Have you stopped and looked around recently? If you haven't been hiding under a blanket somewhere (it has been pretty cold) social media is full of images of plastic polluting our waterways, our land and our neighbourhoods. Almost to the point that it has become wallpaper and you scroll to the next news item. I mean, we all think that won't happen to us right?
But it is real, and it is happening. Every plastic item we use will take hundreds of years to break down. We are literally consuming plastic now in our drinking water. Is this the future we want for ourselves and generations to come? How did we get like this?
I remember an upbringing where plastic was not part of daily life (and this isn't that long ago). We had lunch in a brown paper bag, food was stored in bowls and containers with lids, we didn't have the abundance of toys available today and most were made from wood or metal and ziplock bags were not a household item.
Somewhere along the way plastic became the norm in everyday life and the other items were forgotten.
Well we have decided we want a different way of life and truly, it's not that hard to make conscious choices. Better choices.
Our family are taking on the Plastic Free July challenge and have been making steady changes in the household in the lead-up. Now this is not costing us an arm and a leg, and we haven't changed the way we live, we have just made more sustainable choices in our packaging.
And the benefits are great for the environment and for our family. Here are just a few:
We will be healthier by preparing all our own food and knowing what ingredients are in our food
Buying in bulk is more economical
Minimising plastic wrapped food means less items in the shopping trolley, so less money spent
We are significantly reducing our garbage waste, therefore reducing our footprint in landfill
The kids are enjoying being involved in food preparation and are learning such valuable life lessons
So, for week 1 we are focusing on reducing plastic usage as well as what is coming into the house. Here are a few tips:
use your own bags shopping
use Ecobags for fresh produce
if soft plastics are the only option for food packaging then recycle them at Woolworths and Coles
Find suppliers that allow you to bring your own container - our local butcher welcomes them
Buy in bulk where possible and take your own jar - not everything runs out at the same time so you’re not likely to be carting large jars around. You can also take brown paper bags then fill them into jars at home
Use Keep Cups for take-away coffee - most coffee shops provide a discount if you bring your own cup
Don't use straws
Take your own water bottle
Take a lunchbox with kids snacks when you go out to avoid buying packaged snacks.
These are everyday changes we can all make now that will have a big impact. Plus in the long run it is much more economical so its a win-win!
Do you have any tips? Feel free to message us your ideas and stay tuned for Week 2 of the challenge!