reduce! You’re doing a great job – going way over and above the norm at reducing plastic!

    1. Hey Dar – i think the key is to look at one disposable (and possibly/likely non recyclable) plastic and find an alternative. And just settle in with that you know? Cause I know in my heyday blogging about zero waste, it did get overwhelming. Now, it’s just incremental changes and adjustments.

      For what it’s worth, my milk still comes in tetrapaks and the jury’s out on whether they can truly be recycled.

      Also – you inspired ME when you posted about your waste/recycling a long while ago, so please don’t feel you’re doing poorly!

      1. Thanks – I do keep trying. One of my pet peeves is that even though I can buy a lot of things at the bulk store and bring my own containers, it is multitudes of times cheaper $$$ to buy the same products at Costco in plastic. A very, very significant savings. I think I do well in some areas. I will post!

  2. I hear you on the LUSH deodorant, I’m finding plain old baking soda works better. What is it about the non-plastic razors that has you worried? Maybe I can alleviate some fears for you. Also, with regards to the foam ear plugs, have you tried custom molded ones? Mine are made of silicon, and they’re good for 5 years.

    1. OMG so many great ideas!

      So for the baking soda deo – I’m a little hesitant to do anything where I get my fingers or clothing dirty. If I can be reassured it’s way simpler than I’m imagining, I’m willing to give it a try!

      The metal razor – I have the fear of cutting myself. Like the very first time I shaved – I couldn’t fathom how I wouldn’t be a bleeding mess! Mind over matter. I think when I’m out of heads (or approaching being) for my plastic handle, I may look at a metal handled razor.

      Tell me more about custom ear plugs… I had no idea!

  3. Is it wahbi tape that I am meant to notice? I do like your use it up area.

    You are so good with the plastic reduction.

    1. No, it was that there’s a masque (fancy french spelling I picked there) you sent me with some brushes… which I do use. Mask, not once… yet…

      1. Ah, masques! I always seem to have one or two in my bathroom cabinet but never use them either. I think they come with purchase or I buy them thinking I will use them. And may my skin all glowing. But nah. Don’t use them.

  4. Progress is better than perfection! 🙂 Some ideas for you . .

    For sponges: google compostable sponges. I use a plant based compostable sponge with a walnut based scrubber on one side and then it goes in the compost when it’s through. This one (not sure if it’s available in Australia though):

    Not sure if you have access to Eco Dent in Australia but they sell compostable floss in paper packaging:

    What brand is your toothbrush? I’ve never seen one with carbon bristles before!

    1. Hmm I’ll check and report back – I chanced upon it unexpectedly and in the same store got a bottle brush too (with no plastic)

    2. Ecootoothebrush – all one word.

      That scrubber brand is resold in Australia, but not that exact product

    3. Hi Amanda,

      Just FYI that the Preserve walnut scrubbies are made of walnut but also plastic….. boo. I have asked them to fix their misleading packaging and I do believe it’s time for me to check up on how they are doing with that!

      Thanks for the reminder 😉

  5. Don’t fear the safety razor – I felt the same, but it’s not really different, and I find it easier to shave my knee bone area, so HA, take that disposables. However, my hot tip is to not use up the last razor – keep it as your travel back up in case you do any carry-on travel.

    Dental floss is also an acceptable pass for me (and also at my dentist’s insistence, fluoride toothpaste). I was struggling along with refillable types, but they just frayed didn’t work, and trust me when I say I’ve had enough dental interventions to tide me over for the rest of my life.

    Try a coconut bristle scrubby for dishwashing. Not the Safix brand but the hedgehoggy ones. They last a long time (forever?) and I find them really effective. They are literally the perfect tool to clean cast iron pans.

    1. I did try the safix brand but it wasn’t what I needed (I like soft spongey, but crocheted or clothes don’t squeeze as dry as I’d like). Love a link to the hedgehoge-y ones you mean.

      Safety razor will be my next purchase – recommend anywhere in Sydney?

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