PLASTIC FREE JULY: DAY 31

Day Thirty One:

Do you often grab take-out meals & coffee? Have you thought about the impact all that packaging can have on the environment?

The 31st and final blog on Plastic Free July. I hope you have all taken something from our efforts of sharing ways to lead a less plastic life. I'd like to thank everyone who shared; commented or liked the posts and hope that there have been a few "AHA" moments as I know there were for me along my journey of discovering a less plastic existence. It is never easy to change and it does take time but very small changes slowly turn into habits and before you know it you look back and see how far you have come. You are not always going to get it 100% but even if everyone made a 2% effort to reduce their use of plastic it would have a massive impact on our earth!

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Next time you need to grab some breakfast or lunch and you are not in a pressurised rush to get to where you're going then why not just take a breather, slow down, and dine-in. This way you will save on the take-out packaging and your sanity. Slowing down is something our society does not do comfortably and it is adding to stress-related illnesses. Alternatively, of course, if taking out is a must then don't be caught without your re-usable coffee mug; re-usable water bottle; re-usable cutlery and depending on the kitchen, you could even try and take your own container with you to put your food in, leaving zero footprint ;-). Now that's making a difference!

Make a change...
Re-think your thinking...

PLASTIC FREE JULY: DAY 30

Day Thirty:

Do you often grab breakfast or lunch on the go? Have you thought about the impact all that plastic cutlery can have on the environment?

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Why not always carry a set of cutlery with you for those days you grab something "to go". Keep it in your handbag or in the glove compartment of the car. That way you are never caught without it and don't have to rely on plastic.

Make a change...
Re-think your thinking...

PLASTIC FREE JULY: DAY 29

Day Twenty Nine:

Do you love sushi? Have you thought about the impact all those plastic take-away containers can have on the environment?

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Next time you plan to have take-out sushi, why not take in a tupperware/steel/glass container with you to put your sushi in and save on all that plastic being manufactured.

Make a change...
Re-think your thinking...

PLASTIC FREE JULY: DAY 28

Day Twenty Eight:

Do you own a credit card? Or several? If so, have you thought about the impact all those plastic cards are having on your wealth as well as the environment?

These little suckers have a large negative impact on the environment in a round about way...not so much about the physical plastic of the cards but more so how they enable us to spend; spend; spend...mostly on unnecessary items that we don't really "need" but do really WANT! Feeding consumerism at its best and creating a large amount of waste (not to mention financial stress) at the end of the day.  We should be spending our money more wisely, or rather, not spending our money as much...which is really wiser! Next time you reach for your credit card to purchase an item, ask yourself this:

  • Do you really NEED that item?
  • Is it going to positively impact your life in the long term and in a healthy way?
  • Is it in line with your long term goals?
  • Is it the most environmentally friendly option or are there better options you could be looking at?
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If you're interested in saving yourself financially when it comes to credit cards and loans etc then a friend of mine introduced me to "Barefoot Investor", this guy will tell it like it is and cut through the BS that you get fed from banks and large corporations. He may sound offensive at times but it's probably what we all need to hear. Listening to his wise words will save you money in the short term and long term. It is worth sitting down and looking at all your accounts/credit cards/loans and seeing if there is a way to reduce the amount they are costing you. That is what I did last night and I was able to cut up the credit card that was costing me the most simply by paying it off using another account of mine with a lower interest rate. And I will be cutting up a second one today! Even though I haven't technically paid it off yet, it felt great to do and I know I have saved myself in the long run. I also stopped using any of my credit cards about 6 months ago in order to pay them off quicker. There are many ways to reduce the impact of debt: consolidate your credit cards on the lowest interest rate possible; apply for a balance transfer and make SURE you pay it off in the timeframe given; STOP spending on your cards! You will never pay them off if you keep using them. Make sure you put on more than the minimum amount each month. A lot of you are probably already on top of this but my emphasis is on all the spending we do as a society that is just not necessary. There is a very small amount of people rubbing their hands together and just getting richer whilst the poor get poorer. Don't sell your soul to consumerism...as the Barefoot Investor says: "Tread your own path!"

Make a change...
Re-think your thinking...

PLASTIC FREE JULY: DAY 27

Day Twenty Seven:

Are you a peanut butter fan? Does your peanut butter come in a plastic jar? If so, have you thought about the impact all those plastic jars could have on the environment?

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I am more of an almond butter fan myself and am lucky enough to have a couple of health food stores in my city that sell freshly created peanut or almond butter. You take along your glass jar, or purchase one at the store, and get to watch the freshest peanut or almond butter you have ever bought ooze out of the end of the grinder straight into your jar. THE BEST! And the even better thing is, you only ever have to use one glass jar (that you keep returning with) for all the many jars of peanut or almond butter you plan to eat. No more plastic waste on peanut butter containers.

Make a change...
Re-think your thinking...

Look out for these machines at any health food store...

Look out for these machines at any health food store...

