Plastic Free July – Round 2

​Plastic Free July kicks off today!  Taking part in the challenge for the first time last year was honestly life-changing. I became so much more aware of how much plastic we use in our daily lives and how damn hard it is to avoid. And committing to pick up rubbish each week during July made me aware of why it is so important to reduce single-use plastic as much as possible. 

But I feel like my journey towards a lower waste lifestyle has stalled since then and I’m becoming complacent about the changes I’ve already made. So I’m using this month as an opportunity to tackle some of the areas I avoided last year – namely dairy, crackers, and (possibly) meat. 

I love dairy-based foods so I’m reluctant to give them up, but plastic-free dairy products are near impossible to come by. Here is my plan of attack: 

  • Milk: I intend to not drink milk this month. I have multiple reasons for this decision, which I’ll elaborate on further in a forthcoming post. 
  • Yoghurt: I plan to buy coconut yoghurt in a glass jar tomorrow – I’ll let you know how that goes. 
  • Cheese: I found a local source of unpackaged cheese but it’s much more expensive than the regular stuff we buy so until I find a cheaper option I’ll be severely cutting back my cheese consumption. 
  • Ice cream: While I don’t eat as much ice cream during winter, it’s still a delicious treat. Luckily, there’s an ice cream store round the corner from my work. I used to always buy ice cream in a cone to avoid the disposable cup, but I’ve discovered the staff are also very happy to serve ice cream in my keep cup. 

There are other areas I’m also keen to tackle at some point, such as making or sourcing plastic-free lip balm, deodorant and cleaning products, but it’s more wasteful to do this before I’ve used up what I already have so I’ll wait until my current supplies run out. 

I also want to mention the #take3forthesea initiative by Take 3, which I came across just today. I hadn’t intended to set myself a rubbish collecting goal this time around, but picking up rubbish in conjunction with doing the Plastic Free July challenge last year played a huge part in opening my eyes to the need to take personal action, and I encourage all of you to give it a go!

Check back here for updates on the plastic I’ll inevitably accumulate this is month, and keep an eye on my (brand new) instagram too: @raquel_nz

If you need some inspiration to get started, check out my tips for reducing waste and the rest of my posts from last year’s #plasticfreejuly


6 thoughts on “Plastic Free July – Round 2

  1. I enjoyed reading your post and agree that dairy products are really difficult to buy plastic-free. We have an EasiYo yoghurt maker, but the yoghurt powder only seems to come in single-use sachets. I would really like to track down some bulk yoghurt powder so that can cut down on plastic significantly. I think it’s not going to be a straight forward task though. Here’s hoping!

    • Thank you! I assume one of the main ingredients in yoghurt powder would be milk powder, so if you can’t find bulk yoghurt powder perhaps you can use bulk milk powder (plus flavourings and a live culture from fresh yoghurt) instead? Having said that, I personally avoid milk powder because I know here in NZ it’s dried using coal-fired plants, and I can’t stand the thought of actively contributing to burning coal… Which leaves me reliant on plastic-packed yoghurt and milk. It’s such a conundrum!

  2. I am doing really well with dry bulk goods. Dairy on the other hand, atrocious! There is one place near me that has lots of loose fancy cheese (halloumi!!) but they are super unfriendly and unhelpful, plus they ignore my requests. I ask them to put it straight in my container and they put plastic in it first. Next time I ask again but specify no plastic, still got it anyway, probably 50% of the time they just do what they want. Plus eye rolling and sighing. I really dread going there. Milk, I can’t find anywhere that does glass returnable bottles. My sister drinks almost 2 litres of milk a week. I can’t complain as a lot of it goes in her morning coffee which she takes from home in a travel cup instead of buying one in a disposable cup each day at work like she used to. I feel dairy is my worst area. I am unwilling to cut dairy out completely. I have cut down on my cheese consumption but it is still too high. I have decided not to beat myself up about this and instead focus on how much less trash i make now than I did 2 years ago.

    • How frustrating that your local deli doesn’t respect your requests for no plastic! I’m really struggling to go without my usual dairy, but also proud of myself for largely sticking with it so far. I know I will go back to having more milk and cheese after July ends though 😦 so as you said, much better to focus on how far I’ve come than how hard it is to make the final few changes!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s