As the start of a New Year is upon us many of us look to start the year with fresh new habits. Not one for the usual goals of my 20’s of losing weight or eating better my 2018 goal is to use less plastic. Over the last year my drive to use less and have a smaller footprint on the environment has increased with vigour the more I have opened my eyes to the environmental issues facing our planet.
Check out this video from BBC Earth: Our Blue Planet: How does plastic actually enter our oceans?
As I quickly realised one of the major sources for plastic waste is our food. Pop to your local supermarket and I challenge you to find your supplies without reaching for some form of plastic packaged item. Cucumbers come shrink wrapped, bananas in plastic packaging, ham in plastic trays, bread in plastic bags… the list goes on! With the phasing out of plastic bags from Countdown and New World supermarkets in 2018, I for one am extremely excited at a step in the right direction.
So how to start… don’t get overwhelmed! I’m not suggesting boycotting buying food and living solely off the land. But aim to start small and look at what you can do to realistically make changes. An easy way to combat all this plastic is my favourite, the reusable bag. With a range of bags now available you can shop knowing no plastic is required to transport your goods home.
These are the best! I used to drive my husband nuts with refusing plastic bags for our produce. Everything would roll around the trolley, then frustrate him by having to stack them on the checkout for the operator to roll their eyes in annoyance.
With two sizes available, you can fit in anything from grapes right up to a couple of kilos of kumara. I keep a selection inside my reusable bags to make sure I don’t forget them when shopping. And if I do forget I have been known to pack all my veges into those paper mushroom bags!
As a new bulk bin convert these are a must have. Buy all your dry goods like rice, flour, pasta, etc in bulk and store in glass jars at home. Not only will it save packaging but also looks good too!
In an effort to reduce our family’s plastic waste and also to save some money I started making our own muesli for breakfast sourced from our local organic shop.
This simple but delicious recipe normally lasts our family of three a week and costs about $6 to make.
7-8 cups of quick rolled oats
½ cup chia seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup shredded coconut
3-4 tablespoons cinnamon
Mix to combine and store in an air tight jar or container. Serve with your choice of milk (we use Coconut Milk), leave to sit for 5 mins and serve with plenty of your favourite seasonal fruit.
These little bags are very deceiving, they may look small but can stretch to hold a lot! Roll up and store in your handbag or in the glove box of your car. Not only handy for a supermarket trip but also a beach outing, market excursions or a library trip.
So remember little changes every day or week can add up. By taking a few produce bags with you on your next shopping trip or by leaving some bags in your car for when you next pop to the shops can really make a difference.
I challenge you to think about how you can work towards reducing your plastic waste and work towards a sustainable life in 2018.