30-Day No Plastic Challenge – The Results!

So, the last week of my “No Plastic for a Month” challenge and it’s been harder than I anticipated. I didn’t manage to get through the whole month without buying food that had been packaged in plastic: there were three exceptions. I had to make a rice dish for a wedding, and simply could not find rice that didn’t come in plastic packaging (where I live in Suffolk there are no big bulk food suppliers, sadly, not even at large food chain superstores. I shall be writing letters to them all about this.) I also had to buy some hazelnuts and sunflower seeds (vegan diet, my protein intake) and these too were unavailable without plastic.

All in all, I’ve looked at the waste that I produce, and it’s seriously overhauled. I thought I was pretty good at not having too much rubbish to collect every two weeks. I know that even the bag of rubbish that I was throwing out a week was too much, and since the challenge this has reduced to half, or even less than half a bag of rubbish a week. An eye-opener. The plastic that a lot of packaging comes in, the bendy but not stretchy plastic, is not recyclable in my area. I didn’t realise quite how much I was still using.

There is no such thing as “away”. We do not throw our rubbish “away” – it simply ends up in another place. With dwindling oil supplies and the rate that plastic biodegrades, we seriously need to re-evaluate our relationship with it. We do not live in a disposable society, no matter how much marketing in companies try to tell us otherwise. We only have one planet, one place to live, and we must treat that with utmost respect.

I shall continue in my search to find food that isn’t wrapped in plastic, and to keep my waste as low as possible, or even lower. Shopping is now not only concerned with ethical and organic implications, but also packaging to an even higher degree than before. Working on an ethical principle that asks the question, “What if everyone did the same?” is the best guideline I’ve ever come across so far.

To all those who took this challenge with me, well done, and long may you continue. If you’d like, please share your thoughts here on this blog, or write your own blog post and ping back to me – I’d love to hear from you!

Awen blessings,

Jo.x

 

30-Day Plastic Packaging Challenge

For the month of July, I’m issuing myself a challenge – to not buy any food that is packaged in plastic.

The amount of plastic in our lives is just incredible. We don’t realise it half the time – we’ve grown accustomed to it. When we do buy it, with awareness, we know that we will recycle it appropriately. But what if we addressed our need for plastic in the first place? What would the outcome of that be? This is going to be my little experiment.

The dangers of plastic to the environment are legion. When it’s not getting tangled up in the flora and fauna, it’s left to release noxious fumes in vast quantities at disposal sites. It floats in our oceans, causing litter in areas where no human has ever tread.  Two thirds of the EU’s plastic is still being burned or ending up in landfills. Greenhouse gases from these incinerators are unbelievable.

Not to mention that most plastics are made from petrochemicals.  Why support that industry when solar, wind and water could be used?

Plastic in food packaging hasn’t been around long enough to test the long-term effects that it might cause upon our health.  We may very well find that in 50 years, levels that we thought were “safe” from plastic in our food could very well be extremely detrimental to our health.

So, for an entire month, I am going to go plastic-free when it comes to food.  In fact, I’m going to try and reduce ALL packaging as much as possible.  I’ve got the month of June to use up what stock I have in my fridge and cupboards, and to also research where I can get fresh food that is plastic-free.

If you would like to join me in this challenge, please comment below and share your intention, either on your own blog or other social media. Link back to this blog if you like.  If a month is too long, try a week, or a fortnight.  Find out what impact plastic packaging in having on your personal life, and look into what it’s doing to the planet as a whole.

Good luck, and do please share with me your stories if you decide to take up the challenge!