PLASTIC FREE JULY: DAY 26

Have you ever stopped to think about what your clothes are made out of and the impact they could have on the environment and yourself?

I know I hadn't up until recently and to be honest, doing some research on it has left me feeling just a little depressed. So many fabrics these days are harmful for the environment, either by way of cultivation (using up large supplies of water, pesticides, forests); by manufacturing (a lot of fabrics are created using all sorts of chemicals and acids); by our daily usage (many synthetic microfibres that are released during a load of washing land up in the ocean and ingested by sealife).

To find out more about which fabrics to avoid and why, click here.

Because clothing materials go through such huge processes before they land up on the shelves, they can even be quite toxic to the human body in some cases. Here is an article that is worth reading regarding the lack of regulations in Australia of chemically harmful clothing.

It doesn't even seem like there are many 100% safe options to choose out there but it does seem that the best options are organic and listed below:

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  • Cotton
  • Silk
  • Linen
  • Hemp
  • Wool
  • Cashmere

Make a change...
Re-think your thinking...

PLASTIC FREE JULY: DAY 25

Day Twenty Five:

What do you use to wash your dishes? If it is a sponge; a "disposable" cloth; a long handle sponge or anything similar, it probably contains some amount of plastic and is not a sustainable product.

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The best option is a 100% cotton cloth, once these have come to the end of their life (which will be many years if looked after well) they can be cut up into small pieces and put into your compost bin, leaving no negative trace behind once broken down. All these other "convenient", "disposable" options are not at all convenient and definitely not disposable as they will hang around for hundreds of years before ever breaking down.

Next time you run out of dishcloths or sponges please think about purchasing cotton ones as replacements. These can be found on many eco-stores online or most likely at your local markets, even some supermarkets may stock them.

Make a change...
Re-think your thinking...

PLASTIC FREE JULY: DAY 24

Day Twenty Four:

Are you often thirsty on the run and need to grab a bottle of water? All those many plastic bottles either land up in landfill or, more than not, the ocean. Plastic bottles and lids are one of the most frequent rubbish ocean dwellers we have these days.

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Make sure you purchase a steel or glass water bottle so you can keep it with you wherever you go and stay hydrated on the move, not at the expense of our environment. Sure, there are going to be times when we will be caught out and need to purchase a water bottle, but make that the rare occasion and not the norm and you're winning!

Make a change...
Re-think your thinking..

PLASTIC FREE JULY: DAY 23

Day Twenty Three:

Do you have a centre in your town that educates and supports sustainable living and environmental awareness? If you live in Adelaide then your answer should be "yes"!

I only recently learned about the Adelaide Sustainability Centre which is situated at The Joinery, 111 Franklin Street, (just off the West side of the bus station). You can read more about them here. This centre teaches and supports sustainable living. They run regular workshops and events to educate and share their knowledge so we can all make positive changes in our lives to minimise the negative impact we are having on our own environment. They run movie nights; educational workshops; hands-on workshops, from teaching you how to create your own backyard veggie patches to sharing knowledge on how to recycle right and how to minimise packaging waste when doing your grocery shopping. Most of the events are either free or only charged at a small fee to cover the costs of running it (often between $5-$20).

This week they ran a workshop to teach us how to make our very own beeswax wraps (see what these are by visiting "Day 10" in our blogs); cotton veggie bags (see what these are by visiting "Day 6" in our blogs) and a jute scrubber. All of which we could take home with us. Needless to say it was a fun workshop and now we have a couple extra beeswax wraps and cotton bags to add to our collection. The jute scrubber can either be used as a face exfoliator; body scrubber; veggie scrubber or dish cloth. It even got my partner, Andre, on the knitting needles making his very own jute scrubber, which I was extremely impressed by, he persevered to the end and got it done. It looked awesome!

Concentrating hard on the sewing machine making my veggie cotton bag.

Concentrating hard on the sewing machine making my veggie cotton bag.

Finished Product! Veggie cotton bag good to go!

Finished Product! Veggie cotton bag good to go!

My little knitted jute scrubber, haven't knitted since I was about 13. It all comes flooding back.

My little knitted jute scrubber, haven't knitted since I was about 13. It all comes flooding back.

My very own, handmade beeswax wrap...see you later cling film!

My very own, handmade beeswax wrap...see you later cling film!

Why not look up if you have a sustainability centre or something similar in your area where you can learn about all these wonderful things and be more informed on how we can make a change to minimise the impact we have on this planet.

Make a change...
Re-think your thinking..

PLASTIC FREE JULY: DAY 22

Day Twenty Two:

Do you own a razor? Is it a "disposable" one? If so, have you thought about the impact that all those plastic razors can have on the environment?

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Why not invest in a stainless steel razor, that way you only have to change the blades. Click here for a great brand to invest in. Alternatively you could use a plastic style razor that has the detachable blades so you can keep the main part for years and only have to replace the razor head occasionally. As long as you avoid the one piece plastic razors which get thrown into landfill after each use...these are bad!

Re-think your thinking...