Reflections on a Plastic Free July
Author: Marty Middlebrook
Plastic Free July is a formidable challenge. Plastic permeates every part of our life in Australia, as is evident by the fact I am typing on a computer filled with plastic and you are likely using a plastic filled smart phone to read it.
As a family, we determined Plastic Free really means single-use plastic reduction. Single-use plastic is one of the biggest environmental waste issues that needs to be dealt with.
As a waste-savvy parent, I'm already quite careful to avoid excess packaging and recycle everything I possibly can. This being our second attempt at Plastic Free July, our main goal was to change our shopping habits to reduce plastic waste as much as possible.
The key was being mindful, and there were some surprisingly positive results. Here are some tips to make it a pleasant experience for all involved.
Make your own pasta
Our family had a blast making pasta from scratch, creating fettucini, bows and noodles. Equally fun and a real delight is kneading pizza dough and having a mix and match pizza session.
A great way to be conscious of your food, what goes into it and how easy it can be to make your own.
Go to the source
Taking your own reusable bags to the supermarket is step one - but how about taking buckets to an orchard? Not only is it a great way to ensure you are getting great fresh food, but it's a wonderful family outing and a good way to spend a day out in nature.
Going somewhere other than your local supermarket puts you back in touch with the community and is a great experience in general. Often fruit farms have many other great produce for sale as well as activities like petting farms and demonstrations.
Bake and make your own bread
If you're buying bread you can always bring your own bag to the baker, but with a little more time and effort you can also bake your own bread. You can get all the ingredients from specialty stores in bulk and without packaging.
Cooking double the quantity, and then freezing half for later is not only a money saver but reduces your reliance on small packaging and trips to the shops.
What ever the case, going plastic free for a month is a big eye-opener, and the trick will be not cracking and getting take away on the first of August!