First of all a big thanks to a great response on my last post regarding our journey to a more low waste and plastic free lifestyle. To be honest, It has been quite a difficult yet an absolute amazing journey. Secondly, i really hope some of you found some kind of inspiration/ideas on how to evaluate the use of plastic in your lives and make the necessary & much needed shifts and do your bit for the planet.
It is #plasticfreejuly, a perfect time to share my experiences with low waste living and the tiny steps we have been taking to reach so far. If you haven’t read my last post about what #plasticfreejuly is and a list of conscious efforts we have been making from past few months, i would suggest you do so before you scroll into this one!
As i said before, my husband and I sat down together to discuss and decide our goals for this month and what do we aim to achieve. We want to keep our goals realistic and achievable, not to get overburdened by responsibility. We made a list of changes that we are planning to make from this month & beyond and things that we will be completely eliminating from our lives to get a few steps ahead in our journey.
– One thing i would like to share here before i talk about our personal goals is that a low waste or plastic free lifestyle is not something that can be achieved in a day or a week. It may take months or may be even a year depending upon how adaptive you are to making habit shifts and how much plastic you use or your household thrives on. But that doesn’t mean that we will stop trying to do our bit for saving our own planet. No change comes easy in life 🙂 Zero waste means changing habits and that takes time. It’s important to take one step at a time, trying to look for better options whenever you can and be proud of every little piece of plastic waste reduced. –
Also, as you will dig deeper into this lifestyle, there’s so much more to learn than you can think of and there will be a lot of mishaps and mistakes that will made throughout the process, intentionally or unintentionally but it is important to understand that we all are human beings and we learn from our mistakes.
Our goals for #plasticfreejuly
So coming right to the list of things that we want to shift from, either find better alternatives for the same or eliminate their use completely from our lives (it will be difficult but we are definitely committed to do it this time):
1. PLASTIC CUTLERY & TAKEAWAY CONTAINERS: Although we have been carrying & using silverware whenever possible but we still haven’t been able to make it a habit. There have been times when we completely forgot to carry them along and had to use plastic ones half-heartedly. Same with takeaway containers that i have been collecting from past few months, although i have been re-using them for a variety of things but our goal this month is to make a habit of carrying a spoon, a fork and a lunch box with us every time we head out for eating or otherwise.
2. REFUSING PRE-PACKAGED OR PLASTIC WRAPPED FRUITS & VEGGIES: A while ago we discovered some new stores and local farmer’s market for local, freshly produced fruits and vegetables available in loose quantities and ever since then we have always refused for buying anything pre-packed. Even then, there are still a variety of foods wrapped in plastic or styrofoam trays that have been difficult to avoid such as bread, all types of meat, bakery items, berries (all kinds) & many more.
Starting this month with my husband being actively involved in getting one step ahead, our goal is to find better alternatives or avoid buying them if necessary.
3. AVOID BUYING ANYTHING THAT COMES IN PLASTIC BOTTLES OR PLASTIC BAGS: Okay this is technically the last one but not really last because this comprises of mostly everything we have in our kitchens or baths, possibly everything we use on a daily basis but i since we really want to make conscious efforts and make it count, we don not want to over board with the list.
Also, these are also some of the plastic items that will be our “last ones” really and i am so happy about that.
So, here we go!
1. Bread loaf: trying to find one thats freshly baked and/or not wrapped or may be i will bake on my own.
2. Oil & Ghee bottle: in both cases we will be buying our next in glass bottles or refill old plastic bottles.
3. Sauce bottles (mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, soya etc) : Using last of plastic bottles for most and will be buying in glass bottles next.
4. Grains (Pulses, beans etc): Most of our lives i have seen pulses and beans sold in plastic bags and honestly i never ever thought about it until last few months. As i said, the more we dig deeper, the more there’s to learn. Last weekend we went to a store that sells loose grains in bulk quantities. Our goal is to buy more in loose and carry our own bags or containers to fill up every time.
5. Juice bottles: Last week was my last freshly squeezed orange juice that i had. I haven’t found any alternative to it yet so i will be not be buying anymore. Sad to say goodbye because i really liked it but certainly not at the cost of our beautiful planet.
6. Almond butter or peanut butter: We have been buying almond butter from a bulk store but it comes in a plastic container. So far i have 5 containers in our kitchen and i certainly do no want anymore. I have been using them to store spices & condiments. We recently found a store that has a machine that squeezes out freshly grounded almond butter and during our recent grocery shopping haul, we bought a jar along to fill. Same way, our goal is to find alternatives for other items that come in a plastic container.
7. Dishwashing liquid and detergent: We have been using regular dishwashing liquid (Palmolive) and Tide detergent and almost all of these come in plastic containers, although we recycled each one of them responsibly but we are aware about the fact that plastic is not 100% recyclable (i hope you are aware about that as well!). From this month our goal is to switch to more responsible options. One thing that i came across while doing my research on the same is that there are a lot of eco-friendly options available in the market, good for the clothes, good for the skin, cruelty-free as they say but all packed in hard plastic. Detergent pods are a much better option in this case but only if it doesn’t come in plastic box.
Next few things on my list are bathroom essentials:
7. Shampoo: Using our last shampoo bottles. Our goal is switch to shampoo bars by the end of this month.
8. Deodorant, toothbrush.
And…i want to say thats all but we all know that it isn’t! There’s so much more on my list but there’s a limit to what all we can bring change to in an entire month. We all need to understand that changing our habits is not a day’s work and definitely not something that can be done instantly. It isn’t magic. We need to take one step at a time to make these things happen.
Its been a year ever since i started switching my everyday choices to more responsible ones and as you can see i still have so much to accomplish in this area of life. But at the same time, i am very glad i took the first step on my own and really proud of how far i have come.
Also as a last note i want to say that there are a lot of ways to get involve in greener practices that you can participate or get involved in but sustainability definitely starts at home. These are simple ways you can make small changes that will result in bigger impacts. Our sustainable lifestyle started at home after evaluating how much plastic we have been using all these years and the heaps of recyclables we carried every week to the nearby recycling can. My husband being a constant supporter has been participating in making better decisions from day one and this journey wouldn’t have been possible without his support.
I have a lot of posts planned for the month of July in which i will be sharing my personal journey, some DIY’s, some ideas for sustainable grocery shopping and what to use & what not to! Stay tuned for more on #plasticfreejuly!
If you would like to explore more about #plasticfreejuly, here’s a link to check: www.plasticfreejuly.org
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