Juliet and Poppy are embarking on Plastic Free July. Watch their vlog and read about what they have found out and achieved during week one.
Our first week of July found us actively avoiding all single-use disposable plastic as well as the big four (disposable coffee cups, straws, plastic cutlery and supermarket bags). A shopping trip to Bin Inn on Lincoln Road, checking out Eco Shop (Blenheim Road), making our own crackers and hummus, and discovering a butchery that wraps all products in paper were just some of our adventures!
Reusable coffee cups came in handy to help us jump start one of our days out shopping – we find them perfect for buying coffee at uni or refilling with boiling water for a cuppa!
Poppy brought along home baking for the adventure in a tiffin box. These can be found online, in Indian stores (where this one came from) or other stores in Christchurch and are relatively inexpensive.
I found a cracker recipe online that doesn’t need very many ingredients and could be experimented with to add other flavours. Great with hummus, pesto or a hunk of cheese! Some great flavours to sprinkle on top are: lemon pepper, garlic salt, sea salt and smoked paprika. See the recipe here> It took half an hour (including sitting time and cooking time), is a fraction of the cost of bought crackers like Peckish or corn thins and don’t involve buying any extra plastic!
P.S. after two failed attempts where the crackers burnt to a crisp, we advise not leaving them in the oven for the extra hour or two – we found opening the oven and leaving them for another minute or two gave them extra crispiness.
For the meat-eaters out there, meat almost always comes in plastic packaging – students know that Pak’n’Save does cheap bulk meat but we wanted to see if there are plastic free alternatives out there. For a slight extra cost through word of mouth I found that Lisa and Barry of Everybody’s Butchery, 372 Selwyn Street, wrap everything they sell in paper. Lisa even avoids sellotape and opted for a rubber band for my sausages.
Our trip to Bin Inn on Lincoln Road was our favourite stop because we realised they sell lots of pantry goods such as pasta, rice and chickpeas. We discovered that if you take your own bottle you can put oils, dish washing liquid and golden syrup straight in it and avoid using any single use plastic!
We didn’t take note of individual pricing but we would guess that it was cheaper than Pak’n’Save!
A fortnightly trip is on the cards so we can refill our jars and bottles.
Upon realising we would be buying loose bulk foods we popped into the EcoShop on Blenheim Road for some jars as an alternative storage option. We didn’t find very many so we will be looking in Kmart and The Warehouse next time. Sterilising them in the oven is a good idea but first remove any rubber or labels, and boil the metal lids.
One last thing – plastic supermarket bags are handy for lining rubbish bins in your kitchen but they are not essential! Newspaper is a great alternative because it soaks up any smells and will breakdown in landfill. Having three or four layers at the bottom of your bin, plus two or three layers around the sides, should mean your bin is squeaky clean once it’s been emptied.