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Last month (July) we took part in plastic free July (pretty much as it sounds) . We are did it in a van.

This is what went into our landfill bin to date. We have nothing in our recycle bin. All other rubbish has been compostable.

Camping weekend with mates Beers in glass bottles with metal caps that are  plastic lined. I don’t know how many we drank  but it was lots.

hay fever tablets packet.

2  bits of Sellotape added while we wernt looking

disposable 30ml taster glass A mistake in the supermarket

Expensive wine with a cork and foil – STILL contains plastic. Who knew?

WE CUT 

tins, tetrapaks and glass jars with plastic/ plastic-lined lids.

tea bags!

plastic packed personal care and hygiene products. This is rather disingenuous as I made up big batches of moisturizer, lip balm, sun tan lotion and toothpaste before we left for our trip. The ingredients came plastic wrapped but of course that wrapping has long since gone to the recyclers. You can find my pretty plastic free resources here .

We we did it  in our van travelling round the UK

Review

So was it hard doing it in a van? In the countryside? Actually no! Travelling meant we had a lot more shops to go at. And there are still loads of local shops out there.

I thought it would be a milk free month but for the first 3 weeks we found loads of milk in glass bottles! The last week was dry but we had sourced some milk powder by then.

We found plastic free pasta (rare)  and rice  but noodles were out.

We avoided supermarkets and shopped locally which meant our diet tended towards traditional english. Mostly meat and 2 veg, soups, omlettes, bread and potatoes but it was good wholesome and seasonal.

For cooking and spreading We used olive oil bought in our own reusable glass bottles and paper wrapped butter.

No glass jars (with metal/ plastic lined lids meant no condiments, preserves or honey. Instead we made some van jam from PYO fruit and salad dressing was oil, lemon juice and garlic. Easy peasy and tasty too.

We even got some plastic free wine and  hand rolling tobacco! Even so plastic free tends to be mostly vice free!

Plastic reused

On the plus side I have harvested 4 lighters from the beach shore still with fluid so I am using them up before discarding, a hair bungee #2old4bunches #dontcare! and strip of velcro from a sandal I think which now secures the table in the back of the van

Week 4

we spent it coming up from heart of Wales and back into the real world. No more cheese making farmers, no local shops selling milk in glass bottles and no more PYO farms!

On the plus side loose powdered milk from Barmouth meant not having to drink black tea everyday.

Week 3

So far there has been no tins, no jars and no plastic packaging. In fact you can see all the plastic waste we have created to date here.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday No plastic

All made so much easier by being in Aberystwyth. Cheese. fish and chips, fags yes hand rolling tobacco – all plastic free! I tell you about the tobacco just so you know. My addiction is coffee and for a while there I was having trouble finding loose coffee beans! Thankfully I found the Mecca Coffee merchants on our last day. Big plastic fail averted! Or may be I would have turned to tobacco. No milk for a couple of days but I can handle it!

Friday 17th  Plastic Fail

VB finished his hay fever tabsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA. I suppose he can’t help it…

Thursday 17th No Plastic

Bumped into yet another milkman …. honestly hardly suffering at all

Wednesday 16th No plastic

No milk today but loads of fresh fruit from a PYO strawberry farm. Yum.

Tuesday 15th No plastic

Got another unpackaged lettuce loads of fresh veg in the shops and some great chorizo sausages in the butchers. All bought loose, with our own packaging, and so, plastic free. And the campsite where we were staying – his son-in-law is a milkman so we got more milk in glass bottles.

I have used no plastic packed personal care and hygiene products. This is rather disingenuous as I made up big batches of moisturizer, lip balm, sun tan lotion and toothpaste before we left for our trip. The ingredients came plastic wrapped but of course that wrapping has long since gone to the recyclers. You can find my pretty plastic free resources here

Week Two

Summary

It has been a lot more traditional English cooking meat and two veg easy enough to buy loose and local though remember to take your own bags. 
Really not missing pasta and noodles (yet!) but very glad to have got hold of some brown rice. It adds a bit of variety to the carbs!
There was another sneaky plastic to add to the list – the plastic IN toothpaste – yuck!

I have used no plastic packed personal care and hygiene products. This is rather disingenuous as I made up big batches of moisturizer, lip balm, sun tan lotion and toothpaste before we left for our trip. The ingredients came plastic wrapped but of course that wrapping has long since gone to the recyclers. You can find my pretty plastic free resources here

14th Monday No plastic

Back on the milk as the campsite owner is the father of the milkman. Finished our plastic free drinking chocolate.

13th Sunday No plastic

No food either! Back off the milk as we have moved off the farm. Couldnt be bothered searching out a supermarket so ate what we had in the van. Omlette and a very simple stew of veg and lentils – twice. But who cares! We got wine!!!!!

