So my latest quest is this, it’s simple …save the planet. Well not really but sort of, starting with small steps at home by grocery shopping differently and making our recycle bin only full of glass, cardboard, no plastic and no land fill. We’re a family of five with three pets and run a childcare business from home and this venture has been eye opening.
Over the years I’ve bought my family’s food with the following in mind: value for money, affordability, Australian, natural ingredients. But I’d never thought of the packaging as much as I do now.
I decided to see if we could go totally single-use plastic free and bring back the olden days in this modern world by buying groceries the way my grandmothers used to. Having said that, I haven’t been completely unaware in the past. I used to buy unpackaged food from bulk food shops in Byron and farmers markets and put the produce in paper bags or cloth bags. I only had one child then. Fast forward 20 years, three kids now, my own priorities changed, plus I discovered convenience, which is awesome, by the way, as short cuts helped me keep my sanity but came with a price …the Earth.
What I didn’t expect was to have fun or that my family would come on board with me. I’m doing this for Curran, Jade and Danny and their future world.
I’ve now bought vintage soda siphons to make soda water and not buy plastic bottles of soda any more (for vodka). We now say no to straws when out, we refill our water bottles before we leave home and we’ve rediscovered weekend markets for veggies. I take plastic containers to local butchers who happily fill them with meats after the big supermarkets refused to. We’re buying eggs from a local and bringing them back the empty cardboard cartons. We’re now saving all glass jars and plastic containers (yoghurt, sour cream and Nuttelex seem to only come in plastic) and have now made plastic wrap totally obselete in our home.
We’ve bought fresh honey from a local whose sign saying ‘honey for sale’ I used to just drive past for years. I’ve rediscovered the pleasure of buying from small businesses such as butchers and bakers and having a chat with them about their day. We’re buying milk in cardboard cartons and also found a company who delivers milk in glass bottles. We’ve bought extra veggies to make our own chips as we found it’s impossible to buy fun food like that not packed in plastic or foil. Our shopping bill has almost halved as so many aisles are now being avoided. I haven’t yet begun the personal care area but I’m sure there are bulk shops I can refill our containers with shampoos etc.
What began simply as no single use plastic in our household has reunited us with our community again and given us back more as a family than I ever imagined.