Plastic Free July - Week 4 - Kids

Reducing Plastic in our Kids Lives

WOW, it's amazing when we think of how much plastic can be in our kids lives - and I'm not even a parent. I'm sure there's so much I'll be overlooking...

Drinks: from fizzy drinks to fruit shoots or even small bottles of water.
Food: cheese strings, baby-bell, pre-prepared packs of fruit, crisps, sweeties, yoghurt, ice cream...
Special meal packs: toys in the kiddie meal packs or plastic toys in cereal boxes...
Clothes: fleece is great for quick washing, but leaches plastic into the water
Toys: are there any toys not made of plastic now adays?
Back to School: pencil cases, school bags, lunch boxes, folders
Comics: mostly wrapped in plastic these days, with free plastic toys...

I'm sure a quick look around the house will find that most of us simply buy things without thinking. They're convenient, cheap, keep the kids occupied...

And here's another thought... are we actually doing the right thing with eco-bricks (putting lots of plastic inside a bottle and then building things with that)? What happens when it deteriorates? Is it just putting the problem off til later? Is it "allowing" us to keep buying plastic stuff...? It's such a difficult thought...

Before Covid, we did have our crisp packet collections around various places and in schools. But should we have been promoting simply eating less? Should crisps be a treat rather than part of our daily calorie intake? On our Plastic Free July, Week 1, Kitchen, I pledged to give up crisps - I was ashamed at the number of crisp packs I'd collected. I've switched over to savoury biscuits and other tasty foods. Still plastic involved, but much less and .. well the next step would be to bake my own...

There are loads of resources on line to help us ditch plastic and a really interesting book, above - 50 ways to ditch plastic. Anyone got this? I'd love to borrow it...

Have you joined the conversation yet?

If not, please do join up to one of our climate chat / info groups here.

Plastic Free July - Garden

Reducing Plastic in the Garden

Yeah, it's Friday and another chance to Think Plastic and support Plastic Free July. 

Week 3 - Plastic in the Garden!

There's a great group Our Food, Our Land: Gardeners Responding to Climate Emergency which has been discussing how to reduce plastic in the garden. And of course, there are lots of sites around from Gardeners World to the BBC and Garden Organic who all have pages on how to reduce or reuse garden plastic.

Many solutions, as usual may be ok for cities and more densely populated areas. I know, for instance, that someone now makes eco bricks simply to consolidate the volume plastic takes up and then puts it in the bin. Sounds crazy? But, they live close to a waste to energy plant and really it seems the best solution for that situation. Anyway... here are some thoughts and ideas on garden plastic:

  • Dobbies do take back cleaned plant pots and trays for recycling. Anyone know if our local garden centres do that?
  • But... we could set up some local places where folks could drop off their excess pots and trays for re-use. There are many projects that will get going soon in schools and communities who will need seed trays and pots. If anyone has any suggestions here or would like to be a collection point, please shout. 
  • Compostable pots and trays are now available, although no doubt a little more expensive
  • Pots can easily be made from toilet roll tubes (you can cut and fold over one end to stop compost coming out of the bottom
  • And of course some plants like peas and beans can be started off in toilet roll tubes and planted straight in the garden (helps to deter mice eating them, and allows earlier starting indoors) Compost (bark, grit, feed.. ) bags seem to be the worst problem. No one, it seems, takes these for recycling. It's a big problem and crosses over into other plastic bags like pet food bags, bird food bags etc. If you look on line, you can see many suggestions - lining raised beds and planters - use them for rubbish bags - weed suppression on paths (I worry about what happens when they degrade...) 
  • More on compost bags... One suggestion - BAD - was to take the bag and fill it with appropriately mixed composting material and seal the bag tight. This is bad because anaerobic composting makes methane, which is really bad for global warming. So far, all I've been doing with compost bags etc, is storing them. Maybe, at some point teracycle will provide a solution - maybe we can initiate this. Maybe it's something we should look into more.... wanna volunteer to take this forward??? 
Anyhoo... speaking of community growing... drum roll... we have just been awarded a grant for our Gledfield (Ardgay primary) Poly tunnel - woo hoo!!! So that's one reason to hang onto any seed trays n pots etc... And, we had a fab meeting with several community groups in Golspie + Brora yesterday talking about community growing projects... so watch this space for more info here too and please get in touch if you're interested in joining growing projects around the place - both individuals and other groups welcome.

Be great to hear your ideas on how we can reduce the areas garden plastic use. So, please do join the use below to share your fab ideas on how to reduce our garden plastic problem - which,  ironically, will most likely get worse as more of us are "growing our own".

Join the conversations here (choose from FB, Tw, email group etc... ) climate chat / info groups here.

Plastic Free July - Week 2 - Bathroom

Plastic Free Bathrooms

How could I forget about Plastic Free Fridays... (well one or 2 other things on my mind this week...)... So this is Plastic Free Saturdays 😉...

Not surprisingly, we're moving to a different room -

The Bathroom.

Please pop over to the Facebook group to share your hints and tips for saving plastic use in the bathroom. Personally, I now use shampoo bars and we've returned to bars of soap instead of shower gel. I saw a recipe for deodorant made with corn flour?? And I've heard that the cardboard tubes don't work so well. The glass jars seem extortionate, so, I'm now seeking a home mede recipe (well with shut down ending, it's time for a solution other than doing without 😉  Seems a bit odd...Toothpaste and dental floss and mouthwash solutions still elude me, having had teeth problems, I really worry about going green there... Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and tips, thanks.

Have you joined the conversation yet?

If not, please do join up to one of our climate chat / info groups here.

Plastic Free July Week 1

Plastic Free July - Plastic Free Fridays -Week 1

Plastic Free July is a worldwide campaign to reduce our dependence on single use plastic.

Covid has made this significantly more difficult - more bread is wrapped, more fruit is wrapped and LIDL are now providing plastic bags to use to pick bread and cake products instead of tongs: Anyone up for a weekly challenge to support this?

WEEK 1 - KITCHEN. Pop into the kitchen now and have a scan around - what and how many pieces of plastic can you get rid of.

My 1 minute review of the kitchen ...

* Today I'm going to plant coriander

* Yesterday I planted Chilli seeds (yeah I know way too late, but I live in hope... anyone had a spare plant?)

* Ditch Crisps (for July only... They're my weakness ;)

* More soup for lunch reduces my bread consumption
(indeed should be home grown salads!!)

* And this week we got local strawberries in what looks like a compostable container... Wot r you gonna do?

Have you joined the climate conversation yet?

If not, please do join up to one of our climate chat / info groups here.