Saturday, 9 July 2016

Going Green. Plastic-Free July - Food & Drink - The Easy, the Adaptations and the Struggles

We are a week into Plastic-Free July: a challenge to deplastify your life.
I got into it through The Story Of Stuff on Facebook:




So here's my first update on how it goes so far. I'll focus in this post on the food and drinks sections.
In the Netherlands we do have a special plastic recycle program ( or actually: downcycling) , so it is very easy to track how much plastic our household collects as we keep it in a separate bin.

I divided my experiences in 3 sections.
* Easy life change: the why didn't I do this before?
** Needs some adaptation in lifestyle: doable, but takes more planning.
*** The struggles: Hm, difficult: How am I going to make this work?

* Easy life change

- Shop local
Preferably I'd be baking biscuits myself any way, because of the sugar. But in events that I will buy cookies, the ones at the bakery come in a paper sachet or I can bring my own container. While supermarket cookies are wrapped in 2 (sometimes even 3!) layers of plastic.

- Be prepared
Bottled water and plastic bags have been scratched of my list a long time ago. And I never use straws anyway. I ordered waxed cloth for keeping cheese fresh.

- Ask
I used to feel guilty about being a 'difficult customer' if I asked for plastic free. But not only I stopped worrying about it (after all, I could take my shopping anywhere else if they don't like it). But I find that - especially at the market stalls - the people are actually very supportive and enthusiastic about it.



** Adaptation in lifestyle

- Choose an alternative
We shop for food on the market, in 2 health food shops and in the supermarket. Of these the supermarket uses most plastic for packaging. Now we do love broccoli and I found that the health food shops where the only option for buying it without the plastic. Unfortunately this resulted in buying a very limp soft vegetable.
The woman at my regular vegetable stall on the market suggested trying the green cauliflower as an alternative. She had seen my FB post on Plastic Free July and was actively thinking along with me on how to avoid any plastic :-)

- Make yourself
ALL vegetarian alternatives to steaks, burgers and such are plastic packaged. I will have to get more back to basic with these and look up more recipes for vegi-burgers.

- Bring your own
To work I bring my lunch in a glass jar. For the days I work late I bring my own salad in a reusable container in stead of a ready packed salad in disposable plastic from Albert Heijn.

Een foto die is geplaatst door Ama (@missminoes) op


*** The Struggles

- Time and convenience
Nutmilk I buy in plastified carton packaging. And I know it is even cheaper to make it myself! It just seems an awful lot of work. I really must get myself to at least try this. Same goes for yoghurt, but I might choose for the glass bottle alternative there.


- Talent, or lack of
Herbs: The ones I buy at the organic stall are in plastic. Most glass jars have a plastic lid. Trying to grow more myself, but keeping plants alive is not my strongest feature.

Upcoming next week:
Plastic-Free July: Personal Care & Cleaning products

Do you have experiences with Plastic Detox?
Please share!
:-)

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