Those of you who regularly read the blog will know that I decided to not buy anything in plastic for the entire month of September. My full reasons are in this post, but briefly, I needed to give myself a push to go full on into a more zero waste lifestyle. Now the month is over, I am really glad I did it, and it has got me much closer to the zero waste lifestyle I want. There are some products wrapped in plastic which I can hand on heart say I will never be buying again, but there are some that realistically I will continue to buy (basically crisps, I have really missed crisps!!). Though the biggest positive for me is seeing my recycling pile reduce each week. Normally I would be putting out our box weekly with an extra couple of boxes on the side, but last week I actually had room to spare in the one box. For me this is huge!
Obviously, I wanted to share my thoughts on my month with you, some positive, some not so positive. But hopefully they will help you guys reading this move forward with a zero waste lifestyle too.
Things I could not buy
I will start with the negative to get it out of the way. During my month the below all needed replaced, but despite trying to find them, I just did without in the end. For me the worst by a clear mile is lettuce. I cant quite get my head around the fact that there is nowhere near me that I can get a lettuce not in plastic packaging! The only solution I can see for this is to just grow my own, which is pretty ridiculous really. I understand that washed and ready lettuce needs to come in plastic, but just a good old iceberg lettuce, come on why are they all in a plastic wrap! Anyway, rant over, the rest of the list is below:
- Clothes roller (I don’t really like to get these but for work I do need to defuzz)
- Brow Shaper – I thought I would be fine with Barry M, card box, but it comes wrapped in plastic!
Like lettuce make up is a real issue, despite looking, the best solution I could find was refillable make up. This is definitely something I will continue to keep my eyes peeled for, I refuse to believe it all comes in plastic packaging! Although some brands use glass bottles the only downside being a plastic wand or pump, but even just using products with less plastic packaging will help in the end!
Despite not finding some products, I was amazed at how easy others were to find or make yourself. The new faves I found during my month are below, although it is a random list!
- Who gives a crap loo roll
- Homemade seitan
- Homemade oat milk
- Refills of household products (I had no idea there are actually a few shops in Edinburgh who will refill old bottles!)
- Meow Meow Tweet deodorant (glass tub!!)
- Refills of oats and flour
A couple of years ago I all but banned myself from shopping in Asda as they consistently come at the bottom for all things ethical, environmental and are basically the only supermarket still testing their products on animals. Fine. After this I realised there is a bit of a heiarchy of supermarkets based on how ethical they are etc. To me top of the stack is always Waitrose, followed by Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Banning myself from plastic made me see that actually this hierarchy also relates to the amount of produce wrapped in plastic bizarrely! Whilst I buy most of my food from the farmers market there are still some occasions I need to visit a supermarket. And those occasions brought me to pretty much all of them, so I used the opportunity to scope out the plastic situation. Unsurprisingly Asda came bottom of the bunch, they had 4 products I could find not wrapped in plastic, Aldi had a fair bit more, then Tesco more than that until in Waitrose I could buy most fruit and veg I wanted.
I know a lot of people cant afford to shop in Waitrose, or even Sainsburys but I just wanted to highlight that you will likely have more options in these shops over Asda and Aldi. However, still the best option is a local market, the fruit and veg is significantly better quality and costs less. Sometimes a whole lot less!
The plastic free month has really spurred me on to try making more and more products for myself and reducing our waste even further. The push definitely had the desired effect. I would strongly encourage everyone reading this to give themselves a full ban, even just for a couple of days. It is such an eye opener and if you are anything like me, will really help you to rethink your purchases, which is nothing but awesome for our planet!
Has anyone else given up plastic? How did you find it? Share your experiences in the comments below, I would love to know 🙂