New Blog!
whale tail
plasticsux
Well it has been boiling away for a while but I would finally like to announce that I have set up a second blog, Not Done Travelling.

I have been working on it for a while but have felt it wasn't quite ready. However now I'm ready to come out of the blog-closet with it. :)

As the title suggests it relates to our travel adventures, and in particular our plans to switch to a lifestyle of permanent travel. Fingers crossed it won't be too long.

Of course I will ensure to pursue my attempts to give up plastic whilst travelling, and I will be keeping a heavy focus on plastic alternatives and environmentalism in that other blog.

I will still be blogging here but I cannot be sure how much time I will devote to this space as notdonetravelling.com will now be my focus.

Please feel free to follow me at both locations!

Why Growing Your Own Lettuce Is Awesome
whale tail
plasticsux
lettuce in garden

Hi guys! It's summer here now and everything in the garden is well and truly growing - more than I can eat. I don't have a lot of vegies planted - just beetroot, lettuce, broccoli, kale, carrots and a few herbs - and although it's all growing, not all of it is ready to be harvested yet. But the lettuce is growing like a house on fire.

Gone are the days of buying lettuce in a plastic bag from the supermarket!Collapse )

Quick Tips
whale tail
plasticsux
Just a short and sweet entry on this Sunday afternoon to share with you two small discoveries I have made lately.

Firstly, we have been buying the SAFE brand of toilet paper. It is not only recycled, but it is the only one in the supermarket that comes with no plastic packaging at all. There are many eco-friendly brands nowadays but all of them except SAFE still come wrapped in plastic. SAFE, however, comes wrapped in brown paper.

Secondly, I have discovered the Peppercorn brand of sausages. (They may have other products, I'm not sure; I only saw the sausages). Unfortunately they are still wrapped in plastic, but the plastic container - usually Styrofoam with all other brands - is biodegradable and compostable. So although it's not perfect it would reduce the plastic packaging by over half. Definitely a better option.

Now, if you find alternatives to meat or toilet paper or can get them elsewhere (say, directly from a butcher or a market) you may not need these solutions. But once again, many of us are still forced to do all our shopping at the supermarket. So it's good to know there are some choices.

FYI I discovered these two at Woolworths, so keep your eyes peeled and you should be able to find them too. SAFE is fairly well known but I haven't seen Peppercorn around before.

Hotel Toiletries - What To Do?
whale tail
plasticsux
2009-12-15-georgevbulgari

So on Sunday night Mike and I stayed at one of Melbourne's nicest hotels to celebrate my birthday, and it brought to mind an issue that occurred to me while were on our travels in Asia at the end of last year.

So many tiny little plastic bottles!Collapse )

Drowning In Plastic At The Royal Melbourne Show
whale tail
plasticsux
So it's "Show time" in Melbourne at the moment, and it's a pretty typical affair. The Royal Melbourne Show is not too different from other agricultural shows in major cities around Australia with rides, showbags, animals and food. It is a lot of fun, and I don't really mean to diss it, because I had a great time when I went on Friday. But there was a sucky undercurrent that I noticed at basically every turn.

showbags

Does there have to be so much goddamned PLASTIC?Collapse )

In other news, my lettuce is growing well and soon I'll be able to enjoy my first home grown salad with it. Grow, my pretties, grow!

The Journey Continues
whale tail
plasticsux
Well life is continuing and rest assured I am still on the path to being plastic-free. I think one reason I have not been updating this blog regularly is that I'm at a rather boring part of the journey - that being, I am plodding along with very few new developments.

I think that we all have these moments in any journey, whether literal or metaphorical. Sometimes there are times where you just know you have to keep going and that new milestones or landmarks will present themselves soon. My fiancé and I have been regularly going to Friends Of The Earth and now most of our personal hygiene products come from there, as well as a lot of our dairy products and staples like muesli and oil. We are still seeing the naturopath and, as things often go, her suggestions are going hand in hand with our aims to avoid plastic. Eating things that are less processed automatically results in less packaging and less waste. Even things like the plastic produce bags in supermarkets are no obstacle - I only use them when necessary, for things like beans or lettuce mix, and everything else I just chuck in the trolley as is. You don't need a bag for a potato or a zucchini or capsicum that you're going to wash anyway! And the bags that I do use, for the smaller items, I rinse and dry them and take them to the supermarket again. I hate using plastic at all but at least until I find an alternative I'm not causing any new waste.

