Since moving towards a zero waste lifestyle at the start of the year, I have been profoundly guilty about the packaging on some of the products I buy. In an effort to minimise my waste I have bought reusable items and realigned my habits with them. My reusable water bottle is with me all the time, I always use my reusable coffee cup on the go and using my own cloth bags at the farmers market is now second nature. But honestly, the changes have pretty much stopped there. When purchasing an item, I do consider if I could buy it without the packaging or in a glass jar instead, but have still bought it if there was no other option in that one particular store.
Whilst my habits are massively changed and my landfill bag is getting smaller each month, the recycling is a little bit out of hand. Slowly I am becoming aware that I have just moved from putting waste in the bin to putting it into the recycling bin. Clearly, this is not really in the heart of being zero waste. I almost feel like I am cheating the system. The point in zero waste is to try and cut out as much packaging and product as possible, not just buy it because it can go in the recycling box. So yeah, I have never given it real thought. I have not thought outside the box or seriously looked into other items or places to buy things.
The only way I see this change is through giving myself no other option. So here we are with me, making a public vow to go entirely plastic free for the month of September. Yup you heard me, I vow to not buy *anything* which has any plastic packaging in September. This means I need to rethink lots of products:
- takeout (I am crying as I type!)
- crisps (yup, still crying…)
- chocolate bars
- soya milk
- the new Tesco Cheddar & Jalapeno cheese (and I only just found a cheese that even vaguely resembles cheese……)
- all online shopping (who knows what packaging it comes in!)
- frozen mince, chicken pieces, sweetcorn, peas
- kitchen cleaner
You get my point! The products in plastic packaging are vast, but I know there are alternatives. As above, I just need to give it all a little thought, and effort. September will see me making my own plant based milks, butter and probably some sort of meat alternatives. Potentially I will also be making homemade cleaning and beauty products (although I will be using what I have first!). When I shop for some of my staples I will be looking for products which I can put in my own jars or which are in packaging which is not plastic (although I will try to buy loose in the first instance). Basically I will be totally overhauling my shopping habits.
The aim of this is not to stop buying these products altogether following my month. Hopefully there are things I can say goodbye to altogether, but I am not going to sit here and claim I will never eat crisps ever again. I can tell you right now I will. However, I am genuinely excited to have a go at making my own staples and finding alternatives where possible. Obviously once the month is done I will be blogging about what I have found and learned in the hope to pass on some of my new found knowledge (I hope……).
So, yeah, regardless of what I end up doing I am really excited to give this a go. I plan to update my Instagram and Facebook over the course of the month so be sure to follow me there to see how I am going! Also if you have any tips or amazing ideas, please let me know, I probably need all the help I can get!