So what do I expect to achieve by giving up plastic for a year?
I obviously expect to reduce the amount of plastic I accumulate. I hope that reducing plastic will mean an overall reduction in my waste. I haven’t been brave enough to attempt zero waste as I think I’ll be challenged enough with cutting out plastic this year. I anticipate consuming less but maybe spending more on those things I do consume and to learn a lot about what is important to me and what I can do without. And lastly I have a sneaking suspicion that grocery shopping and food preparation is going to take a lot longer.
My inner (mad) scientist is quite ridiculously excited about the thought of making my own products and potions. Vinegar and baking soda cleaning products are hardly a new idea – I remember seeing Aggie talk about them on the first series of ‘how clean is your house- but somehow it always seems easier to buy a bottle of cleaning spray and use that instead. This year should give me the impetus to actually make and research home made alternatives to everyday products, though I also expect to discover a lot more plastic free things in shops once I go hunting for them.
What am I most worried about?
One week in and still stocked up with things from Christmas, my biggest worry is what happens when my bottle of milk runs out? Up until very recently, the last commercially sold glass bottle milk in NZ went out of production in 1989. So this leaves me with plastic bottles or milk powder. The milk powder in supermarkets is sold in plastic bags but I may be able to get it from bulk bins. In coffee I’m sure it’ll be fine but to drink? Truth be told, I’m torn at the idea of replacing one food with an even more processed alternative so the plastic bottle may still win out. There is light at the end of the tunnel as Nelson based Aunt Jean’s Dairy is now producing milk in glass bottles. There are no suppliers in Wellington yet but I’ve got Moore Wilsons on the case and fingers crossed my dilemma has end soon!
It’s been something that’s was bubbling in the back of my mind all through 2016. I think it started with watching Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall convince people to let him look through their bins and being horrified at how much was being thrown out unnecessarily. Then I stumbled onto a post from My make do and mend Life post on Peak Stuff. An online story about microbeads destroying our oceans really got me thinking about plastic. But lastly and most influential was a talk by Hannah and Liam in July 2016 on how they are living a zero waste life. This really opened my eyes how I could make changes. So I have decided to give it a go in 2017.
Here’s to an interesting year…