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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...


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...


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 the Barefoot Investor says: "Tread your own path!"

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


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...


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...


Day Seventeen:

Are you quite the chef in the kitchen? Do you have a healthy looking spice rack?

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Have you thought about how you could reduce the amount of plastic related to your spices?  A great way to do this is to have a spice rack with glass bottles and to purchase your spices from a bulk shop so you can refill the glass bottles. This will avoid the need to purchase many plastic refill bottles or plastic refill sachets as you would at the supermarket.

Having a large range of spices stored in glass bottles can also be useful to create your own mixes of spices such as curry powders etc.

Re-think your thinking...


Day Fourteen:

Do you keep a re-usable bag handy for those impromptu shops?

If you aren't in this habit already then you could try start today!

I love the eco-bags that you can get at Foodland, each with a different environmental message along with artwork. These are long-lasting and easy on the eye. I keep two in my car to use for shopping and if they come into the house after a shop they are emptied and left waiting at the front door for me until I next leave the house to put them back in the car.

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If I go window shopping I take one with me, just in case I make a purchase. Don't be that person who goes into 5 different shops to buy 5 different T-shirts and gets home with 5 different plastic bags. It's just not sustainable...

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The more we stop accepting the plastic bags at all shops, not just the supermarkets, the less plastic there will be in the world.

Say NO to plastic!
Re-think your thinking..


Day Twelve:

If you are already pretty good at recycling you will know that you have to remove lids from bottles before placing them in the recycle bin...




It is now recommended to place all plastic lids in a large plastic bottle (i.e. fabric softener or 2L milk bottle) and once the bottle is full you can place it in the recycle bin. This way the small lids don't get stuck in the sorting conveyer belts as they would if loose. And can now be recycled too with same plastics.

You can do this for steel and aluminium lids as well. Steel lids will be magnetic (you can test them using a magnet) and can be placed in steel tins (also magnetic), once the tin is nearly full you can clamp it shut and place in recycle bin. Aluminium lids are not magnetic and should be placed in aluminium cans. Just make sure that all the steel lids as well as the tin are magnetic and all the aluminium lids as well as the can are not magnetic so as not to mix steel with aluminium. 

I have two empty glass jars at the kitchen window-sill, one labelled magnetic and one labelled non-magnetic. Each time I take a lid off a bottle I test it and place it in the right jar. Once the jar is full I put the lids in the correct can that I have saved and rinsed for this purpose. When the can is full enough, I clamp it shut and put it in the recycle bin. Easy!

Re-think your thinking...

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Day Nine:

Fan of liquid soap over hard soap?

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Think about all those plastic bottles that land up being produced and used up and possibly landing up in landfill or the ocean.

I have been turned to hard soap recently and found some beautiful, locally made, natural soap that I have to say makes my face feel as soft as a baby's bottom! It's all I use on my face followed by some organic face cream. No scrubs/cleansers or whatever else those marketeers like to try and convince you you need. It's all just more plastic and chemicals! We don't need or want that!

If you REALLY have to have liquid soap (I do have some in my studio) then make sure you keep re-using the same pump bottle and go to a bulk food store to top it up. The Honey Shop in Central Markets are the best for all household products in bulk. I am sure there are other places too.

Re-think your thinking...


Day Eight:

Knock Knock!...
Who's there?
Bam who?

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Yip, can't get enough of the stuff!
Did you know you can get bamboo Cotton Buds? 100% biodegradable product. Waaaay better than plastic cotton buds. And yes, they are a little bit more pricey but considering you may be using 1-3 per day, a box should last you between 70 & 200 days and costs around $7. I'd say that was a rather substantially low price to pay for improving our environment. Here is a great online site that sells them amongst many other lovely eco-friendly products.

For the same reasons mentioned in the previous post.