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General Discussion => Throw Down the Gauntlet => Topic started by: Fresh Bread on January 15, 2018, 10:18:35 PM

Title: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 15, 2018, 10:18:35 PM
I'm trying to reduce the amount of waste I produce as a general sort of life goal. We recycle where we can*, and buy recycled paper goods, but I feel like it would be better to reduce the amount of packaging coming into the house. 

Plastics especially are bugging me as there are few options to 'buy back' my recycled plastic. So I thought I'd try to have a month where no new plastic comes into the house. I'm going to document my wins and losses here. If anyone wants to join in or make suggestions then please go for it. I'm starting now so that I can start to plan how to do things differently and be ready to go come February.

Plastics waste we currently produce in vast amounts:

My strategy (so far):

Where I am going to really struggle is the milk bottles. Hubby drinks a lot of milk for breakfast and in coffees and I don't know what to do about this. Plus things like pain relief that you can't buy in bulk/ loose.

In terms of the financial implications, I suspect that some things are going to end up costing more (e.g. my local bulk food stores are more expensive than my cheapie supermarket). I'm hoping that extra costs there might be countered by buying a few reusable products and avoiding buying certain things like a bottle of drink when I'm out and about.

Wish me luck!

*Soft plastics go to red-cycle bins at the supermarket and paper, glass and hard plastics go in our kerbside bins. We put food scraps in our worm farm and compost bins.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 15, 2018, 10:47:35 PM
This is truly badass! Can't wait to follow your journey.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: chaskavitch on January 16, 2018, 06:27:19 AM
We have milk available in glass bottles from some companies at our local grocery store.  It's a chain, Sprouts, but it's like a cheaper Whole Foods, kind of, so more of a natural foods/organic place than a standard supermarket.  You can return the bottles for a $2 refund after they're empty.

Do you perhaps have milk delivery services?  There are a couple companies that do that here in the US - you just tell them how much milk you want delivered every week, and they give you a little box for your front step and a day of the week they fill you up.  I think they still use plastic bottles, but you just return them in your box every week.

Good luck with your challenge!  There is SO much plastic waste at our house, too, and it is terrible, but unless I forbid DH from doing any grocery shopping, we're still going to have plastic.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 16, 2018, 05:41:19 PM
I have shopped for some things online. Hopefully they don't arrive in lots of plastic ;)

- We are nearly out of washing liquid and it comes in a big plastic bottle, so I bought a trial bag of soapnuts. They come in a fabric bag and can be composted after. ($2)
- 5 produce bags. I normally do without except for small things like beans but these will be handy AND they are made of recycled plastic. ($16)
- I've got a trial pack of cloth pads. They really do not look up to the job in the pic but we will see ($70 for 4!!)
- I haven't pressed the button yet, because I'm also trying to buy no clothes this year, but I have 3 pairs of period pants in my cart, the kind that are an all-in-one pad. ($100!!)

The menstrual stuff is going to take about a year to pay for itself and that's assuming it all works. But it will create a whole lot less waste. And will the soapnuts struggle to clean them??

I was also going to buy some reusable silicon food wraps for $25 but then I thought - we don't use gladwrap all that much anyway so I'd only really be replacing occasional baking paper use. I might change my mind on this later.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 16, 2018, 05:48:21 PM
We have milk available in glass bottles from some companies at our local grocery store.  It's a chain, Sprouts, but it's like a cheaper Whole Foods, kind of, so more of a natural foods/organic place than a standard supermarket.  You can return the bottles for a $2 refund after they're empty.

Do you perhaps have milk delivery services?  There are a couple companies that do that here in the US - you just tell them how much milk you want delivered every week, and they give you a little box for your front step and a day of the week they fill you up.  I think they still use plastic bottles, but you just return them in your box every week.

Good luck with your challenge!  There is SO much plastic waste at our house, too, and it is terrible, but unless I forbid DH from doing any grocery shopping, we're still going to have plastic.

I like your milk options, especially the returnable bottle bit. I can't find anyone supplying my city. There are options in other Australian cities it seems, so it's pretty shitty. I can get milk delivered here (some of the old milk delivery people switched to general grocery delivery) but only in plastic bottles unfortunately.

Thanks for the luck, I need it. I'm just realising how hard this is. Cheese? Yoghurt?
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Serendip on January 16, 2018, 06:42:28 PM
Good job Fresh Bread!
 This is a big one--I have been slowly trying to move in this direction as well. It really opened my eyes to how much plastic is EVERYWHERE in our culture. Been researching zero-waste options and even though we have far to go I am happy that we are trying to reduce plastic use!

I've learned to always ask for "no straw" when ordering a drink and take a small bag in my purse as well as a take-away mug. My new years resolution is absolutely no plastic straws or coffee cups this year ;)

Recycling is an option but uses a lot of resources and often isn't terribly efficient.

We don't live in a big city with bulk options but thankfully a new business opened up nearby last year whereby I can order some bulk produce and they deliver them in glass jars (pay a deposit and get that cash back when you return the bottles). Today I am receiving my order of oats, lentils, flaxseeds, quinoa, cashews, etc.

I make oat milk and store it in a glass container (my partner uses less yogourt when he eats granola with oat milk)--(hard to find plastic-free options for yogourt unless you make your own)

We have a bakery that you can bring your own bag to, and I use beeswax wrappers instead of cling-wrap..I also will have one in my purse and if I purchase a baked good most places are happy to put it in my own wrap. I love these things..they keep cilantro good forever!!
https://canada.abeego.com

We also have bamboo toothbrushes and I was even able to find toothpaste in a glass-container (Toms of Maine will take their tubes back)

I use a diva-cup and have a couple pair of THINX panties--they do the job.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: wordnerd on January 16, 2018, 06:44:47 PM
What a cool idea! I'm not ready to take the plunge yet, but interested to follow your journey and see what smaller changes I can make in my life. Thanks for posting!
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 16, 2018, 06:49:42 PM
Yoghurt - I love it. We have a Easi-Yo thermos device where you add powder and water and then leave overnight but the powder comes in plastic bags. Our friends taught us how to make it with UHT milk, but I think there's plastic in those too. The other option is making it from normal milk, but then I'm back to the milk problem!

I think dairy may be the hardest thing. I could ration it?!
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Serendip on January 16, 2018, 07:17:38 PM
Yoghurt - I love it. We have a Easi-Yo thermos device where you add powder and water and then leave overnight but the powder comes in plastic bags. Our friends taught us how to make it with UHT milk, but I think there's plastic in those too. The other option is making it from normal milk, but then I'm back to the milk problem!

I think dairy may be the hardest thing. I could ration it?!

No option for glass containers for your milk?
That's too bad, we have them here and it's such a convenient option.

I wouldn't stress about it at this point,..seems like you are making good moves towards your goal and little by little things will come together! The more I learn about this lifestyle, the more alternatives show up :)
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 16, 2018, 07:45:32 PM
Yoghurt - I love it. We have a Easi-Yo thermos device where you add powder and water and then leave overnight but the powder comes in plastic bags. Our friends taught us how to make it with UHT milk, but I think there's plastic in those too. The other option is making it from normal milk, but then I'm back to the milk problem!

I think dairy may be the hardest thing. I could ration it?!

No option for glass containers for your milk?
That's too bad, we have them here and it's such a convenient option.

I wouldn't stress about it at this point,..seems like you are making good moves towards your goal and little by little things will come together! The more I learn about this lifestyle, the more alternatives show up :)

Yeah, I hope so. I think I can ask those sorts at questions at the bulk food stores etc and eventually I'll bump into the person with the answer!
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 16, 2018, 07:50:22 PM
@Serendip I meant to ask how you make oat milk and whether it runs out much like shop bought oat milk. That would be a good plan for breakfast.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: bacchi on January 16, 2018, 08:35:38 PM
We're on a "no packaging" month, too.

Glass is problematic in its own way as it's heavy to transport and takes a lot of fuel to produce. However, we're making an exception for yogurt in a glass jar (that we're then reusing as a bulk container).

No plastic/packaging is difficult. We needed new sponges and even the cellulose sponges come wrapped in plastic. Not being able to buy packaged meals means that cooking takes much, much, longer, which requires a lot of planning. Tonight's pizza meant making the dough and sauce from scratch.

Thankfully, the local grocery store has a good bulk section (including spices) and the nearby coop has anything else.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 16, 2018, 09:17:39 PM
Wow, that's ambitious @bacchi! Plastics alone are hard enough! I'll be making pizza dough but the sauce is a big ask. I normally put tomato paste and pesto on and the thought of making both feels overwhelming!

What are you doing for other toppings? We have tuna & anchovies from cans. And do you have cheese on yours?
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 16, 2018, 10:08:44 PM
Yoghurt - I love it. We have a Easi-Yo thermos device where you add powder and water and then leave overnight but the powder comes in plastic bags. Our friends taught us how to make it with UHT milk, but I think there's plastic in those too. The other option is making it from normal milk, but then I'm back to the milk problem!

I think dairy may be the hardest thing. I could ration it?!

Do you have the Source Bulk Foods in your state? They sell unpackaged milk powder. And coconut milk powder too :-)
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 17, 2018, 03:45:28 AM
Yoghurt - I love it. We have a Easi-Yo thermos device where you add powder and water and then leave overnight but the powder comes in plastic bags. Our friends taught us how to make it with UHT milk, but I think there's plastic in those too. The other option is making it from normal milk, but then I'm back to the milk problem!

I think dairy may be the hardest thing. I could ration it?!

Do you have the Source Bulk Foods in your state? They sell unpackaged milk powder. And coconut milk powder too :-)

Aha! Genius! The internet says I can make yoghurt from powder. It's a little unclear on whether hubby can steam it for coffee but he will experiment. I'm also not sure if powdered milk can make kefir (and therefore cheese) but will see what happens.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: chaskavitch on January 17, 2018, 08:00:58 AM
I have shopped for some things online. Hopefully they don't arrive in lots of plastic ;)

- We are nearly out of washing liquid and it comes in a big plastic bottle, so I bought a trial bag of soapnuts. They come in a fabric bag and can be composted after. ($2)
- 5 produce bags. I normally do without except for small things like beans but these will be handy AND they are made of recycled plastic. ($16)
- I've got a trial pack of cloth pads. They really do not look up to the job in the pic but we will see ($70 for 4!!)
- I haven't pressed the button yet, because I'm also trying to buy no clothes this year, but I have 3 pairs of period pants in my cart, the kind that are an all-in-one pad. ($100!!)

The menstrual stuff is going to take about a year to pay for itself and that's assuming it all works. But it will create a whole lot less waste. And will the soapnuts struggle to clean them??

I was also going to buy some reusable silicon food wraps for $25 but then I thought - we don't use gladwrap all that much anyway so I'd only really be replacing occasional baking paper use. I might change my mind on this later.

I love my cloth produce bags.  I use them for bulk foods as well, like coffee and rolled oats, so I very rarely use the plastic bags at the store. 

For menstrual supplies, I have a diva cup (~$40?), and I don't even use any secondary pads or anything.  It is so easy to use/empty, and it holds enough volume that I only have to empty it twice a day or so (usually morning and afternoon).  I've rarely had any leakage problems, but I imagine the cloth pads would be nice for the last day or two of really low flow.  I've had two cups in the last 10 or 12 years - as long as you wash it well, it will last for a very long time.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: MrsDinero on January 17, 2018, 08:02:09 AM
I'm in!  I've been working on this for over a year, just making small changes.  Replacing ziplocs with Stasher bags and beeswrap, using parchment paper that is compostable, etc.

I can share my experience with going disposable free with feminine products.
I have not used any disposable products in months!

I have 3 thinx underwear, 2 overnight (heavy flow) reusable pads (bought from Etsy), and 5 reusable liners (Etsy).

It took me months to build this supply for myself based on my needs.

I also have the Diva cup but do not like it.   

The hardest part about going reusable was the mental hurdle.  I think most women are always told  having their period is gross and messy, instead of natural.   So having pads that needed to rinsed and washed instead of rolled up in toilet paper and tossed was a hurdle for me.

Now it is an easy process and I found a way that works for me.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: chaskavitch on January 17, 2018, 08:11:25 AM
I'm in!  I've been working on this for over a year, just making small changes.  Replacing ziplocs with Stasher bags and beeswrap, using parchment paper that is compostable, etc.

I can share my experience with going disposable free with feminine products.
I have not used any disposable products in months!

I have 3 thinx underwear, 2 overnight (heavy flow) reusable pads (bought from Etsy), and 5 reusable liners (Etsy).

It took me months to build this supply for myself based on my needs.

I also have the Diva cup but do not like it.   

The hardest part about going reusable was the mental hurdle.  I think most women are always told  having their period is gross and messy, instead of natural.   So having pads that needed to rinsed and washed instead of rolled up in toilet paper and tossed was a hurdle for me.

Now it is an easy process and I found a way that works for me.

Just out of curiosity, why don't you like the Diva cup?  Fit, ease of use, effectiveness, comfort?  I know there are multiple brands out there - I think I bought mine because I'd heard about it on a blog or something, and I saw it at Whole Foods one day and just picked it up.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: MrsDinero on January 17, 2018, 08:16:26 AM
I'm in!  I've been working on this for over a year, just making small changes.  Replacing ziplocs with Stasher bags and beeswrap, using parchment paper that is compostable, etc.

I can share my experience with going disposable free with feminine products.
I have not used any disposable products in months!

I have 3 thinx underwear, 2 overnight (heavy flow) reusable pads (bought from Etsy), and 5 reusable liners (Etsy).

It took me months to build this supply for myself based on my needs.

I also have the Diva cup but do not like it.   

The hardest part about going reusable was the mental hurdle.  I think most women are always told  having their period is gross and messy, instead of natural.   So having pads that needed to rinsed and washed instead of rolled up in toilet paper and tossed was a hurdle for me.

Now it is an easy process and I found a way that works for me.

Just out of curiosity, why don't you like the Diva cup?  Fit, ease of use, effectiveness, comfort?  I know there are multiple brands out there - I think I bought mine because I'd heard about it on a blog or something, and I saw it at Whole Foods one day and just picked it up.
I don't like it mostly for comfort, but I also didn't like tampons for the same reason.  I have friends who love theirs and I really wanted to love mine.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: acorn on January 17, 2018, 08:19:06 AM
This is awesome. Looking forward to incorporating some of these into my grocery shopping.

I've used canvas bags for years and avoid single-use plastics wherever possible. But it is so hard to avoid the excessive plastic packaging in supermarkets...

(just to share: my favorite food packaging related stand up bit (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXPi6xlBhmY))
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: bacchi on January 17, 2018, 09:57:23 AM
Wow, that's ambitious @bacchi! Plastics alone are hard enough! I'll be making pizza dough but the sauce is a big ask. I normally put tomato paste and pesto on and the thought of making both feels overwhelming!

What are you doing for other toppings? We have tuna & anchovies from cans. And do you have cheese on yours?

