Well first off I am going to add a small disclaimer to this post. I, myself, am not totally zero waste. I am quite far from it if I am honest. But I try. And in reality every small step I take to reduce my waste is a step closer to reducing all waste.
Day 1 of Zero Waste Week was Monday and the question that was posed was “Why?” Why are you reducing your plastic? I would love to hear your reasons. Please leave comments or link to your own blog post explaining your reasons. I would love to read them.
What about me? Why do I spend time trying to reduce my plastic?
My reasons are quite simple really. In this post Rae lists 10 reasons for reducing plastic, but I only have 2. My kids!
Like any mother I want the best for my kids. I want them to grow up in a world that can still take their breath away (for all the right reasons). One that is inhabited by many many species of animals and fish.
I want them to look in the sea and see fish not plastic.
I want them to look to the horizon and see mountains, not landfills.
I know that my decisions today can help shape their future tomorrow. Why wouldn’t I try my best?
As you know we have been reducing our plastic use for a number of years now. Sustainability is definitely getting more popular due to the exposure from documentaries like Blue Planet etc and with more people getting on board, the more companies that are trying to keep with popular opinion.
In our little town we have a small catering shop that has slowly been stocking plastic free items. Over the summer, the owner Claire has taken a leap of faith and on Tuesday she reopened as a Zero Waste Shop. I was lucky enough to be invited to the relaunch and I was very impressed by both the shop and the turn out.
Claire stocks loose pasta, rice, lentils, oats and spices to name a few.
There is also has a refill station for items such as washing up liquid, disinfectant and sanitiser.
I bought some soap nuts to try, some chickpeas and some fresh eggs laid by Claire’s very own chickens.
All you need to do is bring your own container, weigh it on the scale, take note of the weight of your container and then fill it with the items you’d like to buy.
I’d really like to see this shop be a success as I do believe that this is the way of the future. If we can use less plastic while shopping then the better it is for the planet.
Have you got a Zero Waste Shop near you?
Almost 4 years ago I wrote this blog post about teabags containing plastic. I was absolutely horrified to realise that I had been ingesting plastic (albeit tiny amounts) but it did explain why I kept finding the bags in the compost bin.
We made the switch to loose leaf tea and we’ve used that ever since. However, that’s not really the end of the story, as the most convenient form of loose leaf tea (supermarket rather than trekking into Cardiff) still comes wrapped in plastic *sigh*.
So it was great to read that PG Tips are switching to plastic free, fully biodegradable tea bags (article here). The Co-op are reportedly following suit with their Fairtrade tea going plastic free by the end of the year.
Hopefully in their rush to remove the plastic from their teabags, they won’t overlook their packaging.
Still, it’s all a step in the right direction.
Continuing with our quest to have a plastic free bathroom, the kids and I have changed over to bamboo toothbrushes.
I was slightly apprehensive as I’ve read some negative reviews where the bristles fall out after a few uses.
I had my mind changed by the lovely Claire who owns Plant2Plate in Caerphilly town centre. A caterer by trade she has recently branched out into environmentally friendly and plastic free products.
I first became aware of Claire and her lovely shop through Facebook and decided to go and check it out. She had some lovely products and says that she doesn’t stock anything that she doesn’t use herself. We talked about the toothbrushes and she showed me what she had.
I decided to pay a bit extra and skip the economy version as I was still unsure over the quality of the bristles. This brush cost me £2.50 which is more than I usually pay as I normally pick the cheapest one available. The kids also wanted one each (the children’s version was slightly cheaper) so I bought one each for the three of us.
Unfortunately I seemed to forget about hubby so I’ll have to go back and get him one next time I’m in town.
We’ve used them now for over a week and the bristles are holding fine. They are softer than the normal toothbrushes I buy and the handles are thinner so it took D a bit of getting used to.
Both Little Lady and D seem to like them. There’s a lot less fuss when I ask them to go brush their teeth now and their teeth do seem to be getting a better brush than usual too. Let’s hope that keeps up.
As an added bonus the packaging is recyclable too.
Have you tried a bamboo toothbrush? What was your experience?
I recently wrote about our attempt to make bath bombs and how the first attempt had gone awry due to an issue with the recipe. We had to have another as the kids were desperate to have homemade bath bombs in their bath.
A quick search of the internet and I found a recipe that worked on The Soap Kitchen. They suggest
300g Bicarbonate of Soda
100g Citric Acid
10ml of fragrance (we used less than this)
We also added a 6yr old’s handful and a half of dried rose petals.
When mixed they gave a much better texture and held together better. I had bought small round moulds and this mixture gave us 6 balls.
They’ve been used in the bath and the verdict is mostly positive. The main negative came from me and that was that there were waaaaay too many rose petals left in the bath once they got out lol! If you have a 6yr old to use as a measuring tool, maybe suggest only 1 handful 😉
If you use this recipe please let me know how you find it. I’d love to have your views too.
In my last post I told you about our bath bomb experience. The kids thought it was great fun and can’t wait to do it again.
The point of making our own was to cut down on the plastic wrapped versions you can buy in the shops.
It didn’t quite work out very plastic free though as the ingredients came wrapped in so much plastic it was unbelievable!
Each individual item was in a plastic bag, two of which was in another plastic bag.
One of the items, the honey powder, had a plastic tub option instead of a plastic bag so I chose that thinking that at least the tub could be reused. But the tub came wrapped in so much cling film it was unreal!
I was pretty disappointed to be honest and will be looking for another source for the ingredients.
Have you ever done anything trying to minimise plastic use that ended up a complete fail?
As part of a drive here to get our bathroom completely plastic free this year, I bought some bath bomb making ingredients.
I have an awesome friend who used to run workshops for children, so my two have had plenty of experience making bath bombs before.
I, however, don’t! But how hard can it be? Right? If kids can do it, then I certainly can! Pfft!
So we gathered the ingredients and pulled up the recipe given on the website.
We measured and weighed all the ingredients
Then emptied them into a mixing bowl.
We added dried rose petals and some honey powder.
Now the recipe called for fragrance oil but said that it could be substituted for water which we did as we didn’t have any fragrance oil. And that’s where it all went wrong. It was too much water and it started to fizz and expand out of the moulds.
A whole batch ruined and had to be thrown away!
We re made them as the kids were very disappointed but used a lot less water than was suggested, and this time we had lovely round bath bombs ready to use.
One plastic wrapped item we no longer need to buy. Woohoo!
Do you use plastic free alternatives in the bathroom? Please let me know in the comments if you do.
EDITED If you’d like to see the recipe we used to make the second lot of bath bombs please see here