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MY plastic trash Plastic Free July

Doing this plastic free July while backpacking in S.E. Asia. I do have to apologise for the very tardy documentation. We are stuck on a fairly remote beach with very limited wifi. I know… nightmare! But we are spending the day in town so here is quick post.

Backpacking certainly makes some aspects PFJ easier. Eating for example. I dont have to worry about plastic packed food because I eat out most of the time. But those of you who know me will agree that I eat very plastic free when at home and will give me a pass on this one?

And of course travelling plastic free comes with its own challenges but we have done it before and know what to pack. You can see my plastic free pack here. Except, and I can hardly believe this, we left our water bottles at home. Actually, why am I acting so surprised? We are always leaving our water bottles places!

When Your Water Bottle Lets you Down

So when we got to Malaysia, Georgetown (the Pot Shop in the market), I bought this; a shiny stainless steel, wooden trim, in the style of Kleen Kanteen but a fraction of the price, water bottle. That came in a cardboard box. Woohoo with knobs on. Got home to find it wrapped in a plastic bag! 
But we used the bag for our rubbish and not the plastic lined bin in our hotel room so I guess you could say we saved on a plastic bag? actually we never use the plastic lined bins when back-packing. Because we don’t use plastic, we don’t make that much rubbish. Any we do create we release into the wild. By which I mean we put it into a communal bin.

Train Food Traumas

As the local train was 2 hours delayed so we went for lunch, in a cafe, where everything was served on china, with real cutlery and cups. A plastic free meal was safely negotiated. Feeling confident I ordered a cold coffee. I discussed at length about how I didn’t want a straw with a very sweet girl who spoke reasonable English and was full of enthusiastic agreements. So I went ahead and ordered an icy frappe choco caramel coffee. It came in a plastic cup with domed plastic lid and straw from the takeaway stall across the road. It was very tasty though.

 

When it finally arrived, the train was a lovely hodge podge of carriages of differing ages and styles. Some were ugly commuter rail cars with vinyl padded seats, others old-school timber lined carriages with hard wooden seats all painted bright ginger and looking like something from the Wild West. In the interests of going plastic free we chose them.

The train showed no interest in making up for lost time rather it dawdled along. It was a long journey, a very long journey and even the intense caffeine/ sugar rush of the capo frappe choco shake eventually wore off and was replaced by a hunger pangs. There was plenty of food for sale and the sellers were happy to mount the train and bring it to you direct.

Sadly Thai vendors have taken to wrapping their food in plastic. Everything but some lurid orange chicken legs in steel bowls came plastic bagged. We didn’t fancy the chicken. In the end I bought some sticky rice wrapped and cooked in deep green banana (?) leaves. When we came to unwrap them we found they had been tightly tied with red plastic string. They were like tiny little sweets. The leaf wrappers went out of the window where they would biodegrade back into the jungly earth if they were not wolfed up by strange hairy beasts first. The string of course had to be kept to be thrown away in a bin when we eventually got off the train, to be (hopefully), taken to landfill. The whole procedure revealing just how ridiculous and unnatural plastic packaging is.

Good Plastic Bad Plastic

Other plastic includes the stickers off our new (plastic) ninja snorkelling masks. Which may seem strange, hypocritical even. But I dont shun all plastic. I think it is a fantastic material with a role to play. I think that we are misusing it and abusing it. We dont need to make plastic stickers with it for instance. And please note the plastic lighter is harvested from the beach. I didn’t buy it I was gifted it by the sea.

Had To Be

Tin cans and bottles of beer – sorry I have lost count about 20 cans of beer (plastic lined) and 4 bottles of beer (metal caps are plastic lined) I would guess. It is hard to avoid this. If you want to visit a bar in the evening with friends you have to buy a drink.

I dont mind taking my own water to the table in a restaurant ( especially now I have super classy bottle), but I draw the line at drinking from my own bottle in a bar. Even if they didnt say anything, I’m absoltely sure that would think I was smuggling in my own booze and I couldn’t stand the shame.