No cheese, which I prefer anyway. We added yeast flakes, which can somewhat substitute, and veggies and walnuts. Walnuts (and pepitas) on a pizza are great.

We also picked up some cloth bulk/produce bags like others have mentioned. We reused "single" use plastic bags to get bulk items (the grocery store doesn't weigh containers) but the cloth bags eliminate even those.

I made an exception for ice cream at a basketball game but I brought my own spoon (the container is compostable).
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: MrsDinero on January 17, 2018, 10:03:46 AM
Not on the plastic-free side, but on the reducing unnecessary waste side.  I made several reusable cotton rounds.  These are great for replacing anything you need a cotton ball or disposable cotton pad (not menstrual pad).   

Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: haypug16 on January 18, 2018, 11:33:30 AM
I would love to join in this challenge! DH and I have made it a resolution to reduce waste. A couple weeks ago we brought our own Mason Jars to Wholefoods had them weighted and then went to the bulk section and filled them up. Zero waste :)

For produce I just put everything lose in my bags. I never really used produce bags anyway so that's not an issue for us.

For milk I buy it in the carton not the plastic jugs. Some do still have plastic spouts though. I will make it my goal for February to find a place where I can get milk in glass.

For menstrual products I also use the Diva cup ($27 on Amazon) which I love.

Bread is also an issue for me. I make some myself but am thinking of getting a bread maker
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: I'm a red panda on January 18, 2018, 11:55:14 AM
Not entirely sure what a muesli bar is, but it sounds like a granola bar.

Can I offer up one of my favorite "recipes"
https://www.hy-vee.com/recipes-ideas/recipes/fit-for-you-bars
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 18, 2018, 07:02:13 PM
Not entirely sure what a muesli bar is, but it sounds like a granola bar.

Can I offer up one of my favorite "recipes"
https://www.hy-vee.com/recipes-ideas/recipes/fit-for-you-bars

Yeah I think it's the same thingy. Chewy or crunchy, oats mixed with nuts and fruit. I find I can never get them to stick together without adding more honey than I can stomach. I normally end up having them as cereal but that's ok.

I eat my plastic wrapped ones in the car when I'm running too late to have breakfast, so I know the answer ;)



Things I'm buying just before the end of January that wouldn't meet the February rules:

- plasters (bandaids). What did people do before plasters? Just not use anything or use a bandage or clean rag I guess?

- ibuprofen. Home remedies for pain are laughable when you're doubled up or can't see for the pain. I think the best idea here is to buy 50-100 pills in a plastic bottle. I only use about 4-8 a month but it's better than multiple blister packs of 24.

- Codeine - it's prescription only here from Feb so I'm going to buy some while I can, just in case. It costs me $25 to see a doctor!

Has anyone ever bought loose pain relief pills i.e. had a bottle refilled?

Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: I'm a red panda on January 18, 2018, 07:50:36 PM
Not entirely sure what a muesli bar is, but it sounds like a granola bar.

Can I offer up one of my favorite "recipes"
https://www.hy-vee.com/recipes-ideas/recipes/fit-for-you-bars

Yeah I think it's the same thingy. Chewy or crunchy, oats mixed with nuts and fruit. I find I can never get them to stick together without adding more honey than I can stomach. I normally end up having them as cereal but that's ok.

I eat my plastic wrapped ones in the car when I'm running too late to have breakfast, so I know the answer ;)

We make ours stick by putting them in a pan (like you use to make brownies) putting baking paper over them and then weighting them with a foil wrapped brick.  I always take mine to go by putting them in a food container...of course, mine are plastic; there are glass food containers too; or is it just disposing of plastic that is the problem?


Before bandaids- cloth wraps, like an ace bandage. It would be the same theory of blood absorption as reusable sanitary products.


Our office has pain medication in foil lined paper packs. But it would actually create more waste than a large plastic bottle.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 18, 2018, 08:16:37 PM
I have no problem using Tupperware :) I will try again to make them. Do you cook them with a weight on or is it just to press them down beforehand? I used a glass and baking paper I think to press.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: I'm a red panda on January 18, 2018, 08:18:48 PM
The fit for you bars aren't cooked.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 18, 2018, 08:24:19 PM
The fit for you bars aren't cooked.

Oh lol, didn't look past the ingredients. Well then I will give it a go. I could use a tub of water as a weight. I don't have anything protein powder like but maybe I could grind oats or wait til I get milk powder.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 23, 2018, 04:23:00 PM
So my facewash has run out and instead of buying a new plastic bottle so close to February, I've cracked open a pack of face cloths that I got from IKEA* that I'll be using with water only.

Day 1: Hmmmm my face did not feel very clean in the shower after washing with the cloth. It's sort of ok now but the jury is out I'd say. I also used it to clean my ears instead of using a plastic cotton bud.

*Black mark to IKEA for adding a massive unnecessary label to every cloth. Did not see that when I bought them.



My deodorant is probably going to run out in February. Option 1 is go without and change my clothes and shower more (it is hot here and I have an active job).
Option 2 is to google a homemade deodorant. Is anyone using anything homemade that they can recommend?
Option 3 is buy something alternative that doesn't come in plastic. I think I've seen tins of stuff advertised.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 23, 2018, 04:48:49 PM
The giant labels on those washcloths are also just ANNOYING.

Do you have Lush in your city? I think they sell bars of facewash soap, which you can buy unpackaged or just wrapped in paper.

Deodorant: I have been pondering this for future need. I think some people swear by plain bicarb. I am a sweaty person, so a good homemade deodorant would make me happy.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: katscratch on January 23, 2018, 08:43:52 PM
I love this challenge :) Following with great interest and admiration!

I usually make my deodorant with coconut oil and shea butter, then arrowroot powder and bicarb. There are lots of recipes online but it really seems most people have to experiment with what works for your skin and body chemistry. It also often takes a few weeks for your body to stop overproducing sweat if you've been wearing antiperspirant. I used just bicarb for a while but my skin got irritated, so it took a month or so to figure out a combination that works really well for me.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 23, 2018, 09:11:31 PM
Thanks for the deo tips, Katscratch.

Maybe hold off the admiration til I make some big changes ;)
The pic shows the current state of my freezer. 3 types of veg,  mash (srsly so good), 2 x boxes of filled pasta that is REALLY expensive but was 60% off, 2 emergency posh lasagne (similarly discounted), grated mozzarella. Hidden is some stewing steak (on polystyrene) and drumsticks (on hard plastic tray). So. Much. Plastic.

Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: chaskavitch on January 24, 2018, 06:25:19 AM
Thanks for the deo tips, Katscratch.

Maybe hold off the admiration til I make some big changes ;)
The pic shows the current state of my freezer. 3 types of veg,  mash (srsly so good), 2 x boxes of filled pasta that is REALLY expensive but was 60% off, 2 emergency posh lasagne (similarly discounted), grated mozzarella. Hidden is some stewing steak (on polystyrene) and drumsticks (on hard plastic tray). So. Much. Plastic.

I think my freezer looks pretty similar :(  We bought a quarter cow last year, but the only way they package it is to vacuum seal every individual cut before they freeze it.  I mean, I don't know how else they'd do it, but it's a lot of waste.

One thing I just found out is that Sprouts (and possibly other groceries, but they're the only one I've asked) will put whatever you get from the butcher or deli counter into your own container if you want.  They tare the container, add the meat, and just stick a label on it.  I'm sure it works much better with cheese and lunch meat than it does with a side of salmon, but I think I'm going to try it out. 
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: haypug16 on January 24, 2018, 07:36:57 AM
One thing I just found out is that Sprouts (and possibly other groceries, but they're the only one I've asked) will put whatever you get from the butcher or deli counter into your own container if you want.  They tare the container, add the meat, and just stick a label on it.  I'm sure it works much better with cheese and lunch meat than it does with a side of salmon, but I think I'm going to try it out.

Great tip. I bet Wholefoods would do this too. They were very excited when DH and I brought in our own mason jars for the bulk foods.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 24, 2018, 08:33:47 PM
I might try that with the meat, although I think they need to use something to pick it up and put it in the tub at my ones, so they'll still use a plastic bag or glove. There's no bare hands touching meat at butchers here!

I just joined a local zero waste group and the rumour is that Harris Farm Markets not only sell milk in glass bottles at certain locations but at one place they have milk station (like a drinks dispenser) and resuable bottles! 

I've messaged them to see if ithe milk station still active as I'm over in that suburb on Saturday. We have friends there and go maybe once every 6 weeks. It's feasible that we could fill a few bottles each time and use powdered milk a lot in between. I've also asked where I can get glass / refillable bottles at other locations.  Yay!
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 25, 2018, 05:10:00 AM
A topical musical interlude from Tim Minchin:

https://youtu.be/hFgtIziShmc
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 25, 2018, 05:38:54 PM
I tried a cloth pad, it wasn't a success. It was comfortable but did not absorb plus I'm having some sort of tsunami which doesn't help. Am I supposed to wash them first, like when tea towels repel water when you first get them?
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 25, 2018, 06:33:43 PM
I tried a cloth pad, it wasn't a success. It was comfortable but did not absorb plus I'm having some sort of tsunami which doesn't help. Am I supposed to wash them first, like when tea towels repel water when you first get them?

Wash first for hygiene if nothing else!

Warning: TMI ahead. I find if my flow is too FAST the fluid can sometimes sit on top instead of being absorbed as quickly as it needs to be. Does that sound like it could be the issue? I deal with it by changing pads frequently, or by using a menstrual cup on the first day or two of my cycle. If my flow is slow, the pads can hold a surprising amount.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 25, 2018, 07:24:13 PM
I tried a cloth pad, it wasn't a success. It was comfortable but did not absorb plus I'm having some sort of tsunami which doesn't help. Am I supposed to wash them first, like when tea towels repel water when you first get them?

Wash first for hygiene if nothing else!

Warning: TMI ahead. I find if my flow is too FAST the fluid can sometimes sit on top instead of being absorbed as quickly as it needs to be. Does that sound like it could be the issue? I deal with it by changing pads frequently, or by using a menstrual cup on the first day or two of my cycle. If my flow is slow, the pads can hold a surprising amount.

Yeah, I was taken by surprise with timing and speed and hadn't set myself up properly yet. I was only sat for 2hrs doing paperwork and was unaware of the disaster unfolding downstairs. Thanks for the tips. I think Day 1 I need all the things.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 25, 2018, 07:36:21 PM
I tried a cloth pad, it wasn't a success. It was comfortable but did not absorb plus I'm having some sort of tsunami which doesn't help. Am I supposed to wash them first, like when tea towels repel water when you first get them?

Wash first for hygiene if nothing else!

Warning: TMI ahead. I find if my flow is too FAST the fluid can sometimes sit on top instead of being absorbed as quickly as it needs to be. Does that sound like it could be the issue? I deal with it by changing pads frequently, or by using a menstrual cup on the first day or two of my cycle. If my flow is slow, the pads can hold a surprising amount.

Yeah, I was taken by surprise with timing and speed and hadn't set myself up properly yet. I was only sat for 2hrs doing paperwork and was unaware of the disaster unfolding downstairs. Thanks for the tips. I think Day 1 I need all the things.

Sitting still for two hours will make it even worse because you'll have a big gush when you stand up :-/
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 27, 2018, 11:41:43 PM
This story actually adds to the plastic in our home but anyway:

Yesterday to some friends' house for takeaway, along with another couple. Not really great for low packaging but we needed a high convenience catch up or it wouldn't happen at all. I asked if I could take the takeaway containers home (because we're running a bit low due to general breakage and sometimes you just need a lightweight container).

Couple one said enthusiastically: "oh yes we noticed when we stayed at your house how handy those are for just storing leftovers! We never thought to keep them" I did a bit of a blink, blink, and a 'er... ok?'

Couple two said "you know you can buy those containers at Woolies" Me: "yeah but we already paid for these ones" Couple 2: "I don't do second hand" Me: "you just ate from them?". I always wondered who buys crappy takeaway containers new and now I know!

At the end of the night we scored all the containers plus all the leftovers because none of the others do leftovers...!

We're a little bit down in the mouth about that whole interaction today because it's a reminder about what the majority of people are doing. However, I'm also hoping that the tide is turning and also that by living our slightly lower impact life we can kind of set an example that will transfer slowly across to the minds of our friends.

We do have friends that are on the eco bandwagon, these two are probably the least planet conscious of everyone we know. Interestingly, when we introduced the concept of MMM at a get together a while ago, it was the eco people that seemed to 'get' the concept of living beneath your means. That and treading lightly on the earth are so very closely related concepts.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: CalBal on January 28, 2018, 11:50:42 PM
Hi y'all! For anyone considering baking bread (to avoid bread bags) but doesn't have a lot of experience with bread-making, or alternatively doesn't have a lot of time, I highly recommend The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (and the other books they've done, like The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Gluten Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (though I haven't used that last one)) by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. For the amount of effort put in, the resulting bread is seriously awesome. There's a small amount of trial and error to get perfect (crackling) bread, but even so-so bread is pretty damn amazing for the amount of effort. And you can do a lot of the recipes without special equipment. Boules and baguettes, "peasant" loaves (I am trying pumpernickel next!), sourdough, loaf bread, flatbread, enriched breads like challah and brioche, you name it. Seriously, check it out. From the library, of course. ;)
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 29, 2018, 01:57:09 AM
That book sounds pretty awesome Calbal. I have a breadmaker so I just need to get into a routine there. I am interested in making sourdough though by hand.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 29, 2018, 07:15:25 AM
I'm trying to reduce the amount of waste I produce as a general sort of life goal. We recycle where we can*, and buy recycled paper goods, but I feel like it would be better to reduce the amount of packaging coming into the house. 

Plastics especially are bugging me as there are few options to 'buy back' my recycled plastic. So I thought I'd try to have a month where no new plastic comes into the house. I'm going to document my wins and losses here. If anyone wants to join in or make suggestions then please go for it. I'm starting now so that I can start to plan how to do things differently and be ready to go come February.

Plastics waste we currently produce in vast amounts:
  • Frozen food wrappers (potato mash (our vice), veg, berries, frozen pizza inner wrapping)
  • Muesli bar wrappers
  • Bread bags
  • Plastic meat trays
  • Milk bottles
  • Tetrapak cartons (coconut milk)
  • Single use drink bottles
  • Single use sanitary products

My strategy (so far):
  • The frozen food and convenience food /drink wrappers I think will be fairly easy to avoid by being organised. I have a couple of bulk food shops nearby which I can visit for things like oats, lentils etc.
  • Bread bags - I have seen reusable options online which I have to investigate and some stores let you put their fresh bread into paper bags.
  • I have a local shop that sells meat in paper although I think technically it has a plastic coating.
  • Sanitary products - I need to invest in reusables.
  • Just avoid buying anything in packaging

Where I am going to really struggle is the milk bottles. Hubby drinks a lot of milk for breakfast and in coffees and I don't know what to do about this. Plus things like pain relief that you can't buy in bulk/ loose.

