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