Plastic-Free July #2

Plastic Free July Wrap-Up

While not technically an experiment, we thought it would be helpful to wrap up our Plastic Free July experience this week, before launching into a new Slow Home Experiment on August 1.

As we mentioned back at the beginning of July, we were committed to cutting back on all plastics, particularly the Big 4 – plastic shopping bags, takeaway coffee cups, plastic drinking straws and single-use plastic water bottles. The good news is we nailed those four! The bad news is, we were mostly nailing those before July even began.

We also made big strides in waste-free shopping, after talking with our local supermarket, butcher, deli and bakery. Turns out these guys are all more than happy for us to bring our own containers, which both surprised and delighted me in equal measure.

We also talk through some wonderful tips we received over the month, talk about the areas we struggled in (still no good solution for cheese) and the other areas we experimented going plastic free. We also talk about the email I received that suggested plastic wrapped produce was actually good for the environment – which I immediately scoffed at but can see the thinking behind it.

Much like the sugar-free experiment back in February, this shift began with the decision to change the way we live, but the process is going to be gradual. Rather than beat myself up over failing to do it all at once, I’ve decided to simply work through each problem one at a time, find and integrate a simple solution into our daily life, then move on to the next problem. Honestly, I think that’s the only sustainable way to make such big changes, and it’s obviously in keeping with my philosophy of slow and steady.

Let us know how you went with the Plastic Free July challenge – what you found easy, what was hard, and any handy tips or tricks you picked up over the month. Also, do you plan to keep going?

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5 Responses to Plastic-Free July #2

    • Thanks Laura! We’re using something similar these days and they’re great. They definitely stop cheese from drying out too which is awesome. Now if I could find a place that sells unwrapped cheese I’ll be set! :)

  1. I used to use supermarket bags as bin liners, and when I gave them up I would get them off friends who werent as committed.
    For the past year though I stopped using bin liners after reading a piece by Sam Judd of Sustainable Coastlines. We have plastic council bin bags (which I cant get away from). I freeze all my meat waste, or anything smelly. All my vege waste gets composted. Any prepackaged food wrappings get washed with my dishes and dried, so my rubbish is completely clean and stink-free so you dont need to line the bin. I empty my domestic bins directly into the council bag as needed, and when its nearly full, put the frozen smelly stuff in the bin bag and put it out for collection.

  2. As I look around my home (in the US), I am amazed by the amount of single-use plastic. Cheese wrapper plastic would be the least of concern.

    There are milk jugs (organic is only available in plastic jugs or plastic coated paper cartons), all the plastic wrapping on frozen products, all our vitamin/supplement containers, although our flour and sugar are paper bags, the other baking items (soda, corn starch, brown sugar) are all in plastic, our newspaper often comes wrapped in plastic if the weather looks poor; in the bathroom, there is the shampoo/conditioner containers and all of the makeup containers come in plastic.

    It is an extremely large amount. Curious as to weather or not there is less of this in Australia, if you use less of these products or if you have found non-plastic sources for some of them.

    Thanks

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