Doing something drastic, cutting the plastic
According to Surfers against Sewage (SAS), plastic pollution can now be found on every beach in the world, from busy tourist beaches to uninhabited, tropical islands. Whilst this is a worrying statistic, making even the smallest change to your single-use plastic consumption can reduce your plastic footprint significantly. I’m now two weeks into my plastic-free July challenge and I’m starting to get into my stride!
Monday 8 July
It’s my first full week back at work since my holiday and I’m definitely feeling the Monday blues! Just like last week, I pack myself lunch and take my (many) re-usable containers into work with me. I make my first tea of the day – I’ve switched to a loose leaf tea as I was shocked to discover that most teabags contain some form of plastic. As an avid tea-drinker, that adds up to a lot of plastic waste over time!
Tuesday 9 July
As I’m starting to use up some of my regular household items I’m looking into plastic-free alternatives. After doing my research I discover that although the initial outlay is often pricey, the sustainable alternative should last me longer and the re-fills are often cheaper. I’ve made an order from an online plastic-free shop called Plastic Freedom and I’m excited to unpack washable kitchen sponges, organic cotton produce bags, washable cotton rounds to take my makeup off and plastic-free cleaning products.
Wednesday 10 July
Today I get the chance to try out my new cleaning products! I purchased a few glass spray bottles and fill these with lukewarm water, then add the concentrated cleaning solution. I shake the spray bottle thoroughly and my anti-bac cleaner dissolves completely into the water, making it completely zero waste! On testing, my plastic-free cleaner does the job nicely and as an added bonus it smells incredible!
Thursday 11 July
At lunchtime I sit down to listen to my audio book and tuck into my homemade salad of chickpeas, sundried tomatoes and olives (all salvaged from last night’s dinner). Not only is my lunch delicious, it also cuts down on unwanted packaging and is saving me money too – a definite win in my eyes!
Friday 12 July
Food shopping has been the hardest area to go plastic free. I’m making changes by shopping for all our fruit and veg at a local farm shop rather than a supermarket and trying to buy items in cans or glass wherever possible, as these are easier to recycle. Buying meat plastic-free has been pretty much impossible unless I go to the butchers (unfortunately we don’t have one locally), so all my meals have been meat-free this week.
Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 July
My husband and I have a quiet weekend at home, so living plastic free is relatively easy! I take a trip into town to stock up on some bubble bars and bath bombs from Lush (my favourite treat!). I bring my own bags and the staff in store put my purchases in small paper bags. They go in a bowl in our bedroom, which makes the room smell amazing and means we don’t need air fresheners or room sprays anymore!
What started off as a challenge that felt almost overwhelming, is starting to become quite enjoyable. And researching the plastic pollution problem has only spurred me on to continue to make as many changes as I can.
How’s your plastic free July going?
Here are our quick wins to ensure you’re a homeworking hero:
• Stay hydrated
• Get up and move around regularly
• Schedule social time
• Plan your day
• Have separate spaces for work and living
• Appreciate what’s gone well and give yourself credit