General

2 straws obviously my mimes were not too good

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2017 Calendar & Events

As well as boycotting plastic in your daily life there are an increasing number of campaigns you can support. In this post you will find:
Featured campaign the latest project:
Annual events – dates for your diary:
Petitions you can sign right now.

Featured Campaign

But first…. Let me take a selfie… Organised by www.aplasticplanet.com.

A Plastic Planet campaign are collecting thousands of films of ordinary people demanding  a Plastic Free Aisle in supermarkets. Why?  They want to mee t with the CEO of a top supermarket and need to prove consumer demand.

Sounds like a good idea? Wouldn’t it be great to buy plastic free food using your own cotton produce bags?  Then here’s what you do….

Video yourself on your phone saying: “My name is [First Name]. I am a Plastic Addict but I am ready for change. I want a Plastic Free Aisle.”
Send the recording to: addict@aplasticplanet.com

Cut and paste the below message and put it on your Facebook timeline along with your video nominating three friends who you think care about our planet and our health to do the same.
“Hi everyone.

I’m backing A Plastic Planet’s campaign to get a #PlasticFreeAisle in supermarkets. Plastic is killing our planet and will affect our health but at the moment there is nothing I can do on my own to stop plastic use. Supermarkets respond to consumer demand. As a consumer I am asking for a plastic free aisle where I can shop guilt and worry-free.

A Plastic Planet are collecting thousands of films of ordinary people demanding change, which they are bringing to the CEOs of the biggest supermarkets to demand a Plastic Free Aisle.

I nominate X, X and X:

My name is [First Name]. I am a Plastic Addict but I am ready for change. I want a Plastic Free Aisle.”

Post your film to: addict@aplasticplanet.com
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to keep up with our campaign!

More

There are some places in the U.k. That already do this. You can find them here.

Loose Food A to Z

Find out if a shop near you sells bulk food loose. This is stuff that that normally comes plastic packaged ie rice, pasta and salt. And yes these shops do exist in the U.K. There’s just not many of them.

Heres a list of towns with shops selling loose

Dates For Your Diary

These annual events are recurring.
April
Big Spring Beach Clean this April (3rd – 9th April) organised by Surfers Against Sewage

July
Plastic Free July is a world wide event.
Every year, in July, people everywhere try to cut their consumption of one use plastic, for this one month.
Read more here

September
Zero Week Week runs the first full week in September.The aim is to cut the trash going to landfill.
Read more here

The Marine Conservation Society (MSCUK) organises The Great British Beach Clean Up

Petitions

Go straight to the petition…

Bottle Deposit Return Petition
Placing a small deposit on plastic bottles and cans would dramatically increase recycling and reduce marine plastic pollution. Surfers Against Sewage’s Message In A Bottle campaign site. 

Straws
Introduce a 5p charge on plastic straws to reduce the UK’s plastic waste, for both the environment and the economy. Sign Here.

Boycott plastic straws completely or use a reusable/ compostable alternative.  

Tampax
As the leading tampon brand around the globe we are reaching out to you to stop a very serious environmental hazard: plastic tampon applicators. Sign here

Find out more about menstruating plastic free, here.

 

Cut Food Packaging
Please sign the petition to ask the major retailers (and our lovely local farm shop) to end plastic packaging on foods!

Find a whole loads of plastic free foods here – and how to cook them!

More on the above

Read more about the potions here….

Bottle Deposit Return Petition

Surfers Against Sewage have just put out a petition which I think we all should sign….
Stop marine plastic pollution by introducing a small, refundable deposit on all plastic bottles, glass bottles and cans to recycle the 16 million plastic bottles thrown away every day.
Why is this important?
In the UK we use a staggering 38.5 million single-use plastic bottles and a further 58 million cans every day! Only half of these are recycled, so it’s no surprise that many of these end up on our beaches and in our oceans.
Plastic bottles take 450 years to break down, killing marine life, harming the coastal ecosystem and ruining our beaches.Placing a small deposit on plastic bottles and cans would dramatically increase recycling and reduce marine plastic pollution.
For full information on deposit return systems please visit Surfers Against Sewage’s Message In A Bottle campaign site. 