In terms of the financial implications, I suspect that some things are going to end up costing more (e.g. my local bulk food stores are more expensive than my cheapie supermarket). I'm hoping that extra costs there might be countered by buying a few reusable products and avoiding buying certain things like a bottle of drink when I'm out and about.

Wish me luck!

*Soft plastics go to red-cycle bins at the supermarket and paper, glass and hard plastics go in our kerbside bins. We put food scraps in our worm farm and compost bins.

Groceries are indeed a challenge. In my local shops every salad, pepper and zucchini are wrapped in plastic. But if you have a store nearby that sells loose veggies in bulk that might work. For meat, you could try to find a shop that sells meat loose, from the display. You can bring your own reusable casket and let them put the meat in there.

For bread, where I live all bread is sold in paper bags. They are fine during the first day. But if you want to freeze them, you need plastic. Also to keep the bread fresh for more than one day. We always reuse our plastic bread bags, until they get holes into them. I don't see an easy plastic free solution. But maybe you could free them using some kind of fatty paper? (I just have some vague idea about this paper, but don't have anything concrete)

Muesli bars you can make yourself and store in a tupperware box, separated by paper baking sheets.

Why do you need to buy single drinks? Can't you plan better ahead and bring a bottle of water from home or a thermos with tea on a trip?

For sanitary products, I can recommend cloth menstrual pads, bought on Ali Express. I have started to use them for some months and I am totally convinced that this is a good idea. I paid like 2,5$ a piece. And you can buy a menstrual cup, like https://www.me-luna.eu/MeLuna-menstrualcups . I can also recommend this, although I have not started using them if I expect to have to change at places like work. There is by the way a whole thread about this subject somewhere.

Good luck.

Edit: sorry, I obviously didn't read the rest of the thread.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 29, 2018, 07:28:01 AM

- plasters (bandaids). What did people do before plasters? Just not use anything or use a bandage or clean rag I guess?


Modern plasters have plastic on the side that you put onto the wound. And a good invention that is! In the past plastics and bandages would often stick onto the wound and removing them was painful. So in this case, I think plasters and bandages with a plastic sterile pad are well used. The rest of the plaster/bandage does of course not need any plastic.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: SAfAmBrit on January 29, 2018, 09:48:18 AM
I have been on this journey since July last year. 80% of our food now come from bulk. We found a farm animal rescue and get our eggs and jam from them. I found a bread maker in a charity shop and my $20 it has been churning out bread for 6 months. Do not get discouraged - it takes time to remove all plastic from your lives. It is easier to cook - I have also learnt the crockpot is my friend. I make pasta sauce in bulk and freeze it in my glass jars in the freezer. Good for pizza too! I will be following with interest, i am still trying to remove those last little things!
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 29, 2018, 07:30:02 PM
Hi Linda & SafAmBrit, thanks for the encouragement!

It's February in two days and I feel I should be better prepared than I am :/

I'm going to cheat and get a few things today like 2L of vinegar in a plastic bottle for cleaning. Once that runs out I hope to refill it at a bulk place.

Question: presumably all the bulk places receive their stock in some sort of packaging. Vinegar surely comes in plastic to the store. Where we use large amounts or where something is shelf stable, am I better just to source my own bulk stuff?

On that note, is anyone in Australia buying anything in bulk eg 5-10kg bags of oats, in returnable packaging eg a woven bag or urn/ vat of some kind? Google has not helped.

ETA: For research purposes into bulk goods I should probably visit Costco at some point. It's a long long way away though!
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: chaskavitch on January 30, 2018, 06:21:55 AM
@Fresh Bread , the bulk bins at Sprouts grocery store, at least, are filled from giant plastic bags.  I've seen employees refilling them occasionally.  The're a semi-national chain, though, so I imagine a local bulk co-op would be more proactive about being sustainable.  On the other hand, Sprouts now has a rack of reusable bags made by the local Girl Scouts, with a sign that says "forgot your reusable bag?  Take one of ours!  Just bring it back next time for someone else to use!"  I'm really hoping it works out well and they don't lose all their bags.

I figure, even if they do use plastic, if you're using your own cloth bags to shop, you're 1) not putting additional plastic in your own trash and 2) setting a good example for other people.  I've definitely had people in line ask where I bought my mesh or canvas bags because they think they're cool.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: ulzxhi on January 30, 2018, 09:59:41 AM
I bookmarked this thread in my journal weeks ago, and am just now getting around to reading it. Glad I finally did! I always recycle, but have never thought of cutting out the source of the waste. I love how supportive everyone here is of taking care of our earth (unlike where I live, which just breaks my heart...)



Can I offer up one of my favorite "recipes"
https://www.hy-vee.com/recipes-ideas/recipes/fit-for-you-bars

I really want to learn how to start making more of my own food bars etc, and this seems a fantastic place to start. Never thought of the positive eco impact of being more resourceful, which now gives me more motivation to start. Saved and added to my bucket list!



- plasters (bandaids). What did people do before plasters? Just not use anything or use a bandage or clean rag I guess?

- ibuprofen. Home remedies for pain are laughable when you're doubled up or can't see for the pain. I think the best idea here is to buy 50-100 pills in a plastic bottle. I only use about 4-8 a month but it's better than multiple blister packs of 24.

- Codeine - it's prescription only here from Feb so I'm going to buy some while I can, just in case. It costs me $25 to see a doctor!

Has anyone ever bought loose pain relief pills i.e. had a bottle refilled?

apparently superglue was originally created by the military (forgot from which country, but I'm just assuming US since that's where I'm from) as a liquid bandage. For minor cuts, there is also OTC "liquid skin" bandages (comes in a glass bottle). My rommmate and partner both use superglue for nasty lacerations and nothing bad has happened so far... And I personally never use bandages, I just let my cuts heal themselves naturally. As for the pills, I know that in the US pharmacies cannot dispense medication into a patient's brought-from-home-bottle (or at least in California---however we also have more stringent protocol than other states). I think asking your local pharmacy would be a good place to start. Have you thought of preventative health measures like tai chi, accupuncture, meditation? Good for your mind as well as your body. Another really interesting one is water crystals. Masaru Emoto's book, The Hidden Messages in Water, really lays it down in easy-to-undersand terms. Hopefully you can pick up a copy at your library. It is a pocket-sized book, and also a quick read with few words and lots of pictures (just my kind of introductory book! ;D)
masaru's site (http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/water-crystal.html)
I dont know how much I believe in it, but definitely an intriguing concept.



So my facewash has run out and instead of buying a new plastic bottle so close to February, I've cracked open a pack of face cloths that I got from IKEA* that I'll be using with water only.

Day 1: Hmmmm my face did not feel very clean in the shower after washing with the cloth. It's sort of ok now but the jury is out I'd say. I also used it to clean my ears instead of using a plastic cotton bud.

*Black mark to IKEA for adding a massive unnecessary label to every cloth. Did not see that when I bought them.

Have you heard of oil cleansing? It feels great! I'm not sure of how wells it works since I usually do not wear makeup, but in theory it makes sense: like-dissolves-like. I'm guilty of buying mine from cosmetic counters and they come in plastic jars (EEK! Moving forward, I do plan to reduce my plastic consumption as well...) but I'm sure natural oils like coconut, olive, saffola would work great as well, and are probably easier to find in eco-friendly packaging. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so just slab some on your face and rinse off in the shower. No plastic or washcloth needed. DONE. And, if you're a child-at-heart like me, playing with the mess and pretending to be an oil-monster is always a win.



I might try that with the meat, although I think they need to use something to pick it up and put it in the tub at my ones, so they'll still use a plastic bag or glove. There's no bare hands touching meat at butchers here!

I just joined a local zero waste group and the rumour is that Harris Farm Markets not only sell milk in glass bottles at certain locations but at one place they have milk station (like a drinks dispenser) and resuable bottles!

Not that it makes you feel better, but either way they'd still be using plastic gloves, right? So while the plastic waste is not completely eliminated, at least you are doing the best you can on your end by eliminating part of it. Would it be possible to forgo meat completely? Also, how did you find the zero waste group? You've inspired me to join one.



Couple two said "you know you can buy those containers at Woolies" Me: "yeah but we already paid for these ones" Couple 2: "I don't do second hand" Me: "you just ate from them?". I always wondered who buys crappy takeaway containers new and now I know!

We're a little bit down in the mouth about that whole interaction today because it's a reminder about what the majority of people are doing.

Interestingly, when we introduced the concept of MMM at a get together a while ago, it was the eco people that seemed to 'get' the concept of living beneath your means. That and treading lightly on the earth are so very closely related concepts.

Man I definitely feel ya. I bike to work and at first my coworkers all made fun of me. It's a short ride (just 12km or so. Honestly, too short a commute for me!). It's good for me, our earth, and my wallet. Now my colleagues are starting to get it and even somewhat envious. One of my coworkers who lives nearby is now motivated to start biking in the spring. Score! Keep your head up, and just remember that even though they may scoff, that you (and our earth) are the ones getting ahead. I agree that people who are more mindful in general are the ones who will care about the bigger picture.



Groceries are indeed a challenge. In my local shops every salad, pepper and zucchini are wrapped in plastic.

This. It blows my mind that loose vegetables come wrapped in plastic. Why?! Rinse and eat. People have become too fearful of food, I feel. And then they fill their bodies with pink slime, HFCs, hydrogenated oil, and processed, mechanically separated food. Oh, and the chemicals on the GMO vegetables to make them "safe". smh.



I figure, even if they do use plastic, if you're using your own cloth bags to shop, you're 1) not putting additional plastic in your own trash and 2) setting a good example for other people.  I've definitely had people in line ask where I bought my mesh or canvas bags because they think they're cool.

Also, if you think of the ratio of volume:plastic (for bulk goods that you fill yourself), you're still making a positive impact, and it's still less plastic than if the bulk were individually packaged for resale.



Phew, I didn't think I had so much to say! Again, thank you for the inspiration and I wish you the best!
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: chaskavitch on January 30, 2018, 10:55:57 AM

So my facewash has run out and instead of buying a new plastic bottle so close to February, I've cracked open a pack of face cloths that I got from IKEA* that I'll be using with water only.

Day 1: Hmmmm my face did not feel very clean in the shower after washing with the cloth. It's sort of ok now but the jury is out I'd say. I also used it to clean my ears instead of using a plastic cotton bud.

*Black mark to IKEA for adding a massive unnecessary label to every cloth. Did not see that when I bought them.

Have you heard of oil cleansing? It feels great! I'm not sure of how wells it works since I usually do not wear makeup, but in theory it makes sense: like-dissolves-like. I'm guilty of buying mine from cosmetic counters and they come in plastic jars (EEK! Moving forward, I do plan to reduce my plastic consumption as well...) but I'm sure natural oils like coconut, olive, saffola would work great as well, and are probably easier to find in eco-friendly packaging. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so just slab some on your face and rinse off in the shower. No plastic or washcloth needed. DONE. And, if you're a child-at-heart like me, playing with the mess and pretending to be an oil-monster is always a win.


Coconut oil is great for cleaning your face of cosmetics!  I used to use it as an oil wash for my whole face (slather in coconut oil, rub it in, put a hot wet washcloth over your face, then scrub it off after the washcloth cools off), but I ran out of coconut oil and it's expensive.  It does work VERY well for removing eye makeup, though, and bonus - then your face is moisturized!

ETA - I buy coconut oil in the largest jars I can find, usually from Costco, but they're plastic :(  I dole it out into smaller glass jelly jars for use up in my bathroom for washing my face so I don't have a gallon jug of oil taking up all my space.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: I'm a red panda on January 30, 2018, 11:26:20 AM
  On the other hand, Sprouts now has a rack of reusable bags made by the local Girl Scouts, with a sign that says "forgot your reusable bag?  Take one of ours!  Just bring it back next time for someone else to use!"  I'm really hoping it works out well and they don't lose all their bags.


OMG! This is an amazing idea for a girl scout project! Even if they have to refresh the bags every once in awhile. Fwding to our council!
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 30, 2018, 02:45:03 PM
  On the other hand, Sprouts now has a rack of reusable bags made by the local Girl Scouts, with a sign that says "forgot your reusable bag?  Take one of ours!  Just bring it back next time for someone else to use!"  I'm really hoping it works out well and they don't lose all their bags.


OMG! This is an amazing idea for a girl scout project! Even if they have to refresh the bags every once in awhile. Fwding to our council!

Here in Oz we have Boomerang Bags, which are sewn by local volunteer groups. The idea is you take one when you forget your bag and then return it next shop or take to another shop or pass on to someone else. http://boomerangbags.org
I hope one day we'll see them in larger shops.

It's 31 Jan here already, so I went at sparrow's fart to do my last shop before Feb.

Cheats: I got 6 litres of milk and some panic yoghurt.

Suspect items: A box of tacos - I suspect there could be an inner plastic bag in there but I haven't bought them in ages. How do I make tacos, seems like it would be hard? Dishwasher powder - it's in a cardboard box but I can't really recycle it or give it to the worms so it may as well be plastic. I will need to buy this unpackaged next time.

Substitutions: I bought a jar of pasta sauce for emergency dinners instead of a plastic tub, at less than half the cost because it was half price. And a glass bottle of blackcurrant cordial instead of plastic at double the cost! The jar can be reused but the bottle idk. It's a nice bottle so there must be a craft project for it.

Genuinely packaging free: Yay vegetables for coming in their own wrapping! I got a lime to use as deodorant - I'm dubious but I'm told it works. Will test that later!

I'm going to have to visit at least 3 shops to get weekly groceries so I'll shop twice more this week. On top of extra food prep time I may find that a bit painful.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 30, 2018, 03:41:57 PM
Hi Ulzxhi, thanks for all your thoughts!

I'll look into oil cleansing. I don't really wear makeup so I'm just removing grime, sweat and sunscreen. I think I'm doing ok with warm water and massaging with a cloth. I don't seem spottier than usual, if anything I may have better skin. It's just weird not having that squeaky oil free feeling after washing, but that probably isn't something that's good for your skin anyway.

I could try things like acupuncture. I've got endometriosis and crazy hormones that give me a headache twice a month when they change. Magnesium helps a lot.

About bulk stores and their original packaging... I'm thinking I should buy my own 20 litre vat of vinegar rather than pay inflated prices. Likewise I've ordered 5kg each of flour and oats which will come in paper. For everything else I need in small quantities I can use the no- packaging shops.

ETA: forgot you also asked about meat.. We've cut down but hubby would be reluctant to do without and we both enjoy eating it (sorry animals but you taste too good). We eat chicken or beef about 3 main meals a week, fish 1 or 2 meals and veggo 2 or 3. Veggo is normally lentil or rice based as chickpeas and beans make my guts balloon.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 30, 2018, 04:14:28 PM
Taco shells are fiddly to make at home, but tortillas are pretty easy so you could have soft tacos?

