Plastic Free July

03 July 2018
This month I'm joining in on Plastic Free July. I've done the challenge in years passed and I find the challenge period a good motivator to look at what I'm up to and where I might want to make further changes.

Overall I'd say I'm pretty conscious of trying to reduce packaging waste. BUT I definitely get into a routine of buying and doing certain things without reviewing them. So the challenge is a great way to take stock and set new goals.



If you haven't signed up you can do so at Plastic Free July. You can pledge to go plastic free for anywhere from a day to forever - so don't be put off if you don't think you have a month in you.

I know many of you reading will be quite aware of why reducing plastic is a good thing. Many of you probably actively reduce plastic in your daily lives. Is there anywhere you've been planning to make a change that you haven't got to yet? Have you been doing things on autopilot for a while and is it worth checking in for areas to rejig?

Here are the goals and strategies I'm working on this year:

1. Build awareness of ongoing plastic sources

Just 3 days in and I've already accumulated a few plastic things. I'm keeping a list and am going to use this to help direct further changes through the month and for the long term.

2. Start making pasta from scratch again

Pasta is a great go-to meal in our house. With young kids it's easy to get on the table quickly and they eat it up every time. Plus pasta is delicious. However, making it from scratch at dinner time does not happen around here in this 'season' of life (pre-kids it was no worries). Between babies I simply didn't buy packet pasta to force myself to make it but with two kids underfoot I've been using packet pasta pretty often. So, my goal for PFJ is to have a big pasta making day and freeze or dry to have on hand for dinner time. Going forward I'm hoping to do this once a month to keep the pasta stocks up.

I must confess to derailing this goal on day one!! We returned Sunday from a weekend away a little later than planned with two hungry mouths to feed. So, the pasta packet emerged. But hey, change is about progress not perfection. I'm not giving up on this goal because of one setback - I'm simply planning for future success. So, this Saturday is pasta day (and to assuage my guilt I reused the pasta packet to freeze some meat).

3. Refuse plastic straws

Generally I don't have many drinks out but we are off on a trip later in July and I know that will mean more drinks out and about. I generally go for an iced coffee if we are stopping at a cafe so there is usually a straw involved. I'll be making a conscious effort to hold the straw.

And that's it. I'm keeping it pretty simple to keep it realistic. Although if anything pops up through the month while I'm being aware of my plastic use I'll add that in if I can. At the end of the month I'll use my list to see if there are areas for future improvement.

If you are new to PFJ there are plenty of resources and blogs on how to get started - I think the key is to keep it simple. If you are pretty good at keeping plastics down then you might want to challenge your self with a bigger goal.

Are you participating in PFJ?
Any strategies you have to share?

Here are a few other blog posts that you may find useful:
Why you can't fail at PFJ (from last year but a good read - if you head to her homepage you'll see some recent posts on PFJ too).
Preparing for PFJ - quick tips (a new to me blog over the last few weeks that I'm enjoying)
And of course the PFJ website has heaps of tips and tools.

6 comments

  1. I keep meaning to make my own pasta too, Laura. There is a pasta seller at our Farmers Market who has so many varieties for sale for $10 a bag. I won't buy it so I will feel more motivated to make my own but that hasn't happened yet. Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial has some good posts too about how her family is cutting down on plastic.

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    1. Yes, I've been enjoying Celia's posts as well. She is has a lot of good tips and I love reading about what she is up to. Well, pasta day is set for this Saturday here Chel - feel free to join in!

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  2. Hi Laura. I often choose pasta from bulk bin at a local grocer. It's a rice and quinoa small penne and it's yum! Meg

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    1. This is such a great option Meg. I need to do some more sussing out about bulk options. I was a little spoiled in Adelaide and must admit I haven't dug into it too much here. I've seen a couple of the over-priced and trendy bulk buying places but I'll need to dig deeper and see what I can find. A place I used to go to has since closed. PFJ might just be the motivator I need!

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  3. I am really loving the grapes right now. In our supermarket they always come in a plastic bag with handles on it. So what I do is I take them out of that bag and put them into my own re-usable bag. It is feather light as it is designed for veggies so it doesn't even register on the scales. The check out person has a moment of confusion and then just weighs them and puts them through with the other items. I leave the other plastic bag sitting amongst the other grape bags. Perhaps management will catch on one day!

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    1. It's so frustrating that everything is already pre-packaged in plastic. The other day I saw sweet potatoes in plastic - why?? Unfortunately I think that so many people find this convenient - hopefully we can see a shift in the popular mindset with more awareness and more people not accepting the status quo.
      Cheers,
      Laura

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