Update on the SAS petition
Today Coca-Cola have performed a dramatic and unexpected U-turn, publicly coming out in support of deposit return systems for the UK!  This is fantastic news for the campaign!
Adding to this great news, earlier this week, the CEO of Suez, one of the UK’s largest waste collection and recycling companies also added his support, going on record on how deposit return systems can benefit communities, the economy and the environment!
Click here for more news on these stories.
It feels like the tide has really turned and we’ll be handing in the petition to Government in the coming weeks.
Thank you for signing the petition Bring back bottle deposits to stop plastic pollution in our oceans, can you help spread the word by forwarding the link below to your friends?
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/bring-back-bottle-deposits-to-stop-plastic-pollution-in-our-oceans-1

Tampax

As the leading tampon brand around the globe we are reaching out to you to stop a very serious environmental hazard: plastic tampon applicators.
An alarming number of tampon applicators are washing up on shores all over the world, some beaches even have to be closed after large numbers of them flood the beach after a storm. In the past two months of cleaning up beaches JUST along Lake Ontario in Canada, my team and I have picked up 415 plastic applicators. We are aware that these applicators are not meant to be flushed, but it’s evident that many users are not following this advice and we would like to stop this problem at the source. Sign here

Plastic Free Food

Opting for food without plastic packaging could be a huge relief for our limited resources, however until the supermarkets change their packaging this is going to be difficult for consumers who frequently go for convenience in our ‘one stop shop’ age.
We need to act now before this problem gets worse – it’s not one to hand onto the next generation.
Please sign the petition to ask the major retailers (and our lovely local farm shop) to end plastic packaging on foods!

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2017 Fairshare Fabrics

In 2015 I pledged to  use no more than my fair global share of fibres and they had to be sustainably sourced. I was trying to determine what is a reasonable amount of clothing.

Whats a global share?

Rough calculations would suggest that the average amount of fibres per annum, for every person in the world, works out at 11.74 kg per person This is for everything – clothes, bedding, fabrics used in manufacturing, furnishings, businesses. All our fabric needs.
of which 3.8 kg is natural fibres.
As I don’t like synthetics I try to stick to 3.8 kg of natural fibres.
Just so you know a kingsize double duvet cover from Ikea weighs in at 991 grams and a Marks & Spencer short-sleeved tee-shirt is 156 grams.

Why not use 11 .74 kg of natural fibres? I would argue that it is not sustainable for us all to have 11.74 kg of natural fibres a year. This is one of the promoted benefits of plastic, that it takes the pressure off natural resources. Synthetic fabrics mean less land grab to grow cotton. But synthetic fabrics like any other plastic are massively polluting.

So if we cannot produce more, we have to consume less.  This is how the equation works for me:
We cannot exceed current levels of production:
We cannot expect others to want less than we have:
We cannot swamp the market with synthetics:
Therefore I have to live with my global share of natural fibres.Which is still probably to generous to be fully sustainable.

You can read more on the subject and check my figures and sources here.

Whats Sustainable Clothing?
Plastic-free, fair-trade, ethically made and lots more.You can read my clothing manifesto here
You can read more on the subject and check my figures and sources here.

Second Hand Clothes
Can I buy or accept second hand clothes to supplement my allowance? No. I can buy second-hand but it has to count as part of my allowance.
Unless they are from someone else participating in the scheme like Ami.

Double The Fun, better with two.

This year Ami decided to join me in in fabric rationing. Though he buys so little it would be more true to say he has decided to document how much (little), he uses.

which overjoys me.