Doing three different shops: this is part of what holds me back with going plastic free. I honestly just don't have the spoons to shop at multiple shops on a regular basis, especially if any of them are more than a five minute drive away.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 30, 2018, 04:33:56 PM
Taco shells are fiddly to make at home, but tortillas are pretty easy so you could have soft tacos?

Doing three different shops: this is part of what holds me back with going plastic free. I honestly just don't have the spoons to shop at multiple shops on a regular basis, especially if any of them are more than a five minute drive away.

I think I can do it if I had a routine and where it required no mental load. Establishing that will be hard though.

I think the best way for me to do it is to get delivery of a few staples in bulk, go to the supermarket in the week for a basket of things and then make shopping for the other time consuming fiddly things into a morning out with hubby at the weekend with coffee and/or lunch out, followed up by a session together making something for the freezer from scratch like a pasta sauce.

Things like yoghurt and cheese are just so easy and not exhausting for me once I get the practice in so that it's just muscle memory. At one point I made muffins or banana bread at 6am before work because I could do it in my sleep, I need to get back to that. Another one is putting the bread machine on. So easy but if I have to check weights and measurements it makes it tiring.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 30, 2018, 11:28:57 PM
It's a good moment in time to do a plastics challenge. China are no longer accepting recycling from overseas and this is creating backlogs in countries like Australia. There just isn't the demand from manufacturers for recycled plastic domestically. This might change but it's not going to happen overnight. You know what could happen overnight? Me not buying plastic :)

https://amp.theage.com.au/victoria/council-tells-ratepayers-to-minimise-recycling-as-chinese-ban-bites-20180130-p4yz3v.html

We don't have the market in Au for the plastics but we do have it for recycled glass - can't remember the source for that, I think I heard it on the War on Waste series on ABC. Demand at one particular recycled glass factory is greater than supply anyway.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 31, 2018, 12:56:56 AM
It's a good moment in time to do a plastics challenge. China are no longer accepting recycling from overseas and this is creating backlogs in countries like Australia. There just isn't the demand from manufacturers for recycled plastic domestically. This might change but it's not going to happen overnight. You know what could happen overnight? Me not buying plastic :)

https://amp.theage.com.au/victoria/council-tells-ratepayers-to-minimise-recycling-as-chinese-ban-bites-20180130-p4yz3v.html

We don't have the market in Au for the plastics but we do have it for recycled glass - can't remember the source for that, I think I heard it on the War on Waste series on ABC. Demand at one particular recycled glass factory is greater than supply anyway.

Sounds very good that China doesn't accept our waste. Maybe because China has a lot of reducing their CO2 emissions. And burning plastic releases a lot of CO2. This might finally force the western countries to produce less plastic, because it is totally ridiculous which products that are wrapped in plastic. And we would so easily look at other countries. Like in Norway, all milk is sold in milk cartons and oats and grains are sold in paper bags. I'm sure other countries have other good solutions. If only plastic had been expensive or if the public had demanded products without plastic, then the shops would have been forced to change their products.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: CalBal on January 31, 2018, 10:14:14 AM

Things like yoghurt and cheese are just so easy and not exhausting for me once I get the practice in so that it's just muscle memory.

I was going to suggest trying your own yogurt (and some cheeses are very easy too). ;) Yogurt especially is very easy. I have a little machine to hold mine at temp (my oven apparently isn't well insulated enough and I failed when I tried to do it using just the oven light). Using store bought as a starter created/uses thermophilic cultures. But there are also mesophilic cultures that you can culture at room temperature! :)  And if you always are sure to take out a bit to make a fresh mother each time, you don't even have to buy starter at the store (or rarely, if yours becomes too weak).
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 31, 2018, 12:42:12 PM

Things like yoghurt and cheese are just so easy and not exhausting for me once I get the practice in so that it's just muscle memory.

I was going to suggest trying your own yogurt (and some cheeses are very easy too). ;) Yogurt especially is very easy. I have a little machine to hold mine at temp (my oven apparently isn't well insulated enough and I failed when I tried to do it using just the oven light). Using store bought as a starter created/uses thermophilic cultures. But there are also mesophilic cultures that you can culture at room temperature! :)  And if you always are sure to take out a bit to make a fresh mother each time, you don't even have to buy starter at the store (or rarely, if yours becomes too weak).

I managed to make perfect thick yogurt this weekend. I warmed it up in a pan on the induction stove on really low warmth to pasteurizing temperature. Then cooled in down to 42C and added some yogurt. I left it overnight in a thick towel on the warm (20C) bathroom floor. Thick yogurt was the result the next day and I let it leak out a bit through a tea towel. This time I didn't stir and that helped.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 31, 2018, 03:59:01 PM
Linda your yoghurt sounds like the bomb. I have an induction stovetop too but milk is a hard thing to control on it. Did you say you used a low low temp, is that the trick?

I use an Easi-Yo thermos thing. You put yoghurt and milk in, hot water in the thermos part and leave for 8 hrs. The milk should be UHT or boiled but I'm going to be trying milk powder. I assume that is totally pasteurised on account of how it's processed & dry.

I took a pic of my plastics recycling. The hard stuff is a mix of glass, plastic and metal but is just a week's worth! The soft plastics for redcycle, I don't know, maybe it's 3 week's worth. Anyway, it's too much! I will start a new bag today and we'll see how we go.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Linea_Norway on February 01, 2018, 12:33:39 AM
Linda your yoghurt sounds like the bomb. I have an induction stovetop too but milk is a hard thing to control on it. Did you say you used a low low temp, is that the trick?

Yes, the temperature on the stove was 3 out of 9. I have a thermometer that goes to 100C and I checked regularly. When It started sticking a bit to the bottom (without burning), it was ready (at 82C). Then we let it cool down in the kitchen to 43C. Stirred in the bit of yogurt en kept the pan warmish. After the initial stirring, I didn't stir again. You can then see that the yogurt bacteria make very long chains. Those get broken if you stir, so just don't.
The yogurt even became thicker after it was in the storage box in the fridge.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 01, 2018, 04:10:00 AM
DAY 1 RESULTS!

Changes made:
- Registered for online water bills - four less plastic windows coming in the house each year
- My reusable damp packs arrived. These replace a big plastic tub of damp rid crystals. The packs change colour when used up and are recharged in the sun or microwave. Unfortunately there was a fair bit of plastic packaging around them including some unnecessary padding but at least this is a one off purchase.

Things to deal with at some point:
- Toothbrush - could buy a bamboo one
- Drinking coffee - the beans come in a non-recyclable bag...need to find a better source (must also be good beans!)

Avoided waste by:
- Drinking loose leaf tea
- Washing with bar soap instead of shower gel from a plastic bottle
- Using a face cloth & water instead of buying a new face wash in a plastic bottle
- Using a lime slice as deodorant instead of buying a new roll on*
- Bought bread in a paper bag (but only a roll - loaves were only available in plastic) I'm going to have to make my own or go to yet another shop...

* The jury is still out on this one. Today was quite cool so I'm not sure if this is effective or not. I got lime pulp all over my pits so it may not be all that practical. Will continue and see what happens.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: ulzxhi on February 01, 2018, 06:30:49 AM
ETA: forgot you also asked about meat.. We've cut down but hubby would be reluctant to do without and we both enjoy eating it (sorry animals but you taste too good). We eat chicken or beef about 3 main meals a week, fish 1 or 2 meals and veggo 2 or 3. Veggo is normally lentil or rice based as chickpeas and beans make my guts balloon.

Have you considered quinoa? One of my favorite meals is quinoa with pico de gallo. Yum! Also, do you consider eggs meat? One of my favorite quick meals is to beat an egg or two, mix in some chopped cheese, veggies, and / or mushrooms, then fry it into a "pancake". Similar to a fritatta, but cooked stovetop instead of the oven. Ooey gooey and YUM. My favorite shroom to use for this is oyster. Meaty and snappy with a delicious spicy flavor. I eat a lot of nuts, eggs, cheese, and mushrooms. Avocado makes for a fantastic veggie sandwich. Couscous with roasted pine nuts, minced garlic and cubed parmesian is also yum (though in the US, a lot of cheese comes wrapped in plastic...)



Things to deal with at some point:
- Toothbrush - could buy a bamboo one
- Drinking coffee - the beans come in a non-recyclable bag...need to find a better source (must also be good beans!)

Avoided waste by:
- Drinking loose leaf tea
- Using a lime slice as deodorant instead of buying a new roll on*

* The jury is still out on this one. Today was quite cool so I'm not sure if this is effective or not. I got lime pulp all over my pits so it may not be all that practical. Will continue and see what happens.

Sounds like DAY1 is off to a fantastic start! I've been interested in trying a bamboo toothbrush too, if you try it I'd love to know how it goes! I also read that they're naturally anti-bacterial? Great for a germophobe like me. As for the coffee, have you tried getting some from Costa Rica? I'm not a coffee drinker, yet I'm even tempted by their coffee -- it smells like candy! When I was in Costa Rica, that was the only time I ever seriously considered trying it (though I didn't which I regret, even years later!). I vacationed in Costa Rica without knowing anything about their country -- it's one of the greenest countries, has no military, and is very eco-friendly. The people are incredibly accepting and laid back. I didn't want to leave! Also, one of the coffee capitals of the world.

Also, have you heard of lotion bars? Maybe you could modge-podge the formula into a deodorant bar? Or, how about squeezing the lime juice onto a face towel, or wrapping the lime in a face towel (like a soap bar)?

lotion bar recipe (https://wellnessmama.com/4770/lotion-bars/)

It'll be interesting to see how recycling goes with the China-plastic ban:

          "It leaves recyclers such as Visy with nowhere to send waste, even as homeowners keep doing the right thing and filling up their yellow bins."

You've provided great insight and changed my view on recycling. IMHO, the right thing do is to become more aware and mindful, and reduce at the source. You couldn't have had more perfect timing. Good luck as we press on with February!
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: I'm a red panda on February 01, 2018, 06:59:39 AM
Thank goodness yesterday wasn't february!  We got new furniture and the number of plastic bags was insane.  I'm using them for diaper bin trashbags now (usualy use grocery bags but we rarely get grocery bags anymore).  Husband thinks i'm crazy, but a bag is a bag, and there were like 20 of them.

I don't think I'll be totally plastic free this month, but I'm going to think about it.

I need to cut my hair if I want to go back to bar shampoo and no conditioner; but I think it is within the spirit of the challenge to finish the shampoo I have first.  (I already use bar soap instead of body wash because of the waste.)
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: haypug16 on February 01, 2018, 07:43:14 AM

- Drinking coffee - the beans come in a non-recyclable bag...need to find a better source (must also be good beans!)


I get my coffee beans at Wholefoods and use a mason jar instead of the bags they provide. Is there a place near you that sells coffee beans in bulk?
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: CalBal on February 01, 2018, 09:55:19 AM

Yes, the temperature on the stove was 3 out of 9. I have a thermometer that goes to 100C and I checked regularly. When It started sticking a bit to the bottom (without burning), it was ready (at 82C). Then we let it cool down in the kitchen to 43C. Stirred in the bit of yogurt en kept the pan warmish. After the initial stirring, I didn't stir again. You can then see that the yogurt bacteria make very long chains. Those get broken if you stir, so just don't.

I'll add this - the reason you bring it up to just below the boiling point is you want to kill any unwanted bacteria in the milk before you add your desired cultures (from the starter), but you don't want to scald the milk. :) I've heard if you use pasturized milk that isn't strictly necessary usually. However, warming it also breaks the cassein bonds in the milk. If you warm it slowly (rather than quickly) apparently more of the cassein bonds are broken and you will get a thicker yogurt as a result. Then you let it cool down to around 100-110(F) before adding your starter (or you will kill your cultures) and hold it at about that temperature. I take a small amount out of the pot, add the starter, stir it up good, the add that back to the pot. People culture anywhere from 6-12 hours, the longer you culture the thicker it will get and the more sugars will be consumed by the cultures so the yogurt will become more tart. Play with it until you find the taste and consistency you like. If you like it less tart, culture for less long and then drain for a while. Overnight is perfect, IMO. :)
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 01, 2018, 10:15:23 PM
DAY 2 RESULTS!
(It's only 4pm but hey)

Avoided waste by:
- Refilling our beer growler - not plastic but 6 glass bottles is a lot of waste on a weekly basis!
- Making bread in the breadmaker
- Taking the soft plastics recycling from the last few weeks to Coles and buying a loose apple and onion for braised cabbage (didn't want to dump and run!).
- Walking past some tempting marked down stuff at Coles that was covered in plastic.
- Trying out baking soda as deodorant.*

Whoopsies:

- Did a crop swap for different produce - she handed me her produce in a plastic bag and I didn't even think to leave it with her. Oh well, it can be a bin bag.
- Drove to about a million places to do all these and other errands. There's no convenient way to visit all these places as they are all within 2-3km but in different directions, but at least I combined the car trip. I should get an electric car or e-bike. On a regular bike it would have taken all day.
- Hubby received a parcel that was wrapped in plastic. Recyclable but kind of unnecessary. I guess we could let them know that, it's a small repair company.

I also took 5 glass and plastic bottles into return and earn - hopefully that's the last time for a month (or more!)

Forgot to say yesterday that I bought meat which was wrapped in a sort of greaseproof paper. I'm going to test it and see what happens when it's soaked and fed to the worms.

* Seems ok so far. I just dusted some on. I guess you're meant to make a paste but that would go flakey, right? Yesterday's lime option, I dunno if it did anything at all. I think my natural odour might be slightly citrusy so hard to know.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 01, 2018, 10:20:40 PM
Thank goodness yesterday wasn't february!  We got new furniture and the number of plastic bags was insane.  I'm using them for diaper bin trashbags now (usualy use grocery bags but we rarely get grocery bags anymore).  Husband thinks i'm crazy, but a bag is a bag, and there were like 20 of them.

I don't think I'll be totally plastic free this month, but I'm going to think about it.

I need to cut my hair if I want to go back to bar shampoo and no conditioner; but I think it is within the spirit of the challenge to finish the shampoo I have first.  (I already use bar soap instead of body wash because of the waste.)

Yes I'm still using things in plastic that I have already. I'm open to shampoo bars but I'm very into my current shampoo. It costs $1.75 when it's on special and lasts months and months because I only use a little. Conditioner, I dunno, my hair is long and dry. I've used cider vinegar before but my hair smelt of vinegar after. I'd try a bar but I'm dubious!
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 01, 2018, 10:22:01 PM

- Drinking coffee - the beans come in a non-recyclable bag...need to find a better source (must also be good beans!)


I get my coffee beans at Wholefoods and use a mason jar instead of the bags they provide. Is there a place near you that sells coffee beans in bulk?

Yes there will be... But do they meet hubby's standards, that's the question. He's quite fancy.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 01, 2018, 11:06:06 PM
Oh I forgot to talk about the washing (laundry).

Yesterday I did a load of washing and threw in the soapnuts that I'd bought (to avoid a plastic bottle of laundry liquid). Well, they didn't work too well. It was a dirty load with muddy patches and they didn't come out. My normal detergent would have managed.