12th Saturday No plastic

Got some loose unpacked smoked salmon  from a Polish Deli yum!

Friday 11th PLASTIC FAIL

VB used a disposable taster glass but we did get PLASTIC FREE WINE which is a huge success. Picked up a whole load of loose foods including sultanas, lentils and brown rice from the bulk bins at Wholefood Market.

Thursday 10th No plastic

Another great fruit picking day – raspberries and strawberries. Pork pie from the butcher for lunch  and the last of the lettuce.

Wednesday 9th PLASTIC FAIL OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bought some mustard seeds today sold loose, weighed out into a paper bag. Get home to find 2 sneaky bits of Sellotape were added while I  was looking in the fridge.

More cream cheese lovliness for lunch and bangers and mash for tea.

Tuesday 8th – No plastic

Farmer made cream cheese and bread for breakfast, purple soup for lunch (red cabbage in a soup looks most peculiar) and fantastic stir fry for tea with Lidles rice, loose ginger, garlic and chilies.

Week One 

7 days done and I have used no tins, no glass jars with metal lids and no other kind of plastic packed food. No plastic beauty products. In fact no plastic at all apart from the plastic coated foil from the wine bottle.

We have eaten well but meals have tended to traditional English with a focus on potatos, meat, fresh veg and quite a lot of bread. All of which we have managed to buy locally. All bought loose, with our own packaging,. We have only visited Lidles to buy some rice. We thought we would be living diary free but after one milk free day there has been an embarrassment of milk. We have even had soft cheese which I rarely got in Huddersfield.
>I thought it would be hard being in the van travelling round places we didn’t know and being away from the town. Instead being out in the countryside has meant lots of Pick Your Own farms and even people selling produce outside their front doors. What’s that all about then? We have had strawberries cherries a lettuce, potatos free range eggs and even a couple of naked cucumbers.

I have used no plastic packed personal care and hygiene products. This is rather disingenuous as I made up big batches of moisturizer, lip balm, sun tan lotion and toothpaste before we left for our trip. The ingredients came plastic wrapped but of course that wrapping has long since gone to the recyclers. You can find my pretty plastic free resources here

Day by Day

Day 7 Plastic free

More of the same.

Day 6 OMG!!!! PLASTIC FREE with knobs on!!!! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Can’t begin to tell you how exciting today has been. Remember I was saying how if you want to be really plastic free you would have to grow your own and rear sheep. Well I am practically doing that. OK I am picking my own fruit and veg. You know where you go to the farm and pick the fruit yourself? Well this one also did vegetable – dig up your own beetroots, pick your own lettuce and gather your own cherries to name a few. And we are  staying on a farm where they have goats, We can buy fresh squeezed milk and home-made soft cheese! SOFT CHEESE and a lettuce. It don’t get much better than that.

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Day 5 PLASTIC FAIL 

Fruity muesli for breakfast. Loads of home-made cakes at the village fete for lunch ( feel a bit sick). Quiche from the bakers for tea with new potatoes and green beans from the market. Expensive wine with a cork and foil – STILL contains plastic. GRRRRRR! feel even more sick!

Day 4 Plastic free

Leominster has a market butchers and bakers managed to gets lots of plastic free food and some loose tea. No teabags for us as the bags contain plastic. Yes the bags!

Milky porridge for breakfast, missed lunch, salmon new potatos and veg for tea.

Day 3 Plastic free

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The local shop in Eardisland sells milk in glass bottles and some unpacked veg but nothing else.

Decided to walk to Pembridge to get some more food. No shops other than the one general store which sold tourist food. You know the kind local honey, mustard made by monks, organic raspberry cordial and so on. All extremely expensive and all plastic packed. Managed to get an unwrapped loaf of bread.

Food today
Veg omelette, cheese sandwiches, mashed potatoess with all manner of steamed veg and left over cheese sauce from last night.

Day 2 Plastic free

Oh! We got some plastic free milk …rather too much infact!

Beguildy – tiny stop on the road – one pub, one shop come post office  that sold milk in glass bottle. VB so excited he bought 2 pints which we will not be able to keep fresh in the van. Hot milk at bed time.

Veg omelette for breakfast Veg soup for lunch Cauliflower cheese for tea. White sauce made with the special oil  cheese bought loose in Bridgnorth and milk

Day 1 Plastic free

Wondering if we can live without milk….

Watery Porridge for breakfast

Cheese sandwiches  bread from the baker, butter in paper, loose cheese from shop ,Bangers and mash – bangers from the butcher in our own compostable packaging, loose spuds and veg

 

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