Plastic free July is in full swing in my house and it isn’t getting any easier I have to say! Once you start this journey and start to really look at this issue, you realise that plastic is literally everywhere. Within the food supply chain it touches almost everything, so complete elimination is near impossible in a modern world. For example, I haven’t figured out the cheese and tofu situation yet!
Overall we are really trying to stick with the plastic free ethos and we’re having some success. We’re discovering alternatives to plastic and are taking the opportunity educate retail staff.
One of our challenges is buying meats. Though I am vegetarian, my kid are not, so we do buy meat most weeks. Even when we go along with our containers to the deli, or butcher in the supermarket to allow them to put the meat straight in, I’ve found that the poor staff are confused and often use a plastic bag to pick up the meat anyway – so the container solution is often defunct. Maybe if enough people ask for this, they’ll get it.
The other challenges are also around buying fruit. So many come in plastic containers, so our no berries and cherry tomatoes month continues. I often find myself staring longingly at those berries!
Shopping also really does take quite a lot longer and with my husband as the one who does the shopping much of the pressure is on him. He often comes homes a bit cranky by it all. While he supports this initiative, I know that he’s secretly counting down the days until he can shop with ease!
But with the challenges come the good vibes from knowing we’re really making a difference. My kids are totally into it and relish the opportunity to point out a lapse in something that my husband I may do. This week, I’ve also really noticed the difference in our bins. So much less rubbish and probably a lot less food waste too. While we are good recyclers and have a worm farm and a compost, the forced simplification of our shopping trolley is resulting in less overall waste.
Our diets have become more basic because of necessity and we’re learning to try some things out that we’ve never done before – like make yoghurt. This has been my discovery of the week and trust me the yoghurt was so delicious – much nicer than store bought. This is something I’m keen to stick to post July. Here is a great instruction. My mum’s tricks are to heat the milk to the required temperature. Add the yoghurt, then put it in a pre-heated oven (the oven is turned off by the way). Keep it there overnight, then take it out of the oven. Let it sit on the kitchen bench for a few hours, then put it in the fridge. In essence it’ about managing the increase and decrease in temperature. And is this all worth it. It honestly and truly is. So yum. Nooshejan.