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Showing posts from September, 2018

Friday Saturday and Sunday!!!

Sorry for the delay, I was away for the past couple of days but now that I'm back I can carry on posting to the blog.

Well Morrisons seem to be interested in this project and have been quite helpful too and gave us some fresh yeast for bread. Mum's sourdough starter is bubbling away and she's in the middle of the very long kneading and proving phase of our first homemade sourdough loaves.

And mum seems to be thinking a lot about frozen peas and how we can get hold of them without plastic and she's thinking a lot about 'supply chain' and how if we were to really try as a family to live without plastic, we'd need a small holding, a very large freezer and she wouldn't have the time to go to work with all the gardening she'd need to do! For example, we can go to a shop and take our own pots and fill them with cheese or ham or rice or whatever but you can bet that it has travelled at some point and been packaged in plastic. When the end of our month come…

Half way and a day

Eek, this is becoming more normal! And we’re starting to see the fun.
We got some junk mail today in a brown envelope with a see through window. We assume the window is plastic so we’re sending it back in the helpful self addressed pre-paid envelope!

Because we’re running low on yeast, mum has made a sour dough starter which is ace because we love sourdough bread. And it’s easy. You just whisk a cup of flour and a cup of warm water together and then leave it until it starts to bubble then you add another cup of flour and another cup of warm water. I’ll let you know how it goes.

We’re getting worried about pet food now. We had already gone to using tins of dog food but it’s cheaper to buy them in packs of 6 but they come wrapped in... you guessed it, plastic :-( I don’t get why or even how it’s cheaper to buy 6 cans with plastic than 6 cans without. How does that make sense- you pay less to get something extra that you don’t want?! We also have hens to feed and their food comes in gian…

Day 15

Day 15

This may be a different size text but that is just because I am writing this on a phone and I can't change the text size.

But today we are now starting to run out of the things packaged in plastic that we already had, such as pet food, pasta and yeast. Because we have been making so much of our own bread, we’re running very low on dried yeast which comes in a metal tin but with a plastic lid and fresh usually comes in cling film and isn’t so easy to get. Another thing is frozen peas as they only come in a plastic bag but if anyone knows of somewhere that sells loose frozen peas, that would be very helpful to know :)

That is all really for today.

2 weeks and a (nearly) plastic free birthday

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Hooray, we've made it to 2 weeks without, or nearly without buying any plastic.
It's made us and it's making others think about how much plastic we use and throw away. We are blessed with kerbside rubbish collection and recycling which is fantastic - can you imagine carrying your dustbin to the tip every week?, but means we don't have to think about what happens to it all once it's left our house.
Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me...
So, you may have guessed, we've had a birthday. It turns out that only one shop in Kendal (after looking very hard) has some birthday cards not wrapped in plastic. šŸ˜³ only one!
It also turns out that you can't buy ice cream without plastic anymore. Mum says it used to come in a cardboard box and you could cut slices off of it. Now, the best you can get (when you're thinking about plastic) is a cardboard container with a plastic/paper seal.
Still, I got excellent presents and home-made cards and dinner out and mum made b…

Days 12 & 13, dog walking, litter picking and Matt from Morrisons

Yesterday was Sunday and we had a lovely walk in the South Western Lake District. A quieter part of the Lakes, and yet we still encountered McDonald's drinks containers and broken straws, needless to say we picked up what we found and deposited it in the bin. But that only partly solves the problem. It removes the immediate risk of the wild birds and rodents or the sheep or cattle grazing from eating the litter and coming to harm. But the plastic will end up in landfill where it won't ever break down and has the potential to make our soil toxic and harm animals and people in the future with goodness knows what unforeseen unintended consequences.
We have also had some really great news. Mum has been trying to find beeswax (that isn't packaged in plastic) so she can help others make beeswax wraps. She got in touch with our local beekeeper a association who've said they think they can help which is brilliant. Thank you Kendal Beekeepers :)
Mum hasn't been able to get cr…

Day 11 Plastic Free Eating

I thought I'd get mum to share some recipes as she is doing lots of extra cooking

I don't know about you but we love wraps. We love fajitas, enchilladas, burritos, wraps with houmous and grated carrot for packed lunches, wraps to mop up leftover curry, wraps with sausages and ketchup for a picnic tea snuck into the cinema, wraps with banana and chocolate spread for an emergency breakfast...

