My journey towards a Plastic Free future – part 1

Happy New Year everyone. I decided to make a different New Year’s resolution this year to my usual fitness targeted one, although of course I still want to focus on that too. This time it is a biggie in my opinion, to try to do my bit for the planet by leading a more sustainable and eco lifestyle, reducing waste, in particular plastic. My other half laughed at me, saying my actions won’t make a difference, but I think every little helps. He said that if I am really sincere about this, then I need to get rid of my car and avoid flying. Something to think about, but right now I need my car to get to work.

I plan to regularly share my progress here on my blog and hopefully inspire others to take action too. I started thinking about this towards the end of last year, so I was pleased to receive a kindle copy of No More Plastic from my sister for Christmas, off my wishlist. I’ll try and write a separate book review on that, but it has certainly given me plenty of food for thought.

No More Plastic by Martin Dorey

Plastic pollution seems to be heading out of control. There are huge islands of plastic rubbish in the oceans, hundreds of miles across and growing rapidly. What a frightening thought.

UK supermarkets currently generate 800,000 tonnes of plastic packaging every year, so I started by signed the Greenpeace petition to UK supermarkets to ditch throwaway plastic packaging. When I went to do my supermarket shopping this week, plastic was in the forefront of my mind, so I was very disappointed to come home with only 7 plastic free products out of a £70 shop. This was at Sainsburys, so I shall see if I can do better at any of the other local supermarkets. I was too early to visit the deli counter which doesn’t open until 9am, but I did some research by asking a member of staff if I could bring my own box for deli purchases. Sadly the answer was no, due to health and safety. Sounds crazy since it would be my food in my box!

#plasticfree groceries

I understand that so far, Iceland is the only UK supermarket chain to pledge to remove plastic packaging from their own-label goods. This should be achieved by 2023, but you can read how they are progressing so far here. Yes I know that it is still a few years off, but they certainly seem to be taking the lead on environmental issues, having already removed palm oil from their own-brand by the end of 2018. Pity I don’t have an Iceland branch locally.

Another thing I try to avoid is food waste, so when I ended up with too much cucumber recently, due to son2 temporarily not eating it, after having had two teeth extracted, I decided to experiment with cooking some. I’ve never cooked cucumber previously, but I thought I would try it in soup.

cucumber soup

Cucumber soup

Ingredients (serves 1)

half a cucumber
1tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1 medium potato
1 small onion
1 large cube of frozen chicken stock
2tbsp single cream
approx 200ml boiling water
oregano
salt and pepper

Method

Peel and slice the cucumber.
Peel and chop onion and potato into small pieces.
Peel garlic and put through garlic press.
Gently heat oil in a saucepan.
Add garlic and onion to pan and allow to soften.
Add water, stock and potatoes.
Add cucumber.
Season with salt, pepper and oregano.
Cook until potato has softened.
If necessary, add extra water.
Roughly mash with potato masher.
Mix in cream and cook for another minute.
Serve and enjoy.

cucumber soup

I couldn’t persuade son2 to try it, as he doesn’t like soup, but I found it really delicious. Lovely comfort food. Just what I needed as I have a bad cough at the moment.

And whilst at Sainsbury’s, I bought a couple of perpetual advent calendar box kits, reduced to 30p each, although unfortunately plastic wrapped. But this is with the aim of reducing plastic long-term, as the boys insist on chocolate filled advent calendars each year, which of course contain a lot of plastic. Now I’ll be able to make my own chocolate shapes using the plastic moulds saved from last year’s calendars, and pop them in these advent boxes.

advent calendars

This is my first tiny steps on my journey towards being plastic free and zero waste. Obviously I have a huge way to go yet. And I’d love to hear your eco friendly suggestions and tips please.

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24 thoughts on “My journey towards a Plastic Free future – part 1

  1. Fiona jk42

    We are also consciously trying to reduce waste, and plastic waste in particular. I will go and sign the petition now, as I feel frustrated that as a consumer, there seems to be little we can do to get supermarkets to reduce the amount of plastic packaging they use.

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  2. Leanne (@ecothriftylifestyle)

    I too believe that small changes do help. After all, by making one small change, it can often educate people of the dangers of plastic pollution, and it can also encourage them to make a change themselves. I started trying to reduce my plastic consumption last year, and just by having the odd conversation with family and friends about it, I’ve noticed some small changes that they’ve made too. I think most people don’t want plastic in their lives really, there’s just so much of it that it’s hard to avoid.

    I’m lucky enough to have a zero waste supermarket that’s opened up near me recently, which is great. It helps a lot. You may have already seen it, but if not, here’s an ever-growing list of zero waste supermarkets:

    https://pebblemag.com/magazine/doing/plastic-free-shopping-13-of-the-uks-best-zero-waste-stores

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    1. mumjd Post author

      Very true words. There is a small zero waste shop not too far to drive to for me. I try to combine it with another trip in that direction to reduce car journeys

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  3. Susan B

    Well done! If we all do something, it will make a difference.
    I am trying to do both better and more all the time. I didn’t know it was possible to make cucumber soup (thanks for sharing) but I have broccoli stalks and cabbage leaves in my vegetable chiller ready to make soup with those.

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  4. jo liddement

    We did the same last year and it’s become a way of life now. I have replaced washing up sponges with cloth ones which can we washed again and again. Toothbrushes are biodegradable bamboo ones and have found a really good tooth paste that comes in a glass jar and really works. This year I intend to buy and use natural toiletries and skincare that come in glass jars and buy my clothes from a company called Thought Clothes who make some lovely bamboo, organic clothing. You can do it and I agree if each and everyone of us can do our bit we can make our earth a cleaner place to live for future generations.

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    1. mumjd Post author

      Yes I was quite surprised to find out about washing up sponges containing plastic. I’ve been mistakenly chucking the old ones in textile recycling for years. Oops. They are now on my list to replace

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  5. paula cheadle

    I try to be plastic free, BUT it is quite hard has a lot of products are wrapped in the stuff. I recycle everything that I can

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