Such rubbish. Wow.

I just did a household rubbish audit (ew, gross). This is how much rubbish the two of us have generated for the past two weeks, after I filtered out the recyclables and the compost.

Rubbish

So many paper packages have plastic lining, making them hard to recycle

Basically, the big ticket items this week are:

  • “Paper” packaging that is lined with plastic e.g. the coffee bag, deli paper, the failed taleggio experiment and individual teabag wrappers and tags.
  • A roached old pillow case that we used for cleaning our bikes, which I then tried to use as a bin liner (now it’s all gross and rolled up inside the paper bag).

I was surprised how much organic material we are still reflexively throwing into landfill: things like breadcrumbs, teabags, paper bags, eggshells and orange peels all mysteriously ended up in our rubbish instead of feeding the bokashi monster. (We have a bokashi bin in the kitchen of our third floor apartment. Every couple of weeks, we empty it into the compost bin we installed on a patch of dirt in our car park downstairs.)

We were also throwing out a large amount of soft plastics, like cereal packets. These can be recycled through REDcycle.

All up, we have generated about 150 g of landfill per person in the last two weeks (that stupid pillow case is taking up most of the weight). We’ll see if we can beat that next time!

 

 

 

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Blame it on the brie

Breakfast

Today I indulge in a double ristretto coffee which, I know, is hipster. Very hipster. I tell myself I get a free pass on Saturday mornings. I manage to avoid coffee for the rest of the day. Tick. Coffee is followed by toast and jam, and we buy a loaf of bread straight from the bakery on our way out. No plastic here. Double tick.

Lunch

Delicatessens are wondrous things. They sell you cheese wrapped in paper, carefully carved from wheels twice the size of your head. They stock cheeses like Maasdam from The Netherlands: a fragrant, springy Dutch take on the Swiss Emmental. We shave slivers off it to melt over toast. For some reason, we also opt for one of the pre-cut slices of brie covered in cling wrap. Fail.

Combined with our café breakfast, this is not our cheapest day.

Dinner

Nothing to see here. Today’s offering is left-over home-made pesto courtesy of the fridge, and pasta which came from a plastic packet already in the pantry. I cheated, I guess.

Total plastic: a piece of cling wrap, one band-aid, pasta packaging from the pantry

Things I used instead of plastic: paper, failure

P P P Plastic-Free July is Coming

Welcome! This year I’ve decided to avoid buying any new plastic for a whole month. I’ll be live-blogging my progress each day. Why?

  1. The selfish reason is I have writer’s block and I need a project.
  2. The altruistic reason is I want to save the world from plastic, one supermarket trip at a time.

If anyone has any ideas for places to shop or replacements for plastic, I’d love to hear from you. This project will be based in Melbourne, Australia, so I’ll be focusing on local resources, but feel free to share your experiences from other cities too.

I figure I’ll need to put some training in before the kick off on July 1, so I’m starting right away. You can read my first post here. Sign up to this blog to follow my successes and failures and get a free daily dose of motivation, minus the plastic.

First Attempts

Breakfast

It’s 9am and I have 30 minutes to leave the house. To the familiar whirr of the espresso machine, I down two pieces of chilli chocolate and some clumsy cheese slices on dry toast. Despite my good intentions, I get on The Social Medias and write something profound like ‘lol’ while pulling on my socks. I ride to work on time. No plastic consumed. So far so good.

Let’s talk about lunch

Today, your humble grapefruit is eating at the Student Union. I order two curries and roti bread before realising there are no forks. Well, there are plastic forks. But plastic forks are no good when you’re training for Plastic-Free July. I use the roti to scoop up globs of spicy tofu and eggplant before wiping up the curry. Plate clean. Face clean (in my paranoia, I check this on selfie-cam.) Right fingers a little sticky for now. I make a mental note to carry cutlery in July.

Not quite dinner

After a series of bad decisions, where my brain packed up and left my body in protest, brain and I have come to a kind of truce. I will consume caffeine and in return, brain will help me get through Plastic-Free July. But first I will buy new batteries for my bike light so I can ride home in the dark without falling into a ditch. I will also buy a photocopy card because work.

I had two different kinds of cake for dinner because I am an adult.

Total plastic: one photocopy card, one battery pack

Things I used instead of plastic: (1) a genuine, actual plate, made out of porcelain (2) my fingers (oops) (3) wax paper