Are we plastic-free yet?

So are we plastic-free yet? I’ll be honest - not yet! We started this journey a while ago with ditching the plastic  all the way back in March and we’re still working on it but it’s trickier than it seems. We’re still persevering and I’m pleased with how far we’ve come. So what have we done so far? Let’s review:

In the bathroom 
We’ve replaced all our toothbrushes with either bamboo or recycled/recyclable plastic ones. It took a while to discover what we all liked and what worked for the whole family but we’ve now found what we all like. I’m still of the opinion that plastic feels the nicest but now we’ve found the recycled/recyclable ones at our local organic store. I’m quite pleased and trust in the longevity of the transition. Read my full review at
bamboo and recycled plastic toothbrushes 
I’m still working on finding the right toothpaste that’s not plastic wrapped and hope to report back with success soon.

As for other bathroom products I’m pleased to say almost all plastic is now completely gone. In a plastic coating  I detail how we enjoyed finding and trying out a lot if plastic-free products at Lush and we’re still not disappointed. The shampoo and conditioner bars I bought back in March are still going strong now in November (although the shampoo bar is a little thin now) and we really liked the naked shower gel. However, for convenience we switched to soap in the shower whilst converting everywhere else. It works well and we use a hell of a lot less soap than we did shower gel so it goes to show what a false economy shower gel actually is. Funny how the #plastic-free living has shown us that. I managed to fit some crochet into all this as well and made these ‘soap coasters’out of some cotton yarn I had and they work well. They soak up the excess water and can be used to clean the sink if they get a little full of soap suds. 

The kitchen
The hardest thing I’ve found, is knowing where to shop so you can buy the unwrapped cucumber. It’s brought to my attention that it’s the businesses we buy from that need to change, not our shopping habits. If grapes weren’t in a plastic tub we wouldn’t buy them in a plastic tub. If apples weren’t in a non-recycleclable and non-reusable plastic bag we would simply choose our own. It’s all been packaged up in the name of convenience and most of it is bollocks. Ok the carrots in the 2kg non-recycleclable and non-reusable plastic bag might be cheaper but that’s because they’re 2nd grade carrots. You can tell by their shape and size and often their quality. (Disclaimer! I have no issue with 2nd grade carrots or any 2nd grade vegetables and fruit of any kind) Fruit and veg being wrapped in plastic is, quite simply, a marketing ploy and it’s a good one because a lot of 1st world consumers have fallen for it. But now we’re part of the plastic-free revolution. I like choosing my own carrots in the market and putting them in my canvas bags. I like looking through the apples in the supermarket to make sure they’re not bruised before I place them in the compostable fruit bag. People will say it makes shopping slower, packing your own, but let me ask you this: when did you last pick up a plastic punnet of strawberries and not examine carefully for bruised fruit? 
So we’re not completely plastic-free in the kitchen and are still working on it. My son doesn’t like any yoghurt that comes in a glass jar and vegetable spread is always in plastic (I don’t like coconut oil as a substitute butter) so now we have lots of extra tupperware which makes living without cling film easier. We’ve changed the dog food too. They now have food that comes in paper bag as opposed to a plastic one. Also we only buy them treats in a cardboard box or make our own now. Getting there. I thought the bathroom would be hardest but it’s definitely the kitchen! I think it might be because we go through the products there more quickly.

Out and about
This isn’t too hard if you’re organised. If you need to buy a drink it can be tricky unless you get a can and buying quick-fix food is very difficult to be plastic-free. So the message here is be organised and use tupperware and resist! It’s actually helped me resist a lot of  chocolate and biscuits! 

Our friends took us to Wuppertal Zoo in Germany over the summer and I decided to get a coffee. At first I felt guilty that I didn’t have my resuable coffee cup with me (definitely not organised). What to do!??! Well the husband and I needed a coffee....ok he needed tea but I needed coffee. Luckily the zoo had eco friendly coffee cups. How brilliant. Their takeaway cups were not only biodegradable cardboard but the lids were biodegradable plastic too. Awesome!!

They also had a bio-pen. “What’s a bio-pen?” I hear you ask. Its a pen that’s made of 80% natural material. And it writes nicely too. Win win. It seems a small thing but it’s the perfect way to really make a change. If all pens were made of natural materials how much difference would that make in the world?

In short changes are everywhere. Even my 80 year old father-in-law was asking when plastic straws will disappear and be replaced with biodegradable ones. I love how much media attention this is getting. It’s brilliant. The changes are now being forced on the big companies who’ve blindly carried on using plastic until enough people said they didn’t want it. Keep saying it people. We’re making a change. Little by little we’re reclaiming our world. Ditch the plastic! Viva le revolution!!

 I wonder how easy plastic-free will be at Christmas time?