Why am I so pleased that Ami is joining in? Well apart from the obvious reasons outlined above, I have my eye on those 2 pairs of jeans he bought at the beginning of the year. Ami cannot resist a bargain which makes him easy to fleece. He needed one pair of jeans but there was a special deal on two pairs. So he bought them both. I keep telling him it’s not a bargain if you don’t need them.
Add to that, every time he travels he looses weight. He now has two pairs of jeans which won’t fit him by the time he gets back home. However if I diet like a good un they might just fit me. Then I get two pairs of jeans for free. Because they have already been counted as part of his global share they can’t be counted again as part of mine. Which puts me way ahead for 2018.
If everyone participated, clothes swapping, hand-me-downs and remaking would be an integral part of the global fair share system. And of course clothes would be made to last so all of the above would be realistic options. What a wonderful world it would be.

This Year

Activities I realise that clothes are dependant on lifestyle so I have included a history for each year outlining what we did.

Spain in Winter
I needed warm as were were spending January in Spain. Contrary to popular opinion it can get very cold. Despite this the houses are not built for the cold and what with the tiled floors and wall and high ceilings can get pretty uncomfortable. can Warm lounge wear is the order of the day.
I bought a pair of cashmere pyjamas from TK Max They consist of a jumper which is really rather nice and could be worn out normally and a pair of long johns ditto. They were rather expensive but is my last experience of cashmire, the big scarf, has been extremely positive I thought it was worth the money. Also when researching for all wool leggings I found they were all expensive.
These though described as pyjamas and can be worn round the house. I spent many happy hour both during the day and night sleeping and lounging in my cashmere pyjamas and they  stood up to it well.

Clothes

Bought Clothes
cashmere pyjamas weigh in at 517 g
My cardigan is falling apart so I bought a new cotton cardigan from TK max Pure cotton it weighs in at 187 g
My green skinny fit trousers  from Marks & Spencer’s 357g
My sarong weighs in at 212 g From Indonesia pure cotton very thin very beautiful.
knickers


Made Clothes
Boiled wool shrug 417
Silk tunic 245
Liberty dress 218
Billy Bunter shorts 168
grey silk wool mix trousers 275

Details
I will be posting more info on all my  clothes later in the year.

Total so far 2.596 kg

Not Yet Weighed
Khaki tee shirt bought in Malaysia
Striped T shirt bought in Malaysia
2 towels in Japan
Toe socks Japan

Synthetics
Rain coat Mountainwear
Poncho
Bikini top Decathalonf
Yoga leggings Parkinson’s
Bra M&S
BikiniM&S
Toe socks Japan

Details
I will be posting more info on all my  clothes later in the year.

Amir’s Outfits

So far he has bought…

Natural Fibres
One blue merino T-shirt
Two pairs of jeans.
One small towel for the Japanese baths
One medium towels for the Japanese baths
One grey silk and cotton shirt local Varanasi fabric made by a local Varanasi tailor
One pair of tracksuit shorts bought in Malaysia
One pair of Craghopper shorts in cotton.

Three pairs of cotton underpants.

Blended Fabrics

Grr but it felt like cotton…. Combat pants
• 65% polyester, 35% cotton
• 465g
• 50 UPF
Why we should never let the boy go shopping on his own. On the other hand it’s so hard to find what he wants in the excitement of getting something that fits he can forget to check labels.

Synthetic Fibres

One plastic cover all poncho. All Plastic
One synthetic raincoat.

They haven’t been weighted yet as we don’t carry scales while backpacking.

Terms
By gifted I mean something that people have passed on to me because they no longer want it. Second hand but not purchased.
When I say cotton/ natural fibres that doesn’t include buttons and other such stuff which will almost certainly be synthetic. As might be the thread used to sew the fabric.
Unless you are talking about my own homemade clothes where I can tell you exactly what plastic has been used.