The internet said the soapiness comes out in hot water so today I soaked the nuts in a cup of kettle boiled water first. Today's load included hubby's exercise gear which fucking reeks and it seems to have done ok.

I'll do the same again with the white wash tomorrow.

Realistically, I need something that's ultra convenient to fit in with my day (I run in the house, put on a load and run out) so if it's going to work I think I'll need a few lots pre-soaked and ready to go!

I might also make up some homemade detergent. I bought borax ages ago but never got round to it.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Linea_Norway on February 02, 2018, 03:51:01 AM
Oh I forgot to talk about the washing (laundry).

Yesterday I did a load of washing and threw in the soapnuts that I'd bought (to avoid a plastic bottle of laundry liquid). Well, they didn't work too well. It was a dirty load with muddy patches and they didn't come out. My normal detergent would have managed.

The internet said the soapiness comes out in hot water so today I soaked the nuts in a cup of kettle boiled water first. Today's load included hubby's exercise gear which fucking reeks and it seems to have done ok.

I'll do the same again with the white wash tomorrow.

Realistically, I need something that's ultra convenient to fit in with my day (I run in the house, put on a load and run out) so if it's going to work I think I'll need a few lots pre-soaked and ready to go!

I might also make up some homemade detergent. I bought borax ages ago but never got round to it.

Why don't you just buy a carton box of washing detergent in powder form? That is what I have always used and I get everything clean with it. I also use universal detergent (for colour) and use that for the white wash as well. Even woolen outdoor shirts (that tolerate machine wash) are washed in the same stuff.

'But I wash traditional woolen sweaters with fluid wool detergent (in a plastic container), if I need to wash them at all. I always try first to hang them outside to get fresh.

Here in Norway I need to buy the big cartons in another shop than the grocery store. We have a chain of stores that sells household articles and they have washing detergent in large containers, while the grocery store only has tiny containers and fluid stuff.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 02, 2018, 04:05:24 AM
To meet my goals of no plastic I can buy a big box of powder but then I'm stuck with that waste. Do you put the box in the paper recycling? I feel like it would be too dirty. I guess if I buy the eco one the box could go in the compost.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Linea_Norway on February 02, 2018, 05:36:10 AM
To meet my goals of no plastic I can buy a big box of powder but then I'm stuck with that waste. Do you put the box in the paper recycling? I feel like it would be too dirty. I guess if I buy the eco one the box could go in the compost.

Yes, I shake out the box as good as I can (take out the folds) and put it in the paper recycling.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: katscratch on February 02, 2018, 07:44:35 AM
We can recycle that type of box here, too. I use a combination of borax and washing soda for the 'dirtier' clothing. It doesn't dissolve as well in cold water but I've definitely just thrown it in the bottom of the machine and ran a cold cycle anyway. I like using soap nuts on my normal clothing but I agree they don't work well in cold water.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 03, 2018, 02:05:13 PM
DAY 3 RESULTS!

Avoided waste by:

- buying loose veg at the supermarket
- doing washing with soap nuts*
- used bicarb of soda again as deodorant**
- we made pesto using foraged nuts (bunya for the Australians), basil from our garden, garlic sans wrapping, oil in a glass bottle. Only the cheese was bought originally in plastic and we used tasty cheese that we already have instead of buying plastic wrapped parmesan.

Whoopsies:

- Plastic came into the house because hubby brought litter back from the beach! So a positive whoopsie.
- Didn't get around to going to the package free store but hope to do that today. We are out of milk so it is an imperative!

Other things:

- I put a bit of the butcher meat wrapping paper in water to see if it disintegrated. It doesn't so it is greasproof/ waxed paper of some sort, but I guess whether it composts successfully depends on what the coating is. Google says you can get parrafin based ones and soy based ones and they both compost eventually but obviously the soy one is not made from oil. The butcher is plastic free and their website says they had to source this paper from Norway to meet their criteria. Since there are plenty of greaseproof options here I'm assuming the butcher thought it is the 'best' option environmentally, whatever that is. I might message them and find out.

*Ok, this was use number 3 of the soap nuts and they are now very disintegrated in the bag. I get how they only last 5 washes now, but I'm not sure we'll even get that far. Hubbies running top came out with a slight odour still so I think they are already losing their effectiveness? I definitely won't get any more, I don't think they can deal with our levels of revolting.

** I used a little more than the day before. It might do something, it's at least as good as a mild shop bought deo. However, I googled it and some people get bad burns from the low pH, so use at your own risk! I think I might try out a bought alternative as I don't have the ingredients to hand for a homemade one (including shea butter & arrowroot) so I really wouldn't be saving any packaging by making my own. I've seen some in glass jars that look interesting.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Chippewa on February 03, 2018, 07:22:58 PM
Did you know tea bags have plastic (https://www.facebook.com/BBCOne/videos/1262960420479790/) in them?! I still need to work on that one. Will go loose leaf when I am done with my bags.

I have done without my keurig cups and now use keurig refill cup or my filter basket. That hasn't been too bad.

But now that grocery bags are not sold anymore (or 10c a piece at some stores), I know longer have bags for my waste bin. And I bought them in the beginning but have now gone without. I Have not gotten use to that one. Still going at it. Taking it out every few days as usual. Small kitchen can (office can). I don't want to buy a bigger one both due to full can mobility and will stink up longer it sits. Anyway still getting use to that.

Now I feel like I use more water. Because of consumption levels - washing the kitchen can or the coffee from the filter. Hmmm...

But if anything, plastic straws need to be banned for good. Did a beach clean up last summer. I could not believe how many straws badly wash up on our shores!



Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: halftimer on February 03, 2018, 09:33:02 PM
Great challenge - I'm working on cutting down too!  More of 'progress to zero waste' for me, since I know we will not get to 100% plastic free just yet.

For inspiration and ideas, I have been following @wastelandrebel (and of course Bea Johnson) on Instagram plus the hashtag #zerowaste.  Some great ideas about cutting out plastic and waste in the kitchen, bathroom, and while travelling, etc. Yesterday I saw someone boiling their pineapple skins and learned about making pineapple tea. I haven't bought one for awhile, but I'm filing that info for future.

So far this month
Progress
- used my mesh produce bags and grocery bags for the first shop
- leftovers wrapped in waxed cloth in fridge, and lettuce in tea towel
- my office and I were featured in a short sustainability story about a current initiative we have on a University site (humble brag, plus yay for increased awareness to others!)
-bought brand new boots from a local sustainable brand - and the only packaging was a string I'll reuse and a small sticker (they said I was the only one to bring my own bag and they really appreciated it)

Whoopsies
-granola bar wrapper from me using up current supplies - and straw plus disposable plate by family who are not in the same reduction mode
-gum - I know it's just plastic (but have only reduced to a pack every about 2 months, but not eliminated yet)
-using up project supplies, peeled off lots of tape backing yesterday

Doesn't sound bad so far, but I know our grocery shop is still waaay off of plastic free since we are practically addicted to certain granola bars, crackers, and cereal
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 04, 2018, 01:08:19 AM
Did you know tea bags have plastic (https://www.facebook.com/BBCOne/videos/1262960420479790/) in them?! I still need to work on that one. Will go loose leaf when I am done with my bags.

I have done without my keurig cups and now use keurig refill cup or my filter basket. That hasn't been too bad.

But now that grocery bags are not sold anymore (or 10c a piece at some stores), I know longer have bags for my waste bin. And I bought them in the beginning but have now gone without. I Have not gotten use to that one. Still going at it. Taking it out every few days as usual. Small kitchen can (office can). I don't want to buy a bigger one both due to full can mobility and will stink up longer it sits. Anyway still getting use to that.

Now I feel like I use more water. Because of consumption levels - washing the kitchen can or the coffee from the filter. Hmmm...

But if anything, plastic straws need to be banned for good. Did a beach clean up last summer. I could not believe how many straws badly wash up on our shores!

I did know that about tea bags. We've been on loose leaf for a while now as a result but jeez it's a pain when people come over. I've got one teapot and it doesn't make 5-6 cups of tea. With bags you just line 'em up. Last time I was stood in the kitchen for ages making endless pots.

I had to look up Keurig. Our big brand here like that is Nespresso and I've seen the refillable pods, they are such a great idea.

Bin bags - I tend to end up with them even though we don't get them with the shopping, because other people bring things etc. I guess that will change when our ban eventually starts. There are tutorials online for bin bags made of newspaper which I'm going to get on to eventually (we get a free almost daily newspaper so have the resources). I would definitely line your bin with newspaper as a start to make it easier to clean.

Water use - yes! Recycling and reusables increase water use. It's definitely a trade off. If I was being really good I'd rinse recycling in our rainwater tank water. Hopefully this challenge will = less things to wash before they are recycled. And anything reusable - I reckon I am saving enough energy and water that I won't worry about it. 

Single use straws - yep, ban 'em. If cafes must have them, give customers paper ones ffs.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 04, 2018, 01:23:49 AM
Great challenge - I'm working on cutting down too!  More of 'progress to zero waste' for me, since I know we will not get to 100% plastic free just yet.

For inspiration and ideas, I have been following @wastelandrebel (and of course Bea Johnson) on Instagram plus the hashtag #zerowaste.  Some great ideas about cutting out plastic and waste in the kitchen, bathroom, and while travelling, etc. Yesterday I saw someone boiling their pineapple skins and learned about making pineapple tea. I haven't bought one for awhile, but I'm filing that info for future.

So far this month
Progress
- used my mesh produce bags and grocery bags for the first shop
- leftovers wrapped in waxed cloth in fridge, and lettuce in tea towel
- my office and I were featured in a short sustainability story about a current initiative we have on a University site (humble brag, plus yay for increased awareness to others!)
-bought brand new boots from a local sustainable brand - and the only packaging was a string I'll reuse and a small sticker (they said I was the only one to bring my own bag and they really appreciated it)

Whoopsies
-granola bar wrapper from me using up current supplies - and straw plus disposable plate by family who are not in the same reduction mode
-gum - I know it's just plastic (but have only reduced to a pack every about 2 months, but not eliminated yet)
-using up project supplies, peeled off lots of tape backing yesterday

Doesn't sound bad so far, but I know our grocery shop is still waaay off of plastic free since we are practically addicted to certain granola bars, crackers, and cereal


Hello halftimer! Well done on the changes and your moment of fame. Realistically reducing waste is a thing that can only be done slowly if it's going to lead to permanent change. I'm just going hard this month on the plastics so that we consider every little thing and just stop and think. Zero waste is a massive lifestyle change for most people I reckon, even if they were already pretty mindful about the environment.

I'm following a couple of facebook pages but I might follow those two on insta.

Granola bars....don't tempt me. My favourite brand was half price this week. Normally I'd buy five boxes and I have bought none. For me they are a convenience thing which I can remove by getting up 10 mins earlier so it's not an essential but still... And crackers! God knows what I'll do when we do our next hosting. I know it's possible to make them but I think my enjoyment of an event might be slightly marred if I am cooking every little last thing from scratch. Hopefully there is something in the health food aisle that comes in paper only packaging.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: imolina on February 04, 2018, 03:59:54 AM
what do you do for tooth brushes?
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: ulzxhi on February 04, 2018, 04:07:57 AM
Hi fresh bread, what do you recommend for paper goods (tisuue, toilet paper, etc)? It's getting close to allergy season and I go through 1+ box of tissue a day (eek!). I should take medication, but I'm stubborn... Sometimes I can find tissue boxes without the plastic window, but I've yet to find a place where the boxes and rolls of paper goods do not come wrapped in plastic. I even went to my local organic store and they were still wrapped in plastic :( They actually had a lot of groceries and other products sealed in plastic, I guess that store is just organic and not eco... Any better luck where you are?
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 04, 2018, 04:46:46 AM
what do you do for tooth brushes?

Hi! I've got an ordinary plastic one right now but I could switch to a bamboo one. I think the bristles may still be plastic but at least the handle could composted?
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 04, 2018, 04:53:10 AM
Hi fresh bread, what do you recommend for paper goods (tisuue, toilet paper, etc)? It's getting close to allergy season and I go through 1+ box of tissue a day (eek!). I should take medication, but I'm stubborn... Sometimes I can find tissue boxes without the plastic window, but I've yet to find a place where the boxes and rolls of paper goods do not come wrapped in plastic. I even went to my local organic store and they were still wrapped in plastic :( They actually had a lot of groceries and other products sealed in plastic, I guess that store is just organic and not eco... Any better luck where you are?

For toilet paper we have a great company here called Who Gives A Crap. It's mail order so you buy in bulk and it comes wrapped in paper. There used to be a company that sold paper wrapped toilet rolls at the supermarket I don't know if they still exist here. These are all made from recycled paper.

For tissues, you might consider cloth hankies? I'm going to make the switch at some point... Sounds like you'd need to buy 20 tho :)
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Linea_Norway on February 04, 2018, 06:46:40 AM
Hi fresh bread, what do you recommend for paper goods (tisuue, toilet paper, etc)? It's getting close to allergy season and I go through 1+ box of tissue a day (eek!). I should take medication, but I'm stubborn... Sometimes I can find tissue boxes without the plastic window, but I've yet to find a place where the boxes and rolls of paper goods do not come wrapped in plastic. I even went to my local organic store and they were still wrapped in plastic :( They actually had a lot of groceries and other products sealed in plastic, I guess that store is just organic and not eco... Any better luck where you are?

I heard a doctor on TV say that allergy medisin is a medicin that you safely can take, already some weeks before the pollen season. It has very few side effects compared to many other medicins.

DH uses the medicin all summer half year. And uses cloth hankies.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 04, 2018, 01:25:51 PM
DAY 4 RESULTS!

Plastics avoided:

- Bought loose sunflower seeds at the market and had them use my fine mesh produce bag.
- Made bread and pizza
- Used reusable coffee cups
- Bought a litre of milk in a glass bottle*

Whoopsies:

- I bulk ordered oats thinking they came in a sack but they are in a big plastic bag like dog food. Ah well. Will change supplier next time or buy the organic ones which I think do come in paper. But are a lot more $$$.
- A guy at the market handed me a shot of juice to try in a plastic cup. I just took it because it looked tasty!
- Still didn't get to the packaging free shop. We're going to have to buy regular milk.
- Used glad wrap to store spare pizza dough in the freezer. Maybe I do need to buy those ultra thin reusable wraps.

* It's not homogenised so there was a big lump of clotted cream on top. When I was young I remember we just shook it but this was too thick. I used the lumpy cream in an omelette. I'm not a fan of lumps in my milk so may not buy this one again.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 04, 2018, 04:13:20 PM
I don't get bad hayfever, but do tend to have a runny nose and hankies are great. As a bonus, they're much softer on the nose than tissues are.

@Fresh Bread do you have a freezer safe plastic container you could stuff the pizza dough into? It needs to be just barely big enough.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 04, 2018, 04:46:43 PM
I don't get bad hayfever, but do tend to have a runny nose and hankies are great. As a bonus, they're much softer on the nose than tissues are.

