Day 26 of A Life Less Plastic: half way home

March 11, 2018

Happy Mother's Day! We’re half way through our plastic experiment, so I thought I’d do a round-up of things that have worked and things that haven't. 


Here to stay:


Milk deliveries! Our milkman is quite possibly the friendliest man in the land and he valiantly kept deliveries going all through the recent snowmageddon. I love the nostalgia of collecting the milk from the step and the pleasing pfff of the bottle top when you press it down to open it. Apparently, each glass bottle is washed, sterilised and scanned at least 13 times before being recycled, which I think is pretty cool. And I love that our recycling bin isn’t full of large plastic milk bottles. We also get butter from the milkman too, which is great for reducing margarine tub usage.


Baking baking baking! I bake bread at least every other day and make snacks for after-school hungry tummies. Flour and sugar are in paper packets, so baking can be very much plastic-free.  


Buying supermarket stuff in my own containers. Waitrose are fine about it; Morrison’s less so, so it’s a bit hit and miss, but always worth a go.


Who Gives A Crap loo roll. It’s great – they’re made from 100% recycled paper (you can also choose 100% bamboo paper) and each roll is packaged in a beautifully designed paper wrapper, which just goes in the recycling bin. They also donate a lot of their profits to improving sanitation in the third world.


Yoghurt-making. We’ve finally found a recipe that works thanks to our ace friend James, which is unbelievably simply and saves us a fortune. Recipe coming soon…


My children’s attitudes. I love how my little ones have taken this on board so unquestioningly. They regularly holler “IT’S IN PLASTIC” if someone gives them a lolly or sweet and while it doesn’t actually deter them from eating it, it’s at least a start.


On the way out…


Paper bin bags. I’m trying my hardest to make these work, but it’s just not happening – we don’t have a composter at the moment, so food waste is a bit difficult to get rid of. Currently thinking about buying biodegradable bin bags, but these only break down in certain conditions, so if it’s not disposed of properly (i.e. in a commercial composting facility) then it might not break down at all. We’re still using newspaper bin liners and I’m going to keep going until Lent has finished, but I think the long-term solution is to get a composter and to reduce wastage as much as possible.


Cardboard straws. They just don’t cut it and they fall apart precisely five seconds after you’ve given it to a small human because they’re so chewable!


Below is the total amount of plastic we’ve used over the last 26 days. Most of it is what we had in our freezer or cupboards prior to Lent and the rest is packaging from parcels. We had to buy a yoghurt pot as a starter culture for making yoghurt, but other than that, I think we’re doing ok.


Roll on Easter!




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© 2019 by Jules Birkby / Now Then, Sunshine.