I have also started my veggie garden finally, and I have kale, broccoli and lettuce growing in my backyard. Hopefully that goes good.

So I guess to sum up, life is still pretty much as it was. But perhaps that in itself proves my point; it's not hard to stick to the small changes we can all make. It's easy to do all this stuff and make it become habit, because then you are on auto-pilot and are making a difference even when you're not concentrating on doing so. Then, when you get the energy or opportunity to take things to the next level, you can. This is how, in my opinion, people like Beth Terry have managed to reduce their plastic use to something like 2% of what they previously used. I don't know what my percentage is at right now, but I'll get there I'm sure.

Don't Worry, I'm Still Here!
whale tail
plasticsux
Well I've been a busy bee over the past few weeks, hence no updates!

One of the major reasons I haven't written is I've been having a little journey (a journey within a journey!) which caused me to have to pause for thought. About eight weeks ago I started to see a naturopath as I finally got fed up with some of my PCOS symptoms and decided I had to do something drastic.

Read more...Collapse )

Plastic-Eating Microbes
whale tail
plasticsux
Being on this plastic journey, I occasionally discover something that people have known about for a long time. Yesterday I stumbled upon an article from 2008 about a 16 year old high school student who discovered plastic-eating microbes.

When I first read that article, this was me:

flash7

But I soon discovered it's not time to party just yet.

Read more...Collapse )

Plastic-Free Gardening - Copper Pipe
whale tail
plasticsux
So our trip to the butchers was a success. I actually tried writing an entry on the day but I lost the whole thing accidentally and didn't have the heart to write it all again.

The place we went to is called Belmore Biodynamic Meats and it's AWESOME. More expensive than regular meat, yes, but so worth it. Not only is the meat yummy but it's so good for you. And you can tell just by looking at it that it's good quality. So much more appetising than anything you've ever seen in a supermarket or deli. So if you're in the area, go down there, or look for a organic butcher in your area, which is worth it.

We have also been back to Friends of the Earth several times and stocked up on organic foods that are basically package free. Our huge glass jars are chockers. So in general the whole avoiding plastic thing is going very well, at least in terms of our food, and it's feeling very good avoiding all the yucky chemicals that go along with the plastic that most food comes in.

I've also been working on my garden. My aim is to grow as many of my own vegetables as I can. Of course this has to all be done organically and avoiding plastic if possible. My father has been helping me, as he is retired and always loves a good project. Part of the job includes installing a few new garden taps in some more accessible places, so we have to run pipe from the existing tap to where the new taps will be. Of course, plastic and PVC are the most widely used substances for this sort of thing, and they are quite economical too. Dad has recommended I use plastic mainly for the economic aspect. But I have put my foot down and we have used copper. 15 metres has cost me $99 but when you think about how long it will last and how much better it will be for the environment, $99 really isn't much.

Over winter I'll be mainly improving the soil and preparing the garden beds, but I'm hoping to plant some yummies in spring. So hopefully then I'll have some lovely photos for you.

Adventures In Packaging
whale tail
plasticsux
I've had a fair bit of success with the whole BYO container thing lately.

Read more...Collapse )

Bulk organic food - HEAVEN!Collapse )

The next thing on my radar is finding meat without packaging. Next to impossible? No! Again this is something where BYO containers can work. For the past few years our family has gotten Chrisco every year; Chrisco is very economical but it also means that all perishables come wrapped in plastic and frozen. We get a year's worth of meat in one morning and it all stays there frozen in plastic until we're ready to eat it. Not only is that tons of plastic, but...yuck, frozen stuff. You don't want too much of your diet to be frozen. So we're looking for local butchers where we can get healthy meat without the packaging (in particular I have my eye on a butcher in Thornbury that deals in only organic-fed meat).

I know that giving up meat would be a great way of sidestepping this whole issue, and to be perfectly honest, I wish I was a vegan. But I also have iron issues, so if I must eat meat, I'm gonna make damn sure I make as little impact as possible. I'll let you know how that goes.

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