@Fresh Bread do you have a freezer safe plastic container you could stuff the pizza dough into? It needs to be just barely big enough.

Yes, I just need to find something that's just the right size. I make the dough in the bread machine, cut it into thirds and one portion goes to the freezer. This is a weekly thing so it would be worth buying just the right tub. Or I can reuse the same ziplock over and over. Glad wrap's just so good at keeping dough in good condition.

A problem I have in life is lack of freezer space. I posted a pic earlier in the thread, it's two shelves above our small size fridge. If everything was in proper freezer safe boxes and stacked neatly it would be a hell of a lot easier to get things in and out. Our dog used to run from the kitchen when we opened the freezer because he knew that's when the bombs started falling and mummy got cross.

Frozen veg is often quite cheap (I guess since it's the in season price all year round and you don't pay for the skin, stalks etc?) so that would be a negative of, for example, buying a head of brocolli and chopping it up and storing in a box.

Also - shelling peas - who has time for that? I'm already spending a lot more time in the kitchen and some point I'm going to hit a low spoons day. I need to figure out how the zero waste people are just getting shit done in life without convenience goods. Even with lots of spoons there's only so many hours in the day, you know? It feels like my entire weekend was spent shopping or prepping food or cleaning up.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: katscratch on February 04, 2018, 05:17:59 PM
Most of the zero waste stories I've followed that seem to keep it going have access to fresh food markets close by their homes. I know when I lived across the street from a food co-op I almost never had packaging of any type used for food, and I shopped every couple of days instead of weekly as I do now.

Frozen vegetables especially are a tricky one - they tend to taste better and have more nutrients than trucked-from-afar 'fresh' vegetables in my area this time of year. I think this summer I'm going to experiment with freezing veggies in jars with a vacuum sealer to hopefully prevent freezer burn (I have a handheld sealer).
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: SAfAmBrit on February 04, 2018, 06:38:23 PM

For toilet paper we have a great company here called Who Gives A Crap. It's mail order so you buy in bulk and it comes wrapped in paper. There used to be a company that sold paper wrapped toilet rolls at the supermarket I don't know if they still exist here. These are all made from recycled paper.

For tissues, you might consider cloth hankies? I'm going to make the switch at some point... Sounds like you'd need to buy 20 tho :)

I am am using who gives a crap bamboo rolls. Please join us in asking them to stop using the middle cardboard roll if you do buy. So unnecessary! They send 48 rolls at a time in a box = no plastic. - lasts us about 6 months.

I am using bamboo toothbrushes - I am enjoying the brand wowee. There was no plastic wrapping. Still have to throw the bristles though. My toothpaste I make with with 2 tablespoons baking soda, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and 15 drops food grade peppermint essential oils.

Everyone is doing so awesome!
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 04, 2018, 06:57:28 PM

For toilet paper we have a great company here called Who Gives A Crap. It's mail order so you buy in bulk and it comes wrapped in paper. There used to be a company that sold paper wrapped toilet rolls at the supermarket I don't know if they still exist here. These are all made from recycled paper.

For tissues, you might consider cloth hankies? I'm going to make the switch at some point... Sounds like you'd need to buy 20 tho :)

I am am using who gives a crap bamboo rolls. Please join us in asking them to stop using the middle cardboard roll if you do buy. So unnecessary! They send 48 rolls at a time in a box = no plastic. - lasts us about 6 months.

I am using bamboo toothbrushes - I am enjoying the brand wowee. There was no plastic wrapping. Still have to throw the bristles though. My toothpaste I make with with 2 tablespoons baking soda, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and 15 drops food grade peppermint essential oils.

Everyone is doing so awesome!

The inner cardboard tubes make excellent dog toys though!

I'm not a massive fan of mint so I had this idea: what if I use baking soda & salt, then chew on a sprig of parsley that we could keep in the bathroom. Parsley is a great breath freshener, should you ever accidentally eat too much garlic or fish sauce.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 05, 2018, 03:56:13 AM
DAY 5 RESULTS!

Avoided plastic by:
- Being just about organised enough (by the skin of my teeth) to make lunch instead of buying it.
- Hubby used his keep cup for coffee

Whoopsies:
- Had to buy milk in a plastic bottle because I haven't yet been to the no-packaging store to buy milk powder. I'm thinking that to make it easier on myself I may just buy a big thing of milk powder in a plastic bag to start off with. The supermarket is just so much easier to get to as I can pop in on my way somewhere. One bag is so much less plastic than multiple bottles, and at least I can be fairly confident it will get recycled domestically. A step towards no plastic we shall call it.

Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 06, 2018, 06:21:50 PM
DAY 6 RESULTS!

Avoided plastic by
:

- Getting a gift of a shitload of cherry tomatoes that were from a farm stall that were about to go off. No punnet, although they did come in a plastic shopping bag as some were split and leaky. I made gallons of pasta sauce so that's a few plastic tubs and glass jars avoided.
- Buying 1kg of milk powder in a plastic bag that replaces 7 litres of milk in plastic bottles, so a trade off. The ingredients contain soy as an additive, which is a bit of a bummer but I'll see how it tastes.
- Buying more meat with just paper wrapping.

Whoopsies:
- Also bought a 3 litre bottle of milk in plastic. Hey, I was already busy making gallons of tomato sauce without figuring out how to reconstitute the milk too.
- I drove to the packaging free shop again and the nearest car park and on street parking was full so I gave up! There is a chain place in a shopping centre so I'm just going to go there. I think you have to use paper bags for your stuff but it's still better I suppose.

We are going away at the weekend so that creates a whole nother set of challenges. I'll bring plastic free breakfast stuff, and I can buy or make bread rolls plastic free before we leave to take for sandwiches, and we will probably eat out both evenings. It's a 6 hr road trip so I'm not overly keen on bringing much that needs to stay cold but will bring a bit of cheese and yoghurt to avoid buying plastic. We'll take our keep cups for coffees. Am I forgetting anything?


Other thoughts today:
https://www.facebook.com/anita.the.writer/posts/1791555574252218
I hope this link works. Anti-plastic blogger, Anita Horan, does not shop at packaging free stores because she says they fill the bins from plastic containers anyway. I don't really agree with her as surely the use of one big bag or container is better than multiple little ones - won't there be in total a lower square metre of plastic created? I think if I use large volumes of something and can store it (flour, oats, vinegar?) then I'm better off buying in bulk, regardless of the packaging, both to save money and packaging. For little quantities of things (tea, seeds, nuts) I can shop at the packaging free store.

ETA: I useful thing I found out on the FB post above is that Nerada loose leaf tea may come with no plastic inner. Something to try.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 06, 2018, 06:23:45 PM
Where does she buy her bulk goods if not from packaging free shops, then?!
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 06, 2018, 06:33:04 PM
Where does she buy her bulk goods if not from packaging free shops, then?!

She just buys her grains etc in plastic bags from the supermarket. I don't think she's really thought this through, I think it's just a bit too hard - which is fair enough, I'm finding it a right ball ache getting round the different shops and having to have containers ready if you're just nearby and want to pop in etc etc. But still, plastic free is her whole thing.

ETA: I went and had another look at her page. I think her mission is to convince companies not to wrap things in plastic e.g. bread, fruit and veg. To make it standard practice so the average person is not buying lots of plastic. It's not like it's her mission to rid her own life entirely of plastic as such.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: palebluedot on February 06, 2018, 06:53:58 PM
Great job everyone. This is something I'm starting to tackle and realized it's going to be a year (life) long challenge but I think it's worth it. I've been reading Beth Terry's blog the last few days. Hope it helps people pick up more tips!

https://myplasticfreelife.com/plasticfreeguide/
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 06, 2018, 08:12:23 PM
Great job everyone. This is something I'm starting to tackle and realized it's going to be a year (life) long challenge but I think it's worth it. I've been reading Beth Terry's blog the last few days. Hope it helps people pick up more tips!

https://myplasticfreelife.com/plasticfreeguide/

Hello and thanks for the link. 100 ideas to reduce plastic is great - I've already seen one or two I should do and I haven't read the whole thing.

Taking a container to get takeaway I can definitely do - it assumes you're not phoning the order in ahead so will take a little bit more time while you wait. Also, if you're getting chips, don't they use their box as a sort of measure of how much to give you? I'm wondering if it might be a big ask on a busy Friday... Can but try. Two out of three of my local fish and chip / burger places I *think* from memory use card boxes for the chips not foam so can use this tip to reduce all my waste not just plastic.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: mountain mustache on February 06, 2018, 09:04:17 PM
I saw someone mention deodorant options that do not come in plastic, and I love love love Schmidt's natural deodorant that comes in a glass jar. It does have a hard plastic screw top lid, BUT I reuse the jars forever for other things once I finish one so I consider it somewhat of a win. Also it is the only natural deodorant I've found that doesn't burn my skin, and also actually WORKS, and doesn't leave me feeling gross and smelly like so many other kinds
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: kaypinkHH on February 07, 2018, 05:15:27 AM
PTF :).
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 07, 2018, 03:50:20 PM
DAY 7 RESULTS!

I bought coffee beans in a paper bag with a lining. I have yet to investigate exactly what it's made off but there is probably plastic in there. Better than an all plastic bag?

Other than that, no plastic crossed our threshold!

I did a reccy of local shops to check out the bread situation as I forgot to set the breadmaker in the morning. I can't get anything plastic free at my very local shops but the village centre ten mins walk away has 2 shops that sell loaves in paper bags. Good to know.

My bicarb of soda (baking soda) deodorant seems to be going ok. No irritation and I don't seem that stinky compared to my normal deo that was a bit shit anyway.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 09, 2018, 03:52:49 PM
DAY 8 & 9 RESULTS!

I was unexpectedly called away for a few hours on Thursday morning. Five minutes down the road I must have  had a premonition about how long I'd be out because I turned around to go back and get my water bottle that I'd forgotten. Even though I was starving, I didn't stop for a prepackaged snack anywhere. I survived. If I'd seen a bakery I would have stopped and got a sausage roll in a paper bag :)

My food prep for our weekend away was non-existent as I had unexpected things come up on Friday morning as well! We ate at a bakery on the way down here and used keep cups for coffee. I asked at the bakery if they could sell me a loaf without plastic but they didn't have any left unpackaged, so no sale for them. To be fair they were almost totally sold out of everything.

We experimented with powdered milk. We got the full fat Coles one. It's kind of thin but also creamy, like sticking to your mouth creamy. I think it's ok for cereal but in a coffee it impacted the enjoyment. It heated up quicker than normal milk, probably because it's not as complex or something, and it did make a foam, so it looked the part. I don't think we'd buy it again. Hubby wants to try the skim version and I'll also get a bulk shop version to compare. When we get back I will try making kefir and yoghurt with it.


Other thoughts:
I was thinking about razors yesterday. I don't shave all that much so we are talking one plastic razor lasting months but it would be nice to have a reusable one. Does anyone have a no-plastic one? How does it go with underarms (ie heavy man sized razor, fiddly location, does it work logistically?)

I've also been thinking about public attitudes towards waste and whether they might be changing. I feel like they are but I might be living in a greenie echo chamber. A few years ago someone opened a plastic free shop in my suburb. It closed within a year, I assume from lack of business but I wonder if today it would get more support. The packaging-free co-op a bit further away survives because it's staffed by volunteers who get 20% off their shopping. Chains like The Source survive I don't know how.



In a while I will venture out and see how much packaging free food I can buy in this small town. My money's on there being maximum packaging because it's been transported some distance. I hope there's a bakery selling hot cross buns.

Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 09, 2018, 07:08:54 PM
Well we brought along our own ground coffee on our holiday but I didn't think about tea...
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: CalBal on February 11, 2018, 09:43:26 AM
DAY 8 & 9 RESULTS!

Other thoughts:
I was thinking about razors yesterday. I don't shave all that much so we are talking one plastic razor lasting months but it would be nice to have a reusable one. Does anyone have a no-plastic one? How does it go with underarms (ie heavy man sized razor, fiddly location, does it work logistically?)


Yes! I used to have a metal safety double edge razor (I really need to get a new one). Nowadays they are quite easy to find, which wasn't so true 10 years ago. I don't recall which brand I had, but they work really well, and there's no plastic involved*. You can get new ones or restored vintage ones. Here's a helpful article!

http://www.iconicshavers.com/best-safety-razors-for-women/

*Many of the blades you can buy are wrapped in paper too. You might need to use trial and error to find a brand you like and that come in paper.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Serendip on February 11, 2018, 10:02:59 AM
Having a hard time finding certain items (fresh herbs) that aren't packed in plastic. Might have to investigate building a small hydroponic station so I can grow them inside during these winter months!

This year, have not used any disposable coffee cups and no plastic straws. We have reduced our garbage waste and now take out the bin only 1x/month. :)
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Linea_Norway on February 12, 2018, 02:41:54 AM
Yesterday I met a woman who had brought her own reusable tea bag to an event. I told her I only use loose tea at home, but she saw reasons to bring it along at other places as well. That was impressive.
I almost wanted to tell her about the concept of reusable menstrual pads, but thought that might be inappropriate in that setting... ;-)
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 12, 2018, 07:12:59 PM
Having a hard time finding certain items (fresh herbs) that aren't packed in plastic. Might have to investigate building a small hydroponic station so I can grow them inside during these winter months!

This year, have not used any disposable coffee cups and no plastic straws. We have reduced our garbage waste and now take out the bin only 1x/month. :)

Congrats on the cups and straws! Hubby has managed to just use one coffee cup in Feb. Growing your own herbs sounds like a good idea. It's so much more cost effective too when you only need a few sprigs. Mint and oregano and particularly weed like and easy. Thyme I find a bit more prissy but it is at least a perennial. In our supermarkets we can normally buy herbs growing in a pot so at least if they are annuals you can keep them alive til you need them eg. basil.


DAY 10, 11, 12 RESULTS!

So we were away for a couple of days and we didn't do *too* badly, although it was mostly a cheat because we ate out all the lunches and dinners. Minus points - on the way home we of course were not organised, our planned plastic free dinner stop had closed for the day and we ended up with a servo sandwich in a plastic box. Ah well. I also didn't think to bring loose leaf tea so used teabags. On the plus side - the place we stayed had packaging free soap and the loose dishwasher powder etc looked like it was refilled from bulk containers.

Yesterday I avoided plastic by buying milk in a glass bottle and making up a batch of milk powder milk too. We had the milk powder milk on our cereal and I must say, it's not good. Such a weird taste. The milk was the same brand I had before but this time I was able to shake the bottle to mix through the cream instead of having lumps. Yay!

Overall, I am still all over the place and not planning things out very well!

I'm also trying out a new app called Y Waste where you buy food at cost that businesses are chucking out. This will inevitably lead to some plastics coming into the house as I can't pick what I take home, but the aim of the app is to reduce food waste. I think I will have to test it out to see where I *can* successfully use it plastic free. I am quite hopeful that I can get and freeze a bunch of fancy bread from a bakery that does not use plastic near-ish me at a fraction of the cost. We will see.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 12, 2018, 07:14:32 PM
DAY 8 & 9 RESULTS!

