There has been a lot going on over the last few weeks in our house reviewing how our family can reduce the quantity of waste we produce. We have a had a few simple wins but there is more to do.
A couple of weeks back I took a good look at what I was throwing in the bin and recycling. I was secretly hoping that I would be able to congratulate myself on how good my recycling habits were and perhaps easily reduce some of our waste issues. That isn’t quite how it worked out!
I was brilliantly oblivious to how much of the food I buy comes conveniently wrapped in plastic packets and sadly how much of that plastic cannot be recycled.
So this week, my thoughts have been all about plastic. Now I’m a few weeks into my new ‘eyes open’ way of thinking I can see many other household products with single use plastic wrappers too. But I’m focusing on food related plastic as this is a big issue for us.
I can totally see the frustrations that many environmentalists already feel. Single use plastic is everywhere – it isn’t just plastic bottles. Go look in your fridge or pantry. Every packet/ wrapper/ bag/ box insert. It feels slightly impossible how some people manage to go zero waste, I’m not suggesting I’m trying to go waste free now but I must be able to start reducing what I throw out.
It would be easy to give up at this point and assume I can’t change anything because to reduce waste and recycle more needs the supermarkets on board but I’m not going to give up. In order to kick plastic I’m going to have to figure out alternatives for the foods we buy regularly in order to find a single use plastic free solution. And then those new ways to shop will become habits. The sad reality is probably we will have to stop eating some of the food we currently buy to avoid the plastic – are you listening Mr Supermarkets?
Not easy perhaps but I am so up for the challenge. This planet matters – every small effort is worth it.
We have had some small successes this month:
- Replacing drinks bottles for school lunches with reusable bottles that the boys love;
- Swapping some of the individually wrapped biscuit snacks in lunch boxes with home made snacks or alternatives that don’t have an individual wrapper;
- Consistently using my own cotton bags for shopping and declining plastic bags at the checkout;
- Using the green grocer more to stock up on loose fruit and vegetables.
Do let me know how you are getting on. Share your top tips for reducing plastic in your household.