It’s this time of the month: OH NOOOOO!!
I always wanted to do a year of ‘Compacting’ (buy nothing new for a year) …but that’s exactly what happened, I always ’wanted’, but never did. So when Plastic Free July came along I thought: “Brilliant, that’s going to be a breeze. After all, I am one of the Founders of the Two Hands Project. I got my reusables sorted!
Well… this is my dilemma bag last year and I only did one week...
What stood out was clearly that I didn’t have all my reusables sorted! And those tetra packs from the Soymilk! – I knew there would be heaps over the year. Also the contact lens packaging made me sad, as I can’t seem to come up with a solution (glasses are sadly not an option for me) All the other bits were clearly avoidable quite easily.
Back to the Soymilk –TETRA packs: easily solved!! Ever seen a ‘soymilk maker’? I am HOOKED! And the tiny amount of ( organic Soybeans needed! – what a saving every time you make soymilk! I AM IN LOVE with this MACHINE! Pictured is the actual amount of soybeans needed for 1 litre! (bottle isn’t full because I had my coffee already)
So why the title? – Well girls, if you are doing this challenge for a month… you might be stuck with some questions that you aren't sure who to ask… fret no more: Mooncup. It’s silicon. Once done for the month you sterilise it by boiling it a few minutes. It’s yours for life. Best thing ever. Yes, it takes a week to get used to and trust it, but that was no different when you tried your first tampon. And with the MoonCUP it just ‘catches’ rather then absorbing. So it is much better for your natural balance… no more thrush.
For those that are not convinced, on average one woman will use over 11,000 tampons or pads in their lifetime, of course all single use, which will end up in landfill or in the sea.
Whilst we are with the Girls themes… How to organise a plastic free HENS send off?? I ‘highly’ (pardon the pun) recommend to send her off with style: “ High Tea” ( this one at Sydney’s famous Queen Victoria Building) …came with sparkling wine… that’s plastic free too.
So on the day after Hens and all that sparkling you maybe craving some COFFEE…but PLEASE, don’t buy into those coffee pods! For me they were just silly, expensive, wasteful and I didn’t even like the coffee!! And then I visited Paul who was helping at the Fremantle waste audit and that’s when I realised that they are a much bigger issue: there isn’t anywhere to put them: metal or compost?? So unnecessary.
About the author:
Silke Stuckenbrock, is the co-Founder of the Two Hands Project Inc.; an organisation that encourages people to take 30 minutes to use their two hands to clean up any place any time.
Beth Terry shopping plastic-free
Hi. My name is Beth Terry, author of the blog www.MyPlasticFreeLife.com and book Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too, and I am a recovering plastic addict.
Six years ago, I was like most people -- requesting double plastic bags at the grocery store, buying bottled water, living on processed convenience foods in plastic packaging, and not really worrying about where all that packaging came from or where it was going to end up. It was not until I read an article about plastic pollution in the ocean and saw a photo of a dead albatross chick whose body was completely full of everyday plastic pieces, that I realized my personal actions actually mattered -- that my choices had an impact on creatures I hadn't even known existed. I decided to see if it would be possible to live without acquiring any new plastic -- either disposable or durable plastics -- and to measure my plastic footprint by collecting the plastic waste I generated.
Back then, living plastic-free was harder than it is now because there wasn't so much information available about plastic-free alternatives. I took it slow, one step at a time, and as I used up items packaged in plastic, I would try and find substitutions.
Here are the easiest steps I took right off the bat:
Here are some cool ideas I discovered along the way:
I'm still learning these lessons. Back in 2007, I bought a brand new soy milk maker, thinking that it would save many disposable cartons (cardboard cartons coated inside and out with plastic). I used it a few times, and then it ended up sitting on my counter, taking up space and not doing any good to anyone, until just this week I posted it for sale on Craigslist. Living with less plastic teaches us what is really important in life -- and that most of us only really need just a few things to be happy.
Several years into my plastic-free experiment, I realized I had accumulated enough information for a book, and that the hardest part of going plastic-free is researching all the many alternatives that are out there. I had also learned a ton of stuff about plastics -- how they are made, the truth about plastic recycling, why they may all be dangerous to our health (including those labelled BPA-Free), and the pros and cons of things like silicone and bioplastics. So I wrote Plastic-Free to give other people the guide book I wished had existed back in 2007 when I was first getting started. And I was lucky to find a publisher that was committed to creating the book without any plastic materials -- no plastic coatings or thread or even glue. The book is available everywhere books are sold -- including Australia! -- and is also available now as an e-book and soon as an audiobook (I've been spending my weekends in a recording studio reading the book and even adding updates as I go along.) Many libraries have the book too (although ironically, they are all covering it in protective plastic covers.)
Finally, after 6 years of working to reduce my plastic use, I feel like my actions are part of a movement vastly bigger than myself. Events like Plastic-Free July blow me away. Imagine, an entire country trying to reduce its plastic use for an entire month. I want to help the momentum of Plastic-Free July spread across the globe -- or at least to my corner of it. Kudos to all of you. I'm honoured to be a part of this effort.