Other thoughts:
I was thinking about razors yesterday. I don't shave all that much so we are talking one plastic razor lasting months but it would be nice to have a reusable one. Does anyone have a no-plastic one? How does it go with underarms (ie heavy man sized razor, fiddly location, does it work logistically?)


Yes! I used to have a metal safety double edge razor (I really need to get a new one). Nowadays they are quite easy to find, which wasn't so true 10 years ago. I don't recall which brand I had, but they work really well, and there's no plastic involved*. You can get new ones or restored vintage ones. Here's a helpful article!

http://www.iconicshavers.com/best-safety-razors-for-women/

*Many of the blades you can buy are wrapped in paper too. You might need to use trial and error to find a brand you like and that come in paper.


Thanks, I will look at these options. Do you ever sharpen blades or just dispose of them?
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 12, 2018, 07:17:28 PM
Yesterday I met a woman who had brought her own reusable tea bag to an event. I told her I only use loose tea at home, but she saw reasons to bring it along at other places as well. That was impressive.
I almost wanted to tell her about the concept of reusable menstrual pads, but thought that might be inappropriate in that setting... ;-)

Yeah, a bit much for a first meeting, unless it's a periods conference! Did she have a little baggy to carry the wet tea bag home again?
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 12, 2018, 11:48:51 PM
CHEESE...

I buy my cheese in 1kg blocks because it's cheaper and requires less plastic packaging per gram of cheese. I'm still using the block I bought in January, but I saw this fancy cheese reduced to clear and thought I'd buy to see what the packaging is. I've also seen butter in this sort of foil.

Anyway - it scrunched like foil, so could well be recyclable (we can put a big ball of aluminium foil in our recycling) but it's got this sort of greaseproof paper on the inside. I reckon when the cheese is finished I could try and soak off the paper and see if the worms will eat it but it's probably plastic coated. Therefore this is not much different to buying cheese in normal plastic really, is it? Bummer.

 
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Linea_Norway on February 13, 2018, 01:20:53 AM
Yesterday I met a woman who had brought her own reusable tea bag to an event. I told her I only use loose tea at home, but she saw reasons to bring it along at other places as well. That was impressive.
I almost wanted to tell her about the concept of reusable menstrual pads, but thought that might be inappropriate in that setting... ;-)

Yeah, a bit much for a first meeting, unless it's a periods conference! Did she have a little baggy to carry the wet tea bag home again?

No, she let the reusable bag dry in her hand and put it right in the pocket of her vest. She said it was surprisingly dry.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 13, 2018, 03:41:13 PM
Spreading the message with humour...

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156284619950712&id=287683225711

Plus a feel good article about glass milk bottles. I hope reusables return!

http://amp.abc.net.au/article/9442394
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: CalBal on February 13, 2018, 04:26:27 PM
Thanks, I will look at these options. Do you ever sharpen blades or just dispose of them?

Hi @Fresh Bread, you dispose of them. They are very thin double edged blades (100% metal) but I don't think they are sharpen-able. I don't really think there is a way to recycle them as that would be dangerous, but when you think about it, the disposable blades have metal in them also and are not recyclable either. You can dispose of them in a sharps bin, if one is available somewhere nearby, but I usually save them up in an old plastic container until I have a whole bunch and tape them in some cardboard or something and throw that away. You don't want someone getting cut by them. I also use them for longer than you are "supposed" to, so they last a while.

(Straight blades are sharpen-able, those are the razors you see in old-timey movies (and some people still do use them today, some people say they are the best!), but I don't think you can use them on legs and armpits. Also they are crazy sharp, I would be a little afraid!)

I ended up ordering a new Merkur after all this talk! And a variety pack of blades to see what I like. From when I had the metal safety razor last time, there definitely are differences in the brands of blades. I don't remember what I liked best though. I'll report more when that stuff comes!
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 14, 2018, 06:57:15 PM
Thanks, I will look at these options. Do you ever sharpen blades or just dispose of them?

Hi @Fresh Bread, you dispose of them. They are very thin double edged blades (100% metal) but I don't think they are sharpen-able. I don't really think there is a way to recycle them as that would be dangerous, but when you think about it, the disposable blades have metal in them also and are not recyclable either. You can dispose of them in a sharps bin, if one is available somewhere nearby, but I usually save them up in an old plastic container until I have a whole bunch and tape them in some cardboard or something and throw that away. You don't want someone getting cut by them. I also use them for longer than you are "supposed" to, so they last a while.

(Straight blades are sharpen-able, those are the razors you see in old-timey movies (and some people still do use them today, some people say they are the best!), but I don't think you can use them on legs and armpits. Also they are crazy sharp, I would be a little afraid!)

I ended up ordering a new Merkur after all this talk! And a variety pack of blades to see what I like. From when I had the metal safety razor last time, there definitely are differences in the brands of blades. I don't remember what I liked best though. I'll report more when that stuff comes!

Straight blades and underarms definitely would not mix. Thanks for the tips.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 14, 2018, 07:27:07 PM
DAY 13,14,15 RESULTS!

I avoided plastic by:
- shopping at the local packaging free co-op (finally!) using my own containers
- buying pasta in a box, although it does have a tiny tiny plastic window so you can see the shape.
- buying yoghurt in a jar - normally very, very expensive but I got lucky*

The co-op was good, but the range is quite limited so it's not somewhere you can buy everything and the prices are literally double the supermarket. They were out of black tea and they don't sell plain old white vinegar for cleaning or any milk powders. I forgot sultanas possibly because they don't stock them but I'm not 100%. The good news is that they may be getting some packaging free cheese in stock soon so I'd go back just for that.

The thing about buying boxed items like pasta is, you never know if they went with a plastic bag inside or not. It is trial and error I think finding the right products.

Plastic that sneaked in:
- Hubby is buying treats for at work in plastic still, like hot cross buns. I can't see him baking at the weekends and I don't really want to do it myself on top of all the from-scratch cooking and extra shopping :( He is keen to make other tasks 'his thing' though, like making up the milk powder.
- I bought 2 litres of vinegar for cleaning & weedkiller
- I bought another 3 litre milk - well, it was heavily discounted.
- one bread loaf in plastic*

* I downloaded an app that helps businesses offload their food waste at the end of the day, to avoid putting in the bin. The customer gets a huge discount on the food but you have to collect it in a specific time window (normally an hour just before they close). I collected a big box of organic groceries for just $10 this week, and the value of it is well over $20. There was yoghurt, bread, fruit and veg, and the only thing in plastic is the bread (sprouted wheat, it's a first for us!) I'm thinking of stopping by a bakery that's on the app today that I know avoids plastic bags if I have time, but I've got limited freezer space.

Also on my to-do list is to visit another packaging free store to get sultanas and coconut milk powder. And then on to the plastic free butchers. Just so many places. Tonight for dinner is plastic free tom ka gai - chicken, coconut milk, veggies, ginger, lemongrass (from the garden!), lime juice, fish sauce (ok, the bottle has a plastic cap but I nearly made it!).

ETA: I made it to the butchers and the packaging free shop but not the bakers. The packaging free shop  (The Source) did not have milk powder. Apparently it's on order. Boo. I'm really going to have to make some oat milk....
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: wordnerd on February 15, 2018, 07:22:46 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/15/world/europe/lent-plastic-church-of-england.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: palebluedot on February 15, 2018, 08:22:27 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/15/world/europe/lent-plastic-church-of-england.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur

Awesome news! BBC itself will stop using single plastic use by 2020: https://futurism.com/plastic-ban-bbc-blue-planet-ii/

I've been doing research on sustainable toothbrushes. I might try Brush with Bamboo and see how it is. I'd like a one-time purchase though and indiegogo has some interesting projects. What do people think of the Amabrush or Be.?

https://www.indiegogo.com/explore/all?project_type=all&project_timing=all&sort=trending&q=toothbrush
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 15, 2018, 09:40:31 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/15/world/europe/lent-plastic-church-of-england.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur

Awesome!

BBC itself will stop using single plastic use by 2020: https://futurism.com/plastic-ban-bbc-blue-planet-ii/

I've been doing research on sustainable toothbrushes. I might try Brush with Bamboo and see how it is. I'd like a one-time purchase though and indiegogo has some interesting projects. What do people think of the Amabrush or Be.?

https://www.indiegogo.com/explore/all?project_type=all&project_timing=all&sort=trending&q=toothbrush

I had a look at Brush with Bamboo. I don't know why they need that annoying bit of corn starch packaging but I like how they have reuse ideas for the handle! Yep it would be good to buy something just once, I will look at those ones later.

I don't wear out bristles very quickly so maybe I should just boil my toothbrush for 10 mins every couple of months and keep it much longer.. Hubby gets through one in a month! (I have no idea what he's doing and his dentist has told him to go easy.)

Some people gargle with oil instead of brushing, I think someone mentions it upthread. That's a big leap tho. Maybe gargling but then eating an apple would work. I met someone once that ate an apple every morning instead of brushing.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: palebluedot on February 18, 2018, 04:18:53 PM
There's also the Environmental Toothbrush: https://environmentaltoothbrush.com.au/

Shipping cost would be high for me though since I'm in the states. Seems to be same quality as Brush with Bamboo. If you do find a one-time purchase let us know :-)
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: luciep on February 18, 2018, 05:51:20 PM
They have some wooden toothbrushes on the Life Without Plastic website https://www.lifewithoutplastic.com/store/brush-with-bamboo-adult-toothbrush.html (https://www.lifewithoutplastic.com/store/brush-with-bamboo-adult-toothbrush.html) as well.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 18, 2018, 10:11:42 PM
Freshie, there's also Toothcrush which is a subscription service for bamboo toothbrushes in Aus.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: luciep on February 21, 2018, 07:51:51 AM
We went to Olive Garden last week (not my place of choice, but we were invited to a birthday party over there). We asked for no straws for everybody. But the birthday girl "needed" a straw for her chocolate milk (which had a lid) and her mom "needed" a straw as well to drink her diet coke. The waiter ended up bringing straws for everybody and throwing the extra ones in the trash. At least I tried...

A few days later, we had dinner at our favorite place (we eat there at least once a month). When I asked the lady for a water with no straw, she laughed. I wonder what was funny about that. But hopefully I started a new trend...

I showed the birthday girl a video of the turtle that had a straw stuck in a her nose. She was impressed. I hope she will start asking for "no straw" every time she eats out. We shall see.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 21, 2018, 03:41:11 PM
Good work Luciep! Being the change and showing people that it's possible to be different to what's been the norm is really important. I think gradually it will sink in.

And Aerynlee! Yeah, I don't recall anyone ever dying from dehydration at the movies. It's probably just habit that we feel we need something to drink and snack on.

LONG OVERDUE UPDATE!

I can't remember where I got up to.. We both had a busy and tiring Saturday so I ordered UberEats for dinner. I chose I place that I know packages the food in a paper box. They've switched to recycled so that's cool.

I've continued to buy 3 litre bottles of milk in plastic but we are supplementing that with milk powder and milk in glass bottles so the number of bottles coming through is much lower. I haven't bought any non-dairy milks in tetra-pak cartons. None of the three packaging free shops in my area have milk powder but one has it on order but I have still not attempted to make my own non-dairy milk....!

I got another food waste box last night. Again there was one item in plastic so not too bad. It wasn't as good a haul as the previous one but ok. I'm trying to get to the bakers on the same app today.

The last news is that I've ordered a few more non-plastic things online. Being no plastic is not necessarily frugal! I'm trying a glass jar deodorant, hubby's getting a bamboo toothbrush and bamboo cotton buds. I've also ordered a variety of reusable menstrual things to try to go with the cloth pads.

I've also ordered a bread bag to shop & store no-plastic bread. It's obviously something I could have done without but it's made of recycled plastic so I've closed the loop a bit. Our largest chain of bakers (Baker's Delight) is no longer allowing people to use their own bags!! But they do have large paper bags if you ask.

I just went and bought a toothpaste in plastic because I couldn't find an easy alternative and there's too much going on right now to ask enough questions and get answers before we run out. Eg I'm keen to try a powder but need to find one in glass.

Attached is a pic of my plastics bin on bin day. It's normally at least 3/4 full and it's only a 1/4 full. Whoo!


Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 21, 2018, 04:18:43 PM
Yay Freshie! That's awesome!

Milk - you've probably already looked into this, but cashew milk doesn't need to be strained, so that's a bit easier than almond milk if you're feeling overwhelmed.

I can't believe Baker's Delight doesn't allow you to use your own bag. Do they not understand that everything is moving in that direction now?!
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 21, 2018, 04:38:24 PM
Yay Freshie! That's awesome!

Milk - you've probably already looked into this, but cashew milk doesn't need to be strained, so that's a bit easier than almond milk if you're feeling overwhelmed.

I can't believe Baker's Delight doesn't allow you to use your own bag. Do they not understand that everything is moving in that direction now?!

I think technically if you keep your bag on your side of the counter and they hand you the bread it could be ok but people who get their bread sliced are struggling. It's to do with contamination risks but that's just a load of crap, there's pigeons and sparrows flying through most shopping centres ffs. It couldn't possibly be gluten / gluten free contamination risks as they don't even sell GF do they? I think they could redeem themselves by switching from plastic bags to only paper but that's a big cost increase for them.

Plastic is something I can't unsee now. Plus I am quietly judging people who have plastic bags now, I can't help myself. In fact, I already did but now it's worse.

ETA: I do have a few cashews left so maybe I can blend them up tonight.

Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: katscratch on February 21, 2018, 06:00:00 PM
I don't know if they are available in your area, but I've used sea sponges instead of tampons. I absolutely loved them. On really heavy or unpredictable days I also used a cloth pad as a backup but found the sponges to be perfect for my body.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 21, 2018, 06:40:43 PM
I don't know if they are available in your area, but I've used sea sponges instead of tampons. I absolutely loved them. On really heavy or unpredictable days I also used a cloth pad as a backup but found the sponges to be perfect for my body.

Interesting! I actually have a bit of a irrational phobia about plastic being dirty so I don't like putting it in my mouth or anywhere else! I will investigate but I'm assuming it's a fairly messy experience?
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: katscratch on February 21, 2018, 09:41:01 PM
The first few times, yes, definitely more messy than disposable items. Once I got used to them I found them less messy to handle than tampons as far as insertion/removal. The package insert suggested threading a piece of dental floss through for people who wanted a string for removal. I can't remember if I tried that - I pretty quickly got the hang of when and how to remove them so they weren't overly saturated.

