Hello everyone, hope you are all well! First of all, I would like to apologise for not having posted anything new recently. These past few weeks have been very busy for me and I simply wasn’t able to find the time I needed to write new content for my blog, really sorry about this! I went to Spain to visit my family and then my mum came over to Brighton to spend a few weeks with me. It’s been lovely as we are having a super sunny summer here in England. Also, I have been working on something very important and special to me – my application to Sussex University to study their Anthropology of Development and Social Transformation MA. Last week, I received positive news! I’ve been accepted and am set to start in September! Wish me luck 🙂
Anyway, enough about me – that’s not what this post is about. Today I would like to tell you about Plastic Free July. Plastic Free July is an initiative that started in 2011 in Australia; initially supported by fewer than a hundred of people, in only a few years it has became super popular and now has millions of people around the world following it. But what’s this initiative about? Primarily, it is about trying to cut down on the amount of plastic we use in our everyday lives, but it is also about becoming truly conscious and aware of the plastic problem the world is facing right now. We, as a society, need to start doing something about it and start looking for alternatives to plastic and solutions to to the problems it presents. Otherwise, the damage from unrestrained consumption is going to reach an irreversible moment for our beautiful planet. Indeed, I firmly believe that a more ethical life starts by reducing the amount of plastic we use in daily life.
I am sure you also want to be part of this and do something to help but you may not know where to start. I didn’t, but I looked online and found out that there is a web site with the same name as the movement that gives you all the information you need to kick start your challenge. Hurray!! If you want to have a look, I’ll leave you the link here: http://www.plasticfreejuly.org/ It is very easy to navigate, understand and it gives you good tips and advice on where to start with this change. It also challenges you to sign up and try to live without plastic for 1 Day, 1 week, the whole month or from now on. Would you give it a go?
For me, it’s been easier than I expected to reduce the plastic I use at home. Going plastic free is about changing some of your routines and habits. We are all immersed in a society where everything is one-use only, easy to get and also easy to get rid off. We throw away our stuff quicker than ever, only to replace it with more stuff, similar stuff that we already have in the first place. Our habits, especially when shopping, are all linked to plastic. We do not know how to shop anymore without using plastic! It’s sad, yes…but soon this is going to change! ☺
Here I would like to tell you a few things I have changed so far….
Buying products in bulk
First thing I did was to start buying some things in bulk. Things like rice, pasta, cereals and quinoa. It’s great and cheap. Where I live, in Brighton, I frequent two places where you can buy foods in bulk. One is HISBE, a supermarket on London Road where you can find organic food and products. They have a wide variety of products you can get in bulk. There, you can also buy organic fruit, vegetables and bread without any packaging. Another place is Wastenot shop inside the Open Market, also on London Road. There you can find spices, dried fruits, beans, rice, oats, nuts and seeds in bulk. Bring your own container and they’ll even give you a discount. Another good shopping tip you can do at both places is to fill up your former plastic bottles with washing up liquid, conditioner, washing detergent, cleaning products, etc. It’s great and it makes such a big dent in your plastic usage. I mean, just think about how many times you have to buy those products…and now think about how many bottles of plastic you can save by reusing the same bottles each month.
Buying vegetables and fruits from local markets
There are three important reasons why this is a fantastic idea. One, it reduces significantly the amount of plastic waste you accumulate in your weekly shopping. Second, you support local farmers and business. Third, the vegetables and fruits taste much better. Right now, I’m trying to implement a routine in my life of going to The Open Market every weekend to do my weekly shopping. It’s fun and nice to spend the Saturday or Sunday morning there, sitting down in one of the cafes to have some lunch and a nice drink after doing the shopping and just relaxing with a good book. Also there you can find the best place in Brighton for Greek food, Kouzina. A family business where the food is simply amazing. As far as I concern there is no better way to end a late morning grocery run.
Swapping your body gel and shampoo for bars
A change that will save tons of plastic and it’s super easy to do. I have replaced my body-wash bottle for a soap bar. Right now I am using one from Kew Royal Botanic Gardens and I cannot describe to you how good it smells. It’s like showering in a paradise full of magnolias and fruit trees! 😀 My boyfriend has also opted for a handmade lavender one; a present that came all the way from the south of France and it also smells delicious. I have also recently bought a shampoo bar and shampoo cubes (I didn ́t know they even existed!!!) and both are working perfectly. I have to confess, I bought them while I still had two bottles of unfinished shampoo (I know I can ́t be perfect) but I really wanted to give them a go. I am fascinated with how good they work with my hair and as soon as I finish with the two bottles I will never go back to buying them. The shampoo bar is from Lush and the cubes are from the company Beauty Kubes, a UK company based in Cornwall that uses organic ingredients in their products. Now I just need to find a conditioner that doesn’t come in a plastic bottle and my shower will be plastic free – do you have any ideas?
Buying products that comes in containers that are not plastic
Nowadays, more and more companies out there are trying to take care of the plastic problem by selling their products in containers and packaging that is plastic free. There is always an alternative out there for the things we use daily that does not involve buying plastic. I swapped some of my beauty products for organic brands like Neil ́s Yard Remedies as they use glass bottles in most of their products. Glass bottles are recyclable and these blue ones are also so cute that you can use them to decorate your home afterwards. Glass is good but not perfect and so another good alternative is to shop for products that come in cardboard or metal tins. I’ve recently bought a couple of new products to see if they work for me so I can swap them for my previous plastic ones. The first is a body butter from Happy Holistics that is very rich and leaves my skin super hydrated. The second is a lip balm from the same brand. Both come in paperboad packaging that has been recycled and can be composted. Wow! I found this brand super inspiring as they make organic products with ingredients from fair trade and sustainable resources. At the same time they try to minimize their impact on the planet by creating containers for their products that are recycled, reusable, recyclable and compostable. I really love them!
Cooking your lunches at home
Instead of buying your lunch outside in the supermarket or grocery store where practically every single lunch option comes with tons of plastic, you can cook a nice and healthy lunch at home, full of nutrients and also plastic free. All wins! Put it in a glass or stainless steel container and bring it with you to your workplace the next day. And don’t forget your reusable bottle for water, coffee or tea ☺
I love cooking so this is something quite easy for me. I say quite because to be honest sometimes I am a bit tired in the evenings and I feel too lazy to prepare lunch for the next day. Saying this, we can all try to cook “together” in the evenings, and I will try to take some photos and show you some of my quick and easy lunch recipes next time. Keep checking!