My journey towards a Plastic Free future – part 7

It has been a while since I last gave you an update on how things are going with trying to reduce waste, in particular plastic. I felt I suffered a setback whilst we were on holiday recently. It seems much more difficult when you out of your own zone. Things started going wrong from when we stopped at the services for a meal en-route. We all opted for different fast food outlets and my other half was the only one who got his meal on a china plate with proper cutlery. So thumbs up to Harry Ramsdens for that. The rest of us ended up being served with disposable tableware. I don’t see why they couldn’t all follow Harry Ramsdens lead.

We were doing a house swap to the Wirral and our host had written a note regarding what could go in the recycling bin. Basically cans, glass, plastic bottles, paper and cardboard. So much more limited than what we can recycle at home. No plastic trays, yoghurt pots, etc. I had heard previously that recycling varied from council to council, but I wasn’t expecting it to be this restricted. And no food waste bins either. Although we had a lovely holiday, sadly I sent significantly more to landfill that week than usual. And of course, I didn’t know where to shop locally for least plastic waste, especially when we had to dash straight to the supermarket on arrival to buy a cabbage to feed their tortoise. We opted for Morrisons, but no plastic free cabbages in sight. I later found out that sadly the local greengrocer had closed down permanently, so no options for fruit and vegetables other than the supermarkets.

water bottle

Also I was very saddened when taking part in a race in beautiful countryside to see single use plastic water bottles discarded littering the route. Several issues come to mind here. Firstly bring your own reusable bottle to carry with you. The run was only 10k and it was a cool day. I didn’t need to hydrate whilst running at all, although admittedly my time was almost twice that of the leaders. Secondly if you do take a bottle from the water station en-route, hold onto it until the end of the race and then recycle it. Obviously not viable for a marathon when you will need to hydrate multiple times, but fine for this kind of distance. And thirdly, perhaps the race organisers could consider other options to plastic bottles, such as compostable paper cups. The goody bag was another area that could be reconsidered, as it was one of those plastic drawstring bags. How about a cloth bag instead.

And here’s a recipe I promised to share for grapefruit cake, made when I was thinking of ideas of what to do with grapefruit and orange peel. The recipe also requires grapefruit juice as well as the zest. Since I had eaten the whole grapefruit, I used bottled grapefruit juice, which I have been buying from the milkman anyhow. But you could squeeze the juice from the grapefruit for this recipe.

Grapefruit Cake

Grapefruit Cake

Ingredients

100g date sugar
Zest of 1 large grapefruit
100g greek yoghurt
200g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
50ml olive oil
3 eggs
50ml milk

And for glaze
20g date sugar
50ml grapefruit juice

Method

Preheat fan oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a loaf tin.
Grate the zest from the grapefruit.
Mix together yoghurt, date sugar and grapefruit zest in a large bowl.
Whisk in the eggs.
Sieve in the flour and baking powder
Mix in the olive oil and milk.
Spoon mixture into lined tin.
Bake on middle shelf of oven for about 30 minutes, testing that a skewer will come out clean.
Cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile mix together date sugar and grapefruit juice for glaze.
Make holes in top of cake with a skewer.
Pour glaze over cake slowly, allowing to soak into holes.
Serve and enjoy.

Grapefruit Cake

Grapefruit Cake
I’ve got bagfuls of citrus and vegetable peelings in the freezer. I tend to pop a handful of vegetable peelings in for crisps whenever I have the oven on. But more recipe suggestions for these would be very welcome. I’ve also been saving seeds out of melons, peppers and butternut squash. Wondering which of these can be eaten or would they grow, if I try to plant them?

And finally I’ve just helped crowdfund for Plastic Free, Tree less, Natural, Toilet Paper from Ty Mor. See details here. I’ll let you know what it is like once it arrives.

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17 thoughts on “My journey towards a Plastic Free future – part 7

  1. Wendy Lam-Vechi

    It is sad how it’s so hard to go plastic free sometimes. We went to Mallorca recently and was trying hard to go plastic free. They did not offer tap water so we were forced to buy water which came in plastic bottles. All fruit and veg were in excessive plastic packaging because we went for self catering. We were in Cala Pi so there was no other greengrocers other than the two small mini-markets there

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  2. Julia Linsley

    Grapefruit cake looks fabulous I’m going to give this a go!
    We compost little food waste I tend to use all I can like peels to make stock I collect seeds and plant them eg peppers & I am even growing lemons & advocados !

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    1. mumjd Post author

      I’ve got some peppers growing well from seeds I saved too, although they seem to be remaining green. Also got a decent sized melon, plus some squash and pumpkin. Haven’t tried citrus fruits or avocado. Must give those a try. Hope you enjoy the cake

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  3. fionajk42

    Not all places in the wirral are lacking a greengrocer. I live in Birkenhead and we have a wonderful greengrocer who stocks a wide range of fruit & veg. But I agree with you that more could be done here on the recycling front. I compost my fruit & veg scraps, and any leftover meat (mainly dried up cat food that my fussy cats won’t eat) goes out to my resident fox. But that still leaves inedible cooked food that I can’t feed the fox (bread, rice, etc.) which has to go to landfill.

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  4. Susan B

    The recipe looks good. Thank you. I have moved house quite a few times and been surprised and disappointed by the variable council collections of waste. Currently, my food waste (mainly uneaten cat food these days) has to go in the general waste bin.
    In matters of waste collection, the UK is years behind some other countries. In the 1970s, many Antipodean cities collected garden waste for free, composted it then sold it back to residents as city compost to recover their costs.

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