Cleaning them was weird the first few times - I'd never used a reusable product before that. But within a couple of cycles it felt normal. My body physically felt SO much better using these than any disposable product I'd ever tried, I think I would've still used them even if the cleaning process bothered me.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 21, 2018, 09:59:59 PM
And how do you clean them?
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: katscratch on February 22, 2018, 04:47:51 PM
Sooooo it's been years since I've had a period (chemically stopped due to debilitating pain and fatigue) and it looks like sea sponges are no longer able to be sold for that use due to not being able to control potential health risks. Which makes sense being as they are a formerly living organism with a bunch of pores for bacteria/yeast/fungus to hang out in.

During the day I just rinsed them in tap water, then at night soaked in a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution and boiled them in distilled water.

I always had moderate to severe internal irritation from traditional tampons, even the organic cotton types, and never had even mild dryness or itching from the sea sponges. The company I bought mine from farmed them in a lab setting so I felt just fine as far as safety - it looks like they no longer exist, at least not under the same name.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 22, 2018, 05:10:21 PM
This isn't plastic free, but for people who want to do hair removal and can't/don't want to do waxing, sugaring etc, I have found razors made from recycled plastic. The company will recycle them for you if you post them back, too!

Recycled plastic razors. (https://www.floraandfauna.com.au/preserve-triple-razor-100-recycled-plastic/)

That site has a lot of great stuff - think we'll be ordering some household items I had been holding back on due to indecision around plastic options.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 22, 2018, 05:50:40 PM
This isn't plastic free, but for people who want to do hair removal and can't/don't want to do waxing, sugaring etc, I have found razors made from recycled plastic. The company will recycle them for you if you post them back, too!

Recycled plastic razors. (https://www.floraandfauna.com.au/preserve-triple-razor-100-recycled-plastic/)

That site has a lot of great stuff - think we'll be ordering some household items I had been holding back on due to indecision around plastic options.

That is a great idea! All my other stuff is from the site. I wish there was an Aussie company doing what Preserve do. Makes me want to start one.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Plina on February 24, 2018, 06:09:40 AM
Yesterday I met a woman who had brought her own reusable tea bag to an event. I told her I only use loose tea at home, but she saw reasons to bring it along at other places as well. That was impressive.
I almost wanted to tell her about the concept of reusable menstrual pads, but thought that might be inappropriate in that setting... ;-)

Yeah, a bit much for a first meeting, unless it's a periods conference! Did she have a little baggy to carry the wet tea bag home again?

No, she let the reusable bag dry in her hand and put it right in the pocket of her vest. She said it was surprisingly dry.

Instead of bags I use these: http://www.ikea.com/se/sv/catalog/products/46956800/
You can empty them in the compost or trash and without no plastic.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: CalBal on February 25, 2018, 04:33:17 PM
Razor and blades arrived, some pics attached if you're interest.

With these razors you unscrew the handle, separate the 2 pieces that are the head, place the blade in between, put the 2 pieces of the head back together and then screw the handle back on. Really simple. Last pic the poorly drawn yellow arrow is pointing to the edge of the blade just peeking out from the head. You use both sides with this type of razor.

I bought a "variety pack" of blades to see which I liked best (someone is making a killing!), because they definitely differ. The papers protecting each blade I think are coated with a kind of wax, presumably to protect it from rusting or whatnot. Better than all the plastic of a normal safety razor I suppose, even the kind with just the disposable head.

With these types of razors it is important to make sure they don't sit in water. The razor itself will be fine but the blade will rust if given long enough. (I suppose that might be true with any razor?)

I haven't used it yet but weight and size is really nice. The last time I had this type of razor it worked really well and I liked it a lot.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 25, 2018, 05:27:47 PM
Thanks for sharing the pics!

There's only a few days left of the challenge and hubby has already intimated he will be buying frozen mash in a bag when the month is out! Since I do most of the shopping, hopefully I can hold off as long as possible!

I really hope we can stick to some things. I'm going to come up with a list of hopefully permanent changes that have been made, plus maybe a list of work in progress (cough*nut milk*cough).
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: palebluedot on February 25, 2018, 07:49:25 PM
I've been using the Merkur Safety Razor for 3 years now. It's really nice! The only thing is the shaving soap I use comes in a plastic bowl (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C8A2NHS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Has anyone found an alternative to shaving soap suitable for safety razors that comes in non-plastic container?

Last week I ordered a 24-pack of toilet paper that comes in cardboard box for $20. The store bought always comes in a plastic wrap and buying individual toilet paper is expensive. I ordered from here: https://us.whogivesacrap.org/products/100-recycled-toilet-paper-jumbo-rolls
If anyone wants $10 credit to their order here's my referral (i'll receive a $10 credit too): https://www.talkable.com/x/hn3LkJ

Taiwan becomes latest city to set a timeline for plastic elimination: https://www.ecowatch.com/taiwan-plastics-ban-2535001646.html
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 25, 2018, 09:57:36 PM
I've been using the Merkur Safety Razor for 3 years now. It's really nice! The only thing is the shaving soap I use comes in a plastic bowl (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C8A2NHS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Has anyone found an alternative to shaving soap suitable for safety razors that comes in non-plastic container?

Last week I ordered a 24-pack of toilet paper that comes in cardboard box for $20. The store bought always comes in a plastic wrap and buying individual toilet paper is expensive. I ordered from here: https://us.whogivesacrap.org/products/100-recycled-toilet-paper-jumbo-rolls
If anyone wants $10 credit to their order here's my referral (i'll receive a $10 credit too): https://www.talkable.com/x/hn3LkJ

Taiwan becomes latest city to set a timeline for plastic elimination: https://www.ecowatch.com/taiwan-plastics-ban-2535001646.html

I don't know if it's suitable for the safety razor but I use hair conditioner for shaving. I haven't bought a conditioner bar yet (I'm still using a v big bottle) but I assume I'd be able to use it just as well.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: CalBal on February 25, 2018, 10:17:22 PM
I've been using the Merkur Safety Razor for 3 years now. It's really nice! The only thing is the shaving soap I use comes in a plastic bowl (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C8A2NHS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Has anyone found an alternative to shaving soap suitable for safety razors that comes in non-plastic container?

Last week I ordered a 24-pack of toilet paper that comes in cardboard box for $20. The store bought always comes in a plastic wrap and buying individual toilet paper is expensive. I ordered from here: https://us.whogivesacrap.org/products/100-recycled-toilet-paper-jumbo-rolls
If anyone wants $10 credit to their order here's my referral (i'll receive a $10 credit too): https://www.talkable.com/x/hn3LkJ

Taiwan becomes latest city to set a timeline for plastic elimination: https://www.ecowatch.com/taiwan-plastics-ban-2535001646.html

I don't know if it's suitable for the safety razor but I use hair conditioner for shaving. I haven't bought a conditioner bar yet (I'm still using a v big bottle) but I assume I'd be able to use it just as well.

I do sometimes use shaving cream if my parents visit and my father leaves some, but I also use just bar soap. Actual soap, not the stuff you get at the supermarket produced by big corporations. I buy goat milk soap, sometimes from a goat rescue place and sometimes from the farmer's market. It's generally unpackaged except for a paper sleeve (maybe secured with tape). One of these days I'll get around to learning how to make it myself...
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 27, 2018, 11:34:46 PM
February wrap up

Well I'm glad I chose the shortest month for a challenge. The hardest bit has been making extra time to visit about 5 shops (all in different locations/ shopping centres) instead of one - not just for bulk foods, butcher, baker etc but when you think you're going to be able to get something plastic free and can't. For example, I've run out of paracetamol so I'd decided I would buy the bottle in preference to a blister pack... the bottles were sold out at the supermarket, so I have to wait or go somewhere else. That seems to happen a lot with all different items. What's hard is not giving in and buying the plastic wrapped thing that *is* available right then and there, but I really mustn't if I want to send a message to retailers. Cooking more from scratch hasn't been that bad as it's only an extra ten mins to chop a few veg once you have them in the house, for example and the bread maker, yoghurt etc are v quick once you're in the routine. Setting reminders and doing a meal plan will be key to keeping this up. I find the extra time washing the reusable things a bit of a pain right now but I will get used to it.

Our plastic container recycling is greatly reduced as is our soft plastic recycling - it's probably about half but we are still emptying packets from pre-February. Our glass recycling hasn't really gone up because jars and bottles are are so handy and reusable.

I haven't been properly recording the dollar impact. I've spent about $200 on reusable things, and I have more to spend on decent reusable containers for the freezer i.e. oblong shaped plastic and pyrex tubs. I'm on the hunt for freebies and cheap second hand things, but trips to the op shop are just an extra trip I can't face right now!!

Here's some changes that I've made that I can see sticking:
- Being totally religious about not accepting plastic bags at the shops. e.g. today for some reason I only brought one reusable bag with me when I knew I needed to do a 'proper shop'. I asked the checkout girl to just give me the big things to put in the trolley instead of using a plastic bag.
- Using deodorant in glass containers / or bicarb / or none.
- Avoiding face wash in plastic containers by just using water and face cloths instead. Instead of shower gel I use bar soap.
- I've bought a few reusable cloth pads and ModiBodi all-in-one pants (not tried the latter yet). Between those two I think I should be ok although I find the cloth pads slip out of place and so aren't really suitable for all situations.
- Bamboo cotton buds and toothbrushes - well, we can afford them so why not. I've given up using cotton buds but hubby won't so this is a good solution.
- Choosing cordials, mixers, spreads & sauces in the glass bottle/ jar option. And there pretty much always is one in a larger supermarket. They are more expensive but glass is more costly to transport. It is infinitely recyclable tho so it wins.
- Making bread or buying it in a paper bag from a baker. There seem to be bakers on nearly every street corner so this is not hard.
- Buying meat from a plastic free butcher.

Things I can do sometimes to cut down a bit on plastic:
- Making nut milk - ok, I've made cashew nut milk once but it might be viable to do this once a week to replace the stuff I was buying in containers for our breakfast oats. It wasn't suitable for coffee.
- Using real potato and fresh veg instead of frozen mash and frozen veg. I think we are still going to have frozen peas in bags and probably a bag of that mash for total no spoons emergencies that happen about once a month.
- Buying a bit of dairy in glass - yoghurt, feta, milk are all things that can be bought in glass. They cost considerably more than the plastic packaged versions so these will be a sometimes purchase! I can make yoghurt from milk powder but there seems to be a bit of a shortage of supply for packaging free powder!
- I haven't bought any chocolate, drinks, cereal bars in February but it would be realistic to say I won't be buying any ever! I was given some chocolate and sweets for a gift, I haven't been a saint :)

Things that I'm just going to keep buying in plastic:
- Shampoo & conditioner - I've got one I like (difficult hair!), it's cheap and I only use a tiny bit from a big bottle.
- Toothpaste - it's in the too hard, too weird basket for now. Maybe this will change.
- Most of our milk - I'm going to try to only buy 3L bottles which should slightly reduce the plastic and we should be able to get to a point where it's just for coffee and making cheese & yoghurt.
- Block cheese, soft cheese except feta. I'll just buy the biggest possible pack.
- Cleaning vinegar, Jif, possibly washing detergent, but again, I'll buy the most massive bottles I can.

We didn't do any entertaining this month so we avoided that test but I have made a few snacky things this month with pretty low effort e.g. kale crisps, things for dipping, dips, which could become standards.

On the to-do list:
- Will get a reusable razor when my disposables run out.
- Will try more dairy alternatives with the hope that I can adapt to making a few more things from scratch with bulk bought cashews etc. Although that also raises the problem of finding an ethical source...
- Probably a million other things that just didn't happen to run out this month so I have not even thought about them!

I've probably forgotten heaps and will come back and edit this.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 28, 2018, 01:24:45 AM
I had been pondering the entertaining thing myself, because I always use half a packet of crackers and the other half languishes in the pantry. But it's occurred to me that I could make focaccia, Turkish bread or even damper (damper is appealing because it can be made completely in the breadmaker; it's hard to use the oven during the day with a baby around) and those all go well with homemade dips and/or cheese.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on May 22, 2018, 07:19:36 PM
So Plastic Free July is a thing here, I wonder if it's an international thing? Regardless, I might make a plastic-free gauntlet for July if anyone is keen? I have certainly not kept up everything I did in Feb so could do with a reboot.

Time has been the biggest issue, in that I've lapsed back to buying most things at the supermarket instead of visiting about 6 shops to buy everything I need with minimal packaging.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: HappierAtHome on May 22, 2018, 07:28:00 PM
Would you be interested in people doing "minimising plastic to a new low level" as well as "no plastic"? Because I would commit to the former. Either way, I would enthusiastically cheer you on :D
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on May 22, 2018, 08:14:26 PM
Would you be interested in people doing "minimising plastic to a new low level" as well as "no plastic"? Because I would commit to the former. Either way, I would enthusiastically cheer you on :D

To be honest, I think the plastic free July campaign may have started out as or is pitched to the majority as ditching the plastic shopping bags. So minimising plastic is fine! I don't think I can totally do plastic-free without some cheats, eg buying a 1kg block of cheese in June & putting off some purchases til August. And I'll be using all my existing reusable plastic of course. 
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: chaskavitch on May 23, 2018, 06:35:19 AM
Does anyone have suggestions for buying small amounts of bulk spices?  Our Sprouts has a bulk spice and herb section (which is awesome!), but I don't have any bags that are small enough / well enough sealed for spices, and all they provide are plastic ziplocks. 

I can ask if they'd tare some containers for me at the front before I fill up, but if that fails, does anyone have recommendations for smaller reusable bags for powdery things?
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: dashuk on May 23, 2018, 08:45:39 AM
Interesting thread. Partly posting to follow and have a proper reread when I'm on a proper sized screen.


The menstrual stuff is going to take about a year to pay for itself and that's assuming it all works. But it will create a whole lot less waste. And will the soapnuts struggle to clean them??

We've been using an 'Eco Egg' - https://www.ecoegg.com/product/laundry-egg/ - for a while now. OH has just bought some cloth pads, although not tried yet - but it's been dealing perfectly well with cloth nappies/wipes so don't expect issues.

Don't know what the refills come packaged in, but it's a very rare purchase even if plastic.
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Fresh Bread on June 20, 2018, 05:59:15 PM
I have started the new one here:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/plastic-free-july/
Title: Re: Plastic-free February
Post by: Roadrunner53 on June 24, 2018, 07:32:02 AM
Linda your yoghurt sounds like the bomb. I have an induction stovetop too but milk is a hard thing to control on it. Did you say you used a low low temp, is that the trick?

I use an Easi-Yo thermos thing. You put yoghurt and milk in, hot water in the thermos part and leave for 8 hrs. The milk should be UHT or boiled but I'm going to be trying milk powder. I assume that is totally pasteurised on account of how it's processed & dry.

I took a pic of my plastics recycling. The hard stuff is a mix of glass, plastic and metal but is just a week's worth! The soft plastics for redcycle, I don't know, maybe it's 3 week's worth. Anyway, it's too much! I will start a new bag today and we'll see how we go.

Where can I buy an Easi-Yo thermos? I am in USA and this seems to be a UK product. I also looked on ebay and can't find it. Anyone have a link to purchasing this product?