The third week of Plastic Free July has seen a few of the same things that the second week has seen. These are the things I’ve done to keep away from as much plastic as possible:
During the last weeks I’ve been tending to our university garden due to the summer break and most students being gone. And, finally, with great delight, we could harvest the first produce: strawberries! Here, berries are impossible to get without plastic tray, which made us more than happy we had a few strawberries to enjoy this July. And it reminds us that there is actually something to look forward to in autumn!
The challenge almost failed one day when we decided to have a barbecue on ‘short notice’. It actually wasn’t short notice, but I haven’t shed a thought on it until the day was there. Being prepared, as we know, is key in going less waste… which is what I didn’t do that day. Needless to say, the butchers and fruit shop turned out to be closed, which significantly reduces our chances to get plastic free meat and veg (as we are still carnivorous, we cannot have a BBQ without meat). But, as it turned out, some lucky coincidences saved our day, the fruit shop opened again, and we found another butcher on our way (after refusing to go to Coop). Phew!
Out and about we did a good job at refusing single use plastic by taking along our water bottles (I did get two larger ones finally and I’m more than pleased about it) and home-made sandwiches. We also ate out when we happened to be hungry on the go, rather than getting a takeaway. Speaking of takeaway, I once sinned about that after a long, tiring day building a garden shed (not in my garden, unfortunately) when agreeing to get a Chinese rather than me falling asleep whilst cooking. Although we brought along a carrier bag, I didn’t actually ask them to pack the food in our own boxes. Reason being, all our plastic boxes ARE takeaway boxes, which would make it fairly weird to ask them to stick it in exactly the same thing they would anyway. Coming home again, I immediately tried to find some good stainless steel containers for future takeaway. It seems there is not many around. Can anybody recommend any (sold in UK)?
At the end of the week, we did another ‘big’ shop and managed to persuade the woman from the meat counter to not wrap some salami in plastic, which means we could have some delicious German salami this week! We ended up shopping around in three different stores, though, to get cheap, yet plastic free produce, and decided to forego the rules for some reduced price salmon. I’m okay with that as otherwise the whole thing would be wasted, not just the plastic. Apart from that, we did quite well, and I remembered in time to take a picture of our shop.
On the left you can see our non-plastic produce (with necessary tags and stickers I’m afraid), on the right plastic packed items. Besides the salmon, there is Nutella (another weakness of mine), cheese (guilty!) and non-dairy milk (which counts as exception). We also later had to get a plastic bottle of vegetable oil and toilet paper, because we couldn’t find any anywhere and both became an urgent necessity… 😉
Let me know what you think about our efforts, and of course, what you do yourself to reduce plastic! (So I can copy your ideas and be an even better shopping-weirdo 😉 ) Two more weeks to go, and a lot of refusing to be done!!