Wraps, tortillas, flat breads, chapatis... They're cheap, quick and versatile. They also come wrapped in, you guessed it, PLASTIC (and they're usually filled with unnecessary additives, but that's for another challenge!)
Wraps are not only quick to fill, they're easy and quick to make:
INGREDIENTS: * Some flour (plain is best for flour tortillas, wholemeal is good for chapatis, masa harina is difficult to get fresh but if you can, it'll make corn tortillas) * Some water * Natural Yoghurt (if you want chapatis) about 1tbsp per cup of flour. * A pinch of salt * Herbs / gar…

Day 10 and a happy honey ending

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Day 10 all done and dusted, well nearly.
We have finally found a place to get honey that doesn't cost £6 or more and peanut butter which has no plastic lid. We thought we'd managed to buy cheese without plastic too but... Even though we had a long conversation and specifically said, "please could we have it without plastic" and it looked like it was being wrapped in brown paper, it is actually wrapped in plasticised paper šŸ˜–.
So in Kendal, there are 4 supermarkets: Aldi, Asda, Booths and Morrisons. (Sainsburys hasn't opened yet). Morrisons suggested we get a piece pre-wrapped cheese and they'd dispose of the plastic; Asda don't even give you that choice; we haven't checked at Aldi but assume it's much the same as Asda as they don't have a cheese counter and Booths use plastic coated paper. Sadly we don't have a cheese shop.
The other things we noticed today: * weetabix looks like it's still wrapped in paper but if you look closely, it'…

Day 9 - a post from mum... It's a bit of a rant!

Every day that we live this adventure without plastic, I'm forced to think about the repercussions of a plastic-free life.
The world I grew up in had very little plastic. (Yes I'm that old). The supermarkets gave you paper bags. Meat got wrapped in wax paper, strawberries came in cardboard punnets and mushrooms were sold in big cardboard baskets with metal handles. My gran used to cut worn sheets in half and swap the halves over and re-stitch them. Everyone (or at least most people) used handkerchiefs. Plastic was reserved for hazelnut yoghurt unless we got loseley (which came in glass jars) and mousses that came frozen with paper lids. Fish and chips were sold in newspaper. Polystyrene was only used in packing expensive electrical goods. Bottled water didn't exist.
Today, bottled water sells in individual portion bottles in packs of 6 wrapped in more plastic.
I went out in the rain today and I was hugely grateful for my waterproof coat- made of plastic, barring my t-shirt, e…

Day 8 (only 22 days to go)

Another day, another success.
Day 8 has passed and my little brother went to a science club and made a little LED torch and tried to use as little plastic as he possibly could. He's made a really small torch but every little helps!
I have not encountered any problems so far today (only because fish and chip shops use paper :-).
And my mum has thought about the fact that plastic is not just an issue for the planets health but it's also an economic issue as anything without it costs a lot more and takes more time (the honey from yesterday's blog cost more than six times as much) which will be a huge problem because companies can mass produce and sell things for less if they are made of plastic rather than anything else like metal and glass. And people need to earn more and work less in order to be able to stop using plastic. So that doesn't help very much but we have to try. We have to.

Feeling very tired and honey trouble - day 7

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So we are seven days into our challenge of not buying plastic and mum is really tired... Every evening she has to spend more time making things that we can't buy without plastic like bread, tortilla wraps, handkerchiefs...
Living without plastic not only costs more but it takes a lot more time. It means everything is yummier but it all takes more effort, more time, more imagination, more research and more money.
This evening mum has cooked tea, made crumble (I did make the crumble mix though), made packed lunch bars and bread is proving for tomorrow and she's washed up half a dozen times! (She's hoping we don't run out). She has also researched making custard powder because we've run out. It seems pretty easy to make: cornflour, milk powder, sugar, vanilla, almond extract and yellow food colouring. Only milk powder comes in the same type of containers that custard powder does and they have plastic lids :(.
Mum also went shopping today, to Morrisons (who appear to be t…

Epic Fail no. 1 (day 6)

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So today we discovered our first fail...

