How was #plasticfreejuly ?

Good afternoon folks! So July sped by faster then the speed of light and I just wanted to do a little #plasticfreejuly update. So many of you have been giving this global challenge a go and I’ve seen so much awesome stuff, especially on Insta of folks really making this positive change in their lives. 

So since this is real life though and not the pretend and perfect instagram life, I thought I’d share some of the ways in which I did a shite job at #plasticfreejuly and then, so we can end on an upbeat tone, I’ll give you a few ways in which I’ve rocked it so you might give these methods a goo too! 

Ways in Which I’ve Failed Plastic Free July Completely & Utterly

Ice Creams in the good weather - in the epic sunshine that began the month I was a divil for getting things like Twisters a) because I’m coeliac and b) (to not shirk responsibility) because I kept forgetting to do something clever like make banana nice-cream. If youre not a gluten free human get it in the cone not the tub. Please dont say carbs. Its an ice cream. 

 Can we talk about the Popeye?

Can we talk about the Popeye?

 

Crisps - I fear these will be the last outpost of my plastic consumption, I eat pretty healthy but, like my family before me I LOVE crisps, sometimes I even crumble them over the top of my veggie burgers… I thought that buying the bigger bags would mean less plastic across several days…it just meant I ate more crisps. Till we get some kind of awesome bulk store like The Source  where I can eat those epic corn snacks so popular in spanish bars, this will continue to be my major plastic sin. 

Forgetting my water bottle - yep its great to have the reusable one and I do remember it like 95% of the time, so this was a mini fail I bought 1, just 1! plastic water bottle this month when I was very parched after a surf. Now I keep a few full glass water bottles in the van and then have a lightweight metal one for my bag.

Groceries (general) - This one really does irk me - when I’ve managed to choose cafes that wont give me plastic, overhauled my entire skincare/beauty routine (check out some recipes here)to be free of single use plastics and chemicals, its the COMPLETELY POINTLESS plastics on say veggies and fruit, that still makes up the bulk of what ends up in our recycle bin each week. I did recently discover a paella rice that comes in a handy cloth bag, I’ve loads of them and now use them for when I’m storing little veggies and herbs in the fridge and they last way longer (then in the stupid plastic they came in). It REALLY pisses me off that its only posh grocers like the beautiful Fallon & Byrne that give you everything in paper, cardboard and waxed paper, even though these things are cheaper then the plastic stuff. Phew rantalicious. 

 Net bag I use for groceries, as well as as a beach bag. Homemade single use plastic swaps - toothpaste, perfume, dry shampoo, bronzer. Since this photo I've also added deoderant to the mix too!

Net bag I use for groceries, as well as as a beach bag. Homemade single use plastic swaps - toothpaste, perfume, dry shampoo, bronzer. Since this photo I've also added deoderant to the mix too!

Meat & Fish - vegans are gonna love this one, I am not above noticing that the times I ate completely plastic free were all the meals that contained no meat, fish or dairy since these tend to come in plastic or tetrapak (yep thats plastic coated too its only pretending to be cardboard). So with that in mind, swapping to a few more veggie meals per week is a no brainer way to reduce plastic. I also saw recently a vlog of a girl using her own tupperware in the fishmongers, that would be a pretty easy bet so I might try that soon. A few tupperwares in the van would be pretty easy along with the usual reuseable bags. 

Ways in Which I was Smuggly Nailing #plasticfreejuly or Suprised at its Ease

  1. No need for major details here, but for more check out my recent post on your plastic free essentials that I actually did for a festival last month with Clean Coasts, a handy kit for your car or backpack - water bottle, light weight coffee cup, steel straw, shopping bags and a produce net (for loose veg or fruit see image above). 
  2. Supporting businesses that dont give you plastic - e.g. chippers that use brown paper bags, grocers that do the same, coffee shops that give discounts for reusable cups.
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3.Using a fabric bag when I foraged for food - a bit of a duh moment, but when I used to collect wild garlic and mint I used zip locks (I promise I did wash them and use them several times, but still). Bonus - the fabric let the leaves breath better and stopped then from sweating and going soggy on a hot day. 

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4.If you have the chance bring your own bags/boxes etc to the farmers market. Cheaper veg,in season from the source. Its not hipster, its just common sense (if you have the time!). 

5.Surf wax swap - this was the easiest of all. Dont buy then chemical surf wax wrapped in plastic, get the organic one is paper or cardboard, surprisingly little price diff. 

6.Beeswax wraps - check out my post on how to make your own here and be free of clingfilm (as well as cutting back on tinfoil) forever!!! 

 See link above on how to make your own beeswax wraps

See link above on how to make your own beeswax wraps

 

7.Grow your own herbs on the windowsill - great if you're stuck for space, adds lovely greeny and nice smells to your home, saves you moolah on groceries and cuts down your plastic! I’ve got dill, mint, parsley, coriander, rosemary and basil on the go at the minute. For bonus levels have a go at making your own sprouted beans using beany-things bought in a bulk store (dont worry I havent graduated to this level yet either). 

8.Picking veggies from the garden - we've a little garden going in my dads place, The Gyreum Ecolodge and getting veggies here for a recent shoot with Finisterre was certainly one of my favourite moments of #plasticfreejuly !

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I really hope you've enjoyed this foray into plastic free land with me. If you’re new to the concept of plastics being so shit for the ocean (and your health and the world in general) I’d totally recommend checking out some sites like 2 minute beach clean or trash is for tossers and also the film A Plastic Ocean.

Finn Ni Fhaolain