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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 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...


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...


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..


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 Twenty One:

Did you know that the average person goes through around 50 toilet rolls per year?
Have you thought about the impact that all that plastic packaging can have on the environment?

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The best way to avoid all this plastic waste is to purchase toilet rolls that are packaged in recycled brown paper such as the brand, "Safe", which can be found in most supermarkets. This concept is relevant to all products that are packaged. 

Remember...paper is better than plastic!

Re-think your thinking...


Day Twenty:

Are you a meat eater?
Have you thought about the impact that all the meat packaging can have on the environment?

I was chatting to my local Butcher today about whether many people try and avoid plastic when buying their meat. He was telling me that there is one lady who re-uses her brown paper bags that they always put the wrapped meat into until it is almost disintegrated. And there is another lady who brings in her own tupperware for them to put the meat straight into. Therefore, totally eliminating the need for plastic at all. Imagine we all did that? How much of a positive impact would that have on the world of plastics.

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I have tried to start using tupperware myself for meat purchased at the Butcher. Give this a go! Next time you're at your Butcher just ask them if they would accept putting your meat into a tupperware for you instead of a plastic bag. They just weight the container first to make sure they deduct the weight of the container and pop your meat in there for you...EASY!  You should find that most Butcher's will be only too willing to accept this method as it is saving them costs in packaging. I know ours is super supportive of this which makes life easier and a whole lot more plastic free :-). 

Re-think your thinking...


Day Nineteen:

Do you love sushi?
Have you thought about the impact that the tiny little soy sauce packaging can cost on the environment?

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These little suckers land up in the ocean a lot of the time and small fish can mistake it for food. If you don't really need the soy sauce then make sure it isn't put into your bag by staff, alternatively if you find yourself using these little containers then they are recyclable along with your plastic lids (check out our post from Day 12 for more details).

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 Sixteen:

Do you spend a lot of money on high end toiletries? Or alternatively, do you purchase cheap toiletries that just get the job done?

Have you ever thought about the plastic waste created from many different toiletry items? Not to mention all the nasties that are put in toiletries and then put onto our skin or hair which readily absorb such things. Even if you purchase organic, healthy toiletry items there will always be preservatives in them to lengthen their shelf life as well as possibly the container being lined with plastic that contains BPA & Phthalates without you even knowing.

The only answer I felt comfortable with is to make my own. At least then you know exactly what is going in them. Not only is it better for your body and the planet but it is waaaaay better for your wallet too ;-).

I now make pretty much 90% of my toiletries as well as my partner's (which he loves!). Here is one of the items I made over the weekend for my partner. We made two versions of this. The first attempt was more of a Pomade and he found it too oily and didn't have enough hold so we melted it down and added some Kaolin clay and veolia!...we had the perfect hair moulding clay that he said was better than his previous chemically laiden, expensive pot of hair styling product. He applied a very small amount to towel-dried hair and it took about 20 minutes for his hair to absorb the oils and leave a matt look as well as leaving the hair looking thicker; well texturised and re-mouldable...WIN! Not to mention the essential oils I chose promote hair growth as his hair is quite thinned.

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  • 2tbs organic natural Beeswax
  • 3tbs organic unrefined Shea Butter
  • 4tbs organic Jojoba oil
  • 5tbs Kaolin clay
  • 25 drops of organic essential oils of your choice (we chose 10x Rosemary; 10x Peppermint; 5x Lime)

Heat some water in a pot and place a clean, small steel bowl in the middle so the water is about halfway up the bowl. Place the Beeswax & Shea Butter in the bowl and gently stir with a clean, teaspoon until melted. Add Jojoba oil and stir, then remove bowl from the pot. Let the mixture cool for 2-3mins and add your essential oils & Kaolin clay. Using an electric hand mixer (you only need the one beater and not both) blend the mixture until it thickens and becomes smooth. The finished product should look like hair clay but will still be a thick, wet consistency that resembles cake dough. Scoop into 120ml glass jar (should just fit) and let it stand for a few hours, it should harden a bit more in this time. Apply as needed :-).

If you would rather purchase your own hair product then it is best to try and find one in a glass jar as opposed to plastic and also avoid a long list of unnatural ingredients where possible. Alternatively, I am happy to take orders!

Re-think your thinking...