We bought some nectarines from the market on Saturday and I think we were so distracted by the plastic tags on pineapples that we didn't notice until this morning that they had plastic stickers on.
It's really interesting how our adventure without plastic is making us so much more aware of all the unexpected places that plastics exist. This is a list of some of the places we've found plastic that you might not have thought of or are really hard to find alternatives for:
* plasters and steri-strips * light bulbs * fruit and vegetable stickers and labels * yarn for knitting * clothing including price tags * school lunches * food packaging that looks like it's cardboard or paper but has another plastic wrapper inside or is plastic coated. * pet food * chocolate and fruit bars * toothpaste and other toiletries * cleaning products * fleece jumpers * school blazers
Mum wanted to update everyone on the crocheted cloths she's been m…

Day 5 of a plastic free month

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Day 5 is almost over.And we have successfully sorted out Sunday dinner (toad in the hole). So that's alright.
This morning our local Quaker meeting invited us to talk to them about our adventures without plastic. After the meeting we explained what we are doing and why. Everyone was very supportive and told us all the things they do to minimise the amount of plastic they use. Someone told us about re-useable wraps that the shop Lakeland sell and we told them about our wax wraps that we made. The bought wraps are great but they're quite expensive whereas our home-made ones only cost about 75p to make. Someone told us that they use old margarine tubs and they have some that they remember their mum using when they were a child. Lots of people talked about switching to shampoo bars and going back to solid soap and they had some top tips for buying them. There's a small independent shop on the shambles and the friendly soap company in Hebden Bridge who do mail order and wrap the…

How to buy food for a Sunday Roast

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Day 4 so far...

Mum helped us make some cloth sandwich wraps this morning but we accidentally got some beeswax on the ironing board. We got some cool fabric from town and ironed beeswax into it. They look really cool.
We’ve also been investigating plastic-free food shopping in town today so have some good tips for Kendal shoppers 

For meat, Woollards Butchers are really helpful. We took our own containers (old but clean ice-cream tubs) and they were happy to fill them with Cumberland sausages for toad in the hole (Mmmmmmm). Also they told us that their bags are biodegradable. They told us that lots of their customers bring there own containers already. 

We visited the new zero waste shop, food nude, which is amazing! They can refill your washing up bottles and clothes washing liquid and they sell spices, pulses, rice and pasta, oats and other things either in paper bags or you can take your own re-useable containers. Looks like the food in their vegan deli is yummy too. They have a web…

3rd day and mum still hasn't phoned the milkmanšŸ˜³

Yesterday was our 3rd day of living without plastic. Each day makes us aware of another thing that we don't know how to get without plastic- either because it is made from plastic or because it is packaged with plastic. We are having to do lots of research!
I need some new pyjamas but most clothes shops use plastic hangers (we can give those back and they can be re-used but that still involves plastic in the process, which, as we know doesn't break down) and even more shops use little plastic loops to attach the price tags!
In town there are two shops that use string or ribbon to attach price tags- fat face and white stuff (well done for using wooden hangers too) but they don't sell PJs for children or teens.
We also found that we can buy things from the deli counter in Booths without plastic. They wouldn't put things in our re-useable tubs but they did (after a long conversation about how greasy the paper would get) agree to using paper bags that we could then put in our…

Day 2

So far so good. I think.
Although we have found more problems such as we cannot accept those small biscuits that you get at a cafe as they come in a plastic wrapping. Also in Boyes if you want a piece of cord they try to sellotape the ends to stop it from fraying. Also most pieces of yarn contain acrylic or are even made from it. Even worse, every item of food in my school canteen is wrapped in plastic except from the iced buns (atleast).
I just want to say a huge thank you to all the friends and family who have supported this and shared it out for other people to come over and support us. Or even shared it out to their class and a geography teacher.
Anyway, we have found another solution for the toilet roll problem who say their packaging is totally compostable called Eco-leaf but they're based in America which is only a little nearer than Australia!

A month without plastic

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Day 1: We think that we are already quite good at not using too much plastic, and being aware, but we still use it so we have decided to go plastic-free for one month. By plastic-free we mean we are not going to buy anything plastic for a month, no plastic packaging or bottles or bags. We'll continue to use what we have in the house but we won't buy anymore.

When we first thought about it, it really didn't seem to be that much of a task but in the short amount of time that has passed since we started, (we made the decision last night after tea) we have already realised there are lots of challenges which include:
* dog poo bags since we have a dog this could get messy, * coffee- mum drinks loads, * screen wash for the car- the warning light came on the other day * toilet paper- as far as we know the only brand of loo roll is shipped from Australia which is potty (excuse the pun)
Another issue is supermarkets or shops in general. Fruit & veg- we grow our own apples so th…