This year we have signed up as a family and as a youth club (opps haven’t told them yet!).
I thought we were quite “good” with our plastic use so felt this year we were ready to sign up.
I have decided to document some of the thought process and what we do in case its useful for someone else.
Every little bit counts, starting small is not a bad thing its a start, so lets start.
First thing was the synchro run, Mia and I have a habit of getting petrol on the way back and she gets to chose a snack (usually whatever chocolate multipack is on offer that week) so she gets a little treat and a surprise in the lunch box for Abi. Aaarrghh Its all wrapped in plastic. We went for the one with the least amount of packaging, better would have been to not have it. Maybe get more organised next week and take something?
Oh my, first hurdle not quite jumped whats next:…
I realised we needed to go shopping. This was great, a chance to get back in the habit of going to the “proper fruit and veg place” rather than being lazy and just going to the supermarket. I took the one produce bag I have, note to self make more, like now! The rest of the produce went in paper bags, not ideal I know but better. I turned down the cheap cherry tomatoes in plastic punnetts and paid more for loose ones in my produce bag (feeling a bit virtuous although obviously room for improvement).
Next was the supermarket (Lidl), there are no bulk stores near us, so this was more of a challenge withs one wins and some fails.
Chocolate- I chose the chocolate in the paper and foil wrapper over plastic wrapper.
Cereal- ugh had chat with the girls, over the weekend we’ve cooked pancakes (the only plastic involved was in the milk carton) and I made breakfast muffins on monday (thank you Paul Hollywood, from his 100 Great Breads book) they were fab and went in lunch boxes too. They wanted cereal so we got Porridge oats in a paper bag and some cereal. We are going to have a go at making Granola and research other breakfast options.
Bread – I usually make this but we had a friend coming for lunch and my last batch was over proved so I picked up a baguette, it went back as it was plastic wrapped. I could have bought a different loaf and not put it in a bag but I didn’t like the idea of putting that on a coveyorbelt. My poor friend suffered the over proved rolls. hmmm make some more bread bags?
Fruit and Veg – I picked up some bananas as they were a better colour than the ones at the veg place and wrapped in their own skin, otherwise this was all already done. I left all the offers which I may have normally bought as our garden is bursting with fruit at the moment and they were plastic wrapped.
Fizzy Water – left it on the shelf, its not a need and plastic bottles.
Orange Juice – Bought this as we have a glass for breakfast everyday and I think its a good way to get vitamins in. not sure what else to do on this one.
Crisps – after chatting with the girls we bought large bags which they will spilt into pots or packed lunch compartments rather than our usual bags within bags. They felt they couldn’t do with out crisps. Have thought about making popcorn or something at home, although to be honest even though I like making and am around a lot, there is still a limit towhead I can accomplish.
Nuts- Couldn’t see an alternative to the plastic packaging but they have recently shrunk the amount of packaging on the bags.
Tins and Jars – phew no plastic
Pasta – no option but plastic packaging or making from scratch (chose the smallest amount of packaging).
Water shoes – to protect against the dreaded weaver fish and broken bottle that occasionally appear where we play, also for a potential non splitting welly project (a constant bugbear of mine). These have plastic soles, not sure of other options.
Cheese, butter, milk – plastic, plastic, plastic. again not sure of options, the butter used to be wrapped in paper but it seams to have a plastic thing now. don’t know where to source glass milk bottle or cheese packed in other ways. Keen to hear solutions.
Flour, Sugar – yay all packaged in paper.
Baking Powder and Yeast- why have they changed to plastic wrapped sachets, really recently they were cardboard tubes and packets!!!
That was it this week a smallish shop and it was exciting to have the produce in paper bags it felt a bit like christmas opening them to see what I had bought.
Shopping at Bookers for school fair.
We bought paper bags and penny sweets rather than boxes of pre wrapped sweets. (the penny sweets still came in plastic tubs with plastic wrapping, the paper bags were also wrapped with plastic). At least the plastic tubs can be reused.
We decided not to buy plastic pots for ice cream toppings, but did buy freeze pops.
No shopping. phew. So lets talk about toilet roll and dog waste:
Toilet roll comes from https://uk.whogivesacrap.org, You can buy 100 % recycled or bamboo, its wrapped in paper, which can be reused for wrapping and 50% of the profits go to build toilets where they are needed. Also it costs around the same as own brand and is delivered to your door. If you use this link you can get £5 off.
Dog waste bags, we buy biodegradable and employ the “stick and flick” where appropriate. I have heard of people using newspaper to pick it up and take it to the nearest bin and there would be times when we are close enough to do this but sometime it would not work. Also we don’t buy a newspaper. Right gonna put some junk mail in my dog walking bag, might try empty flour/ sugar bags. Ill let you know how I get on.
We have dispensed of tuck at the the moment and members bring their own drinks or refillable bottles. We bring water in reused bottles and cups.
We are planning a water fight this friday and I really want to get water balloons but that doesn’t work for plastic free and litter etc. Im off now to google ideas and will let you know.
Summary so far:
Synchro snack in advance (how will I live without Cadburys, if anyone knows of any Cadburys not packaged in plastic I need to know)
Make more produce bags and another bread bag.
Paper for dog waste
Challenges to research:
Cheese, butter, milk options
Plastic free water fight