Saturday, 19 July 2014

Plastic Free July 2014 in Raglan

Here's some of the great stuff happening in Raglan this year to promote Plastic Free July:
Xtreme Zero Waste, helped by Plastic Free July's
Nabilla Zayan, conduct a waste audit of rubbish bins
on Raglan's main street.
Several cafe and bakeries offer discounts for people
who bring their own take away coffee cups.
The Raglan Creative Market launch their 'Towards
Zero Waste' initiative, offering crockery and cutlery
instead of plastic take away containers, discounts
for reusable coffee cups, and a waste stream that
discourages landfill.
The Harbour View Hotel gets
onboard even before July has started!
Local businesses advertise
their support.

Monday, 30 June 2014

One year's waste

My year has ended as of the 1st of July and this is all the waste I have produced in the last 365 days (most of which was due to my cat's specialist diet).
What an enormous impact we can have on our
waste stream by eliminating plastic.
 
My waste:
Receipts - thermal printers only work on paper imbedded with plastic
Accidental plastic - not knowing that there was plastic in something when I purchased it
Gift plastic - people carefully choosing plastic free gifts and then sending it to me in plastic courier bags
Hungry plastic - this didn't happen very often thankfully, but once or twice I was forced to buy food in plastic out of hunger and lack of choice

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Plastic free bathroom

It's easier than you think to reduce plastic in your bathroom. Here's a look at some of the things I use:
Go Bamboo toothbrushes are now widely available in
stores. Toothpicks can work well in lieu of dental floss,
and I make toothpaste by mixing up baking soda and
water with a few drops of peppermint oil.
Metal razors are not difficult to source. Ask at
your local barber or buy online at shavershop.
I buy my blades at my local dairy.
I have trialled lots of plastic free shampoo.
Lush produce by far the best hair washing
soap. They are expensive (about $15 a
bar) but they last a long time and they wash
my hair better than liquid shampoos.
Deodorant is another product that can be hit and miss.
The best I've found is an allum stone. It works well at
preventing body odour, but of course won't stop you
sweating as it's not an anti-perspirant. No natural product
will accomplish that.
My local health food store makes a lot of their own
natural products (but do package them in plastic). I
asked them to make me up some moisteriser and
simply provided them with a jar.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Best food shopping tips

Food shopping can be very tricky for plastic-conscious people.

The best piece of advice I can give is be prepared to be inconveniencedPlastic exists to make our lives easier, so if you want to really make a change you will have to allow things to be a little harder sometimes. This might mean leaving your full shopping trolley in the store and returning to your car because you left your resuable bags in the boot. It also means planning ahead. It can be difficult to shop off the cuff if you don't have bags with you or if you are in a rush and don't have the luxury of time to make considered choices.


Most supermarkets have mushroom
bags. Use them for all your fruit and
veges, and even your bulk bin purchases.
Always carry a tote bag with you. I made this
one from a light weight pillow case, it folds
up very small and I can easily fit it into a hand
bag or back pack.It means that I can avoid getting
a plastic bag when I do unplanned shopping.

Don't be afraid to ask. You will be surprised at how
accommodating businesses can be (after all they want
your custom). My butcher always packages my orders
in paper. I only had to ask once or twice and they now
automatically do it for me without me reminding them.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Plastic free jems

The wonderful, multi-purpose glass jar.
I use them all the time, most often for
transporting food. This picture shows how
I freeze food using them. The newspaper
prevents the risk of breakage from the
low temperatures. Make sure you leave
the lid off during the initial freezing period
to allow for expansion of the contents. 
I thought I'd share a few great plastic-free discoveries in my 7 months of non-plasticness.
This was my grandad's razor (I have a
feeling he might have taken it to war with
him, so it's pretty special). I can buy blades
at my local dairy.
These are old sports socks that have no elasticity left in
them. I use them as panty liners. They are the perfect
shape and size.
I have a fantastic assortment of different sized tins
that can be found in Indian supermarkets for a very
reasonable price. They are perfect for freezing food,
leftovers, lunches. I've also found a great array of tins

in the local thrift shops (though these aren't often great
for storing wet food).

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The Non-Plastic Maori

In the new year another eco-warrior entered the battle against plastic. Tina Ngata is also going a year without buying plastic. Check out her blog.

And she is awesome; eloquent and smart with some great ammunition for the doubters out there. Have a read of what she has to say:

I recently had this discussion with an older, conservative man and honestly... YAWN. I cannot believe people still try to play this ridiculous circular argument card. It's like saying "unless you give up speaking English you cannot demand Maori language rights".

Look here - the VAST majority of everything you have around you, and on you, at the moment, will be fossil fuel based or sourced. Your mode of transport, the clothes you wear, the utensils you cook with, the toilet you sit on, the device you are reading this on. I, for instance, could not post on here if it were not for petroleum based plastic products.

SO BASICALLY - they're saying that, in order for me to have a say - I need to go live in a cave with no transport (where nobody will hear my say). Convenient huh.

Bollocks. I have had no say in how our economy has developed and the choices made available to me - I can make choices about my own expenditure but if I REALLY want to effect change and demand alternatives FOR our society then I need to be a member OF society and for now, because of historically biased economic choices, that means consuming fossil-fuel based products. If I want to use my voice to demand better processes, fairer economies, sustainable alternatives... then I will damn well do that so that I CAN use fossil fuel free alternatives to push my case further - without having to go and live in a cave.

Of course... there's the shorter answer - which is - I'll use my voice however the hell I want, when I want, where I want.

And then there's the even shorter answer, which is only two words. 


Exactly! What more can be said? Kia ora Tina

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

6 months in and going strong

I'm now starting my seventh month of non-plastic purchasing. Here's is a pretty unarguable testimony for avoiding buying plastic. This is the amount of land-fill I have produced since I stopped buying it. Not quite waste free, but very darn close! I'm working on finding ways to recycle some of it, so watch this space.
This is stuff I've either had to buy or have had given to me.
The pile of paper is receipts - yes, thermal print receipts have
plastic in them.