Our plastic free year begins
So here we are. The start of our plastic free year. As promised I did a shop at the end of the year in order to make this process as pain free as possible. My children snack on bananas, apples and sugar snap peas, which all come nestled in plastic. They also enjoy crisps, biscuits and other high sugar carbohydrates like hot cross buns and brioche, which I think will all be irreplaceable in their current form. So I intend to bake flapjacks and cookies with the children instead. We also have a bread maker that is currently gathering dust, so I will consider using it… but there are more things to consider than merely making food.
Every family has it’s quirks: for independence and learning I like my children to be in control of what goes into their body, but I do insist they eat carbohydrate, protein and vitamins before they ‘fancy something’ . That is my daughter Emma’s catch phrase when she is on the prowl for crap. For health reasons I also believe it is better to eat a little bit of everything rather than too much of any one thing. So, this ‘plastic free for a year’ task is made harder by the fact that I try to buy the opposite to what they will come across out in the world. For example, wholegrain or corn crisps instead of potato ones. Also, they might want an ice cream or cheese sandwich out. So, at home I buy goats cheese and milk, which is easier to digest and give them flatbread which is yeast free. Yep. They love flatbread, even as a snack. Emma turns them into snowflakes by munching holes in them.
A moment on milk: Thanks to my shop (and UHT cartoons) we still have flatbread and milk, but only just as I didn’t cheat and bulk buy. I drink rice milk. I hate the taste of Goat’s milk. All the tetrapacks have a plastic top, so watch this space for how we replace our milk in the next blog post. If you have any ideas on how to replace Goat’s milk or Rice milk in plastic free packaging then I would love to hear about it.
I really don’t want to turn to dairy as having given it up for two years I know how it sneaks into everything as whey, casein or milk without my needing to drink it as well. For example, did you know it is in most sauces, soups or seasonings that you can buy? It doesn’t affect me in these small quantities now. I say small quantities. For those of you following @aplasticfreemum on Instagram you will know my secret. Yes I have found paper covered dairy choc ices that might just be impossible to eat one at a time.
Out of veg: So I have left the chepaer Aldi having already moved on from Co-op. I may have been earning money on my points card, but Tesco comse higher up the list: the Greenpeace naughty and nice list. Does it make you want to change supermarket too? Also at Tesco, unlike Aldi I can chose the same vegetables not wrapped in plastic. Is it just the nurse in me that makes me think of germs on my florets? Anyway, I pushed through and saved money. Luckily, I wasn’t buying parsnips. They cost less when coated in plastic. Crazy, but true. I guess, being smaller, when they are packed in groups they involve less man hours to throw about? When shopping don’t forget to bring your paper bags alongside your bags for life. Social media followers will remember that mine arrived coated in plastic. Co-figure.
The great thing about Tesco is you can zap the bar codes yourself and keep an eye on the bill as you go around. Great for us single parents. Also it doesn’t then matter if fruit and vegetables are in paper bags as the label is just stuck on the outside. If your supermarket doesn’t have any plastic free vegetables maybe consider unwrapping your vegetables and passing the plastic to the cashier as a statement. I am sure I have a friend who does that?
As a last note on fruit and vegetables we are blessed with a shop at the end of the road that sells produce straight from Covent Garden Markets. Yes I do live at the seaside. With the high street dying out, my love of independent shops and my driving now reducing the families daily footsteps I think in the main we will shop there. Now, there are independent shops and independent shops and this is the kind that sells 6 apples for a pound. Perfect. Happy shopping everyone. Let’s save the planet one household at a time. Healthy Planet. Healthy You.