Friday, 27 April 2018

What happened when I tried to have a Plastic free Friday.

Last Friday I had the day off work so I decided to try taking part in Friends of the Earth's new initiative, Plastic free Friday.   You're meant to go without single use plastics one day a week - Fridays - to help the environment.  I'm going one step further, because I've already cut out a lot of single use plastics, I wanted to have a completely plastic free day, but as you can see it was more difficult than I thought...

Breakfast.

What happened when I tried to have a Plastic free Friday. By UK eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #plasticfreefriday #plasticfree #friendsoftheearth #zerowaste

What happened when I tried to have a Plastic free Friday. By UK eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #plasticfreefriday #plasticfree #friendsoftheearth #zerowaste

Despite trying really hard to have a plastic free breakfast, it didn't happen.  My organic mushrooms from Abel and Cole came in a plastic tray, my vegan margarine is in a plastic tub and although I store my seeds in glass jars they come packaged in plastic bags.  I made my own bread to save using pre packaged bread, but I used oil in a plastic bottle and even the bicarb was in plastic!  Urgh!

Getting up.

What happened when I tried to have a Plastic free Friday. By UK eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #plasticfreefriday #plasticfree #friendsoftheearth #zerowaste

I'm not wearing deodorant because it's in a plastic tube, it's about 20 degrees today so we'll see how that goes!  I have washed my armpits with soap (came in a paper wrapper) and a cotton flannel, so that was plastic free at least.  Sorry to say I've brushed my teeth with a plastic electric toothbrush and paste from a plastic tube, and put on moisturiser and sun cream from a plastic bottle too.

Chores.

What happened when I tried to have a Plastic free Friday. By UK eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #plasticfreefriday #plasticfree #friendsoftheearth #zerowaste

What happened when I tried to have a Plastic free Friday. By UK eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #plasticfreefriday #plasticfree #friendsoftheearth #zerowaste

I washed up with some fairy liquid from a plastic bottle left by the previous owners of our house.  I use a loofah and wooden brush to wash up, and some really old cloths that get washed and reused to wipe the kitchen worktops.  I use Method eco friendly cleaning sprays for the kitchen and bathroom, and Ecover loo cleaner, all three have had a use today and all are in plastic bottles.  I put the dishwasher on, the tablets come in a cardboard box, but each tab is wrapped individually in plastic.  I usually use Ecover laundry liquid, but I have soapnuts so I used them, and white vinegar as fabric conditioner, to do a couple of loads of washing, which I dried in the sunshine.

Shopping.

What happened when I tried to have a Plastic free Friday. By UK eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #plasticfreefriday #plasticfree #friendsoftheearth #zerowaste

I went to Wilkos, Holland and Barretts and Boots on the hunt for some plastic free sanitary towels, I found some in Boots and they were suuuuuper expensive, but I bought them and had a nice chat with the lady at the till about being plastic free (she buys her apples loose in the supermarket!).  I bought some antihistimines in Wilko, which come in plastic blister packs. I Really wanted some crisps but resisted, and instead bought some loose nardicotts, a cauliflower and a lettuce from the market.  The lettuce was all wrapped in plastic, but so is the organic lettuce that comes in our veg box, and I'm still waiting for my homegrown lettuce to get going.  FYI I am regretting not wearing deodorant. 

Lunch.

What happened when I tried to have a Plastic free Friday. By UK eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #plasticfreefriday #plasticfree #friendsoftheearth #zerowaste

I had a huuge green salad with the aforementioned plastic wrapped lettuce, another homemade flatbread, vegan cheese, nuts and pretzels.  The cheese, nuts and pretzels were all in plastic.  Sigh.  I am beginning to feel disheartened. 

Gardening.

What happened when I tried to have a Plastic free Friday. By UK eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #plasticfreefriday #plasticfree #friendsoftheearth #zerowaste

This was a fairly plastic free afternoon, but I did use some compost that comes in a plastic sack.

Dinner.

What happened when I tried to have a Plastic free Friday. By UK eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #plasticfreefriday #plasticfree #friendsoftheearth #zerowaste

Joe came home super late from work, and I fell over in the garden like a wally and twisted my ankle, so we had a takeaway.  And some snacks before the takeaway came. Ahem.  

Bedtime.

What happened when I tried to have a Plastic free Friday. By UK eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #plasticfreefriday #plasticfree #friendsoftheearth #zerowaste

Back to my plastic-y tooth bush and paste, and my medicine - at least the eczema cream only has a plastic lid, the tube is metal.

I tweeted companies throughout the day asking them to reduce their plastic packaging, but only got replies from a few (Abel and Cole, Oral B, Aldi, B&Q, Wilko), I suppose as long as we keep giving our money to companies that use plastic packaging they won't change their business practices - it's hard though because who doesn't use some pre-packaged foods, household and personal care stuffs!

So, as you can see, Plastic free Friday is not easy and I have to go away and think about how I can cut more plastic out of my life.  Have you ever tried Plastic free Friday?




5 comments:

  1. We are really trying to reduce our plastic use but it is so difficult!

    We don't have a market here so earlier this month I got the bus to the next town to use the greengrocer, very stressful! So we rely on the supermarket where there is so much packaging.

    We have made a few changes already, and I'm going to try to make crisps later. Next weekend we're going to visit a shop where we can buy foods loose - not as fancy as the zero waste shops I see online, but I'll see what it has to offer.

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  2. It is so hard isn't it! I have a bamboo toothbrush, but I'm not using it yet as I want to use my last plastic one as much as possible before I have to throw it away. It'a frustrating how difficult it is to buy plastic free.

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  3. I try my best, but it seems impossible doesn't it ? we are swimming against the tide I'm afraid.
    I make flatbreads like yours too, much healthier and cheaper !
    Hope your ankle is healing.

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  4. This is a really insightful blog post Susie and very admirable of you to share it with us, it does put into perspective how much plastic we do use in our homes and daily life in general. I think i am on par with you at home with lots of things. We have started buying fruit and veg loose at the supermarket, we even ditched brown tomato sauce that comes in plastic bottles for a cheap supermarket brand that comes in glass - it actually tastes ok - i was worried about sugar content. Some things will be hard to replace though, but i guess small steps than none at all will make some change. PS We have done a lot of gardening the past few week and everything from the compost to the plant pots and labels are plastic. I did find some wooden coffee stirrers left over when I ran the veggie cafe so have been using them as labels..small steps.

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  5. It's hard isn't it? Have you tried cloth pads instead of the disposable sanitary towels? They are do much more comfortable. Deodorant is also quite easy to make yourself to reduce the plastic there.

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