1. Our practice tally for Plastic Free July, 2. Raspberry jelly, 3. Homemade museli bar mix, 4. Fading roses
It's easy to live an unexamined life, to comfortably fall into our routines and live the way those around us live. It's more difficult to question why it is we do what we do, and how we could do it better. Quite often it is other people that introduce us to other ways of doing and being that challenge us to consider more deeply our adopted beliefs.
Blogger, Amanda Soule, was one such person for me. I discovered 'Soule Mama' after the birth of my first child and was inspired to embrace attachment parenting and a make and mend mentality. Similarly, Rhonda Hetzel from 'Down to Earth', inspired me to live more sustainably, grow a veggie patch, stockpile and cook from scratch. More recently the 'Slow' podcast has reminded me to slow down and not get caught up in the hectic pace of everyday life, while the 'Spiral Garden' Zero Waste Families E-course has offered me practical advice on how to reduce our waste. After picking up 'Slow' magazine during our May holidays in Yamba and reading that 500,000 plastic toothbrushes go into landfill each year in Australia alone, it was enough to spur me to action to buy compostable bamboo toothbrushes and sign up for the E-course.
As a result, we have been eliminating single use plastic, buying our dry goods in bulk at our local Flannery's, storing our pantry items in glass and have reconfigured our rubbish system. What was our rubbish bin under the sink is now our recycling bin, we have a bag for scrunchable plastic that goes to the Redcycle bins when full, our compost bin gets most of our waste, while our rubbish bin in now a small takeaway container. When we put our wheelie bins out now, there is only a small layer of waste in the bottom of our rubbish bin, while our recycling bin is half full each fortnight. And our compost has never been so healthy! It is amazing and so satisfying how a series of small changes could have such an impact.
The next step on our journey is joining in with Plastic Free July. We have been practising already, keeping a tally on the chalkboard with a list of the items that have earnt the marks, so that we can look for alternatives. It seems almost impossible to completely eliminate plastic, but already we are so much less reliant on it. Which is great news given that 93% of Americans have BPA in their bodies, some of which has leached into their food and water from plastic containers, and alarmingly that a quarter of plastic litter in Australia will end up in our waterways.
So, here's to a plastic free July! Will you join me?