A Sea of Plastic

Earlier this month Elea shared with you how the original York household is moving to Living with Less Waste. I moved out of my parents place a few years ago and rent a pretty small one bed flat where I live with my rabbits, Flopsie and Midnight. It's a slightly different lifestyle, so today I thought I'd share my journey into reducing the amount of plastic in my life.  

I stumbled upon (gosh does that website still exist, that was ace) the zero waste movement at some point last year and was nothing short of intimidated. I felt uninformed and wasteful. Yet looking at my day to day life, work, pets & volunteering I had no clue how to get my waste down to a jarful a year. I was throwing out a bin bag full a fortnight, a jar seemed utterly impossible! Too scary, I thought, I'll park that for later. Then of course came Blue Planet II and the amount of plastic I throwaway was at the forefront of my mind again. I decided at the beginning of 2018, with the Latte levy being discussed by the government, to throw myself into this wholeheartedly and commit. Cycle forward to now and I'm a little less intimidated but still learning and still producing plastic waste, just a little less of it. 

The most important thing I have learnt so far is this: you will not become zero waste overnight. You just won't. It will take time and effort and some fundamental life changes.

 Not quite an insta worthy cupboard shot... 

Not quite an insta worthy cupboard shot... 

So I've adjusted my goals slightly, I am aiming for a single use plastic free kitchen first. Then once I've got my sustainable kitchen up and running I'll tackle the next bit of life. I've been doing this somewhat unstructured for months, trying to consciously pick packaging that can be reused or at the very least recycled when my budget allows and actually adjusting my budget to allow for this.

But today we're gonna get real about this. In the interests of honesty and sharing and learning we're gonna see just how much single use plastic is in my kitchen and then plan to change it. So I present to you my plastic kitchen audit. Gulp.

As you can see I've split my audit into areas; fridge and store cupboard. For each item I used the checklist below to review it and work out what my next steps are. I wanted to make it as simple as possible to get an overview of what I have and what I need to do.

  1. is it plastic?
  2. can it be reused?
  3. can it be reduced?
  4. can it be recycled?
  5. is there an alternative?
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My outcomes were as follows:

  • research making my own butter
  • alternative packaging for tomato puree
  • research refills for milk
  • alternative (glass) packaging for oils
  • research drying own herbs
  • research refill options for spices
  • make own stock
  • look for alternative packaging/ suppliers for nuts, seeds, rice, grains, pasta and dried fruit

Now I have a clear list of next steps I need to take to reduce the amount of single use plastic in my kitchen.

Hopefully if you're looking at taking some steps to reduce the amount of single use plastic waste in your kitchen this will help.

Peace, love & cider

Charlotte

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What am I eating this week?

radishes, broad beans, watercress, strawberries, blueberries, new potatoes

Rosemary and garlic studded baked camembert

Broad bean, feta and watercress salad