Sewing
I can’t afford to buy eco clothing but I can afford to make it. I have been stiching like a demon and this year most of my new clothes have been handmade. Sadly my sewing skills are not so great. There are ome rather strange outfits in there. You can read my plastic free sewing tips here…

More

I will be posting more information as the year progresses. Do check back.

 

Past Years

My Wardrobe
At the end of 2014 I had 45 items of clothing.
And some towels etc that I have yet to count.
2015
I purchased 3.15 kg of natural fibre products and 3.2 kg of synthetic fibres.
2016
I purchased 3.835kg natural fibres, (including 65g surplus of natural fibres from last year to use up) 318g synthetic fibres, 45g regenerated fibres
More information on all the above can be found here

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November

While travelling I’ve been buying locally made fabrics for next years outfits. I have been through India, Japan and Thailand so the choice has been huge. And I have had to learn a lot something about the different kinds of fabrics. If you too are thinking about making your own clothes you might find the following introduction to fibres and fabrics useful.
I am starting from a position of ignorance so it’s very much a dummies guide.
I of course have been only buying natural fibres that have been locally made. I tell you next years wardrobe is going to be stunning!

Talking of stunning, look at these cycling outfits. Made not from synthetics but lovely merino wool. They do tops and cycling shorts.

As cyclists, we know that when it comes to clothing comfort is king. Jura Cycle Clothing jerseys are British designed and made of 100% fine Italian merino wool. They are both lightweight and durable, allowing maximum performance in comfort.

Did you know merino wool has fantastic wicking properties? And it’s itch free, breathable and anti-bacterial – meaning you can ride for days without washing your jersey!

Our unisex jerseys are popular for their great retro design so, whether you are out for a casual ride to the pub or powering up the Col du Galibier, you will not only be comfortable, you’ll look stylish too!

Sadly they ar a little out of my price range I haven’t actually tried one but I love the designs and of course that they are made from wool. They have some great reviews.

NB They are actually made in Turkey.
You can buy from HERE

Fair Share Fabric Rationing 

Wahey. talking of clothes, this year Ami is joining in in the fair share fabric rationing project. You can read more about it here

Packer Tracker

You can rummage in our plastic free backpack, find out where we are and link to other travel related posts here

 

One of the most poignant events of the year happens in November. Every year on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month all of Britain observes a full silence for two minutes.  Because 11 November is Armistice Day and the anniversary of the end of the first world war. Remembrance Sunday is always held on the weekend so that everyone can participate. On this day we take time to remember all those who have fallen on the many wars.

Through November the most visible sign of remembrance is the wearing of a red poppy badge.

November is also When the Royal British Legion, a U.K. Charity organise a massive fundraising campaign. Whatever your opinions on the politics of war, whatever you feel about the senseless loss, many soldiers have died leaving families behind. Many soldiers have survived but so badly hurt that they now need help. The Royal British Legion supports the Armed Forces community both past and present. It provides support for the serving men and women, veterans and for their families.

Every year (2017 starting on 26 October), they ask for contributions in return for which you receive a poppy to pin on your lapel.Sadly the poppies made from paper and plastic are disposable. Many people buy a new poppy each year. Some careless ones like me get through two or three a year. Hundreds and hundreds of little green plastic stalks and black centres are left over once the paper petals have have rotted away.

So this year why not do it differently. The Royal British Legion have many new and interesting ways to contribute. And of course if you want to show your support by wearing a poppy you can buy a reusable poppy. You still make a donation each year but wear your own reusable poppy.

You can buy reusable poppy pins from the Royal British Legion,(visit the Website), Or these from Marks & Spencer’s. If you don’t like any on display, or find the offerings to be too plastic packaged, try making your own. Loads of ideas HERE.

Getting ready for Christmas christmas

Too early for the C word? I know Halloween is hardly over but you need to plan ahead in the plastic free world. For example if you want to make a reusable advent calendar you need to start collecting loo rolls or get sewing. Or at the very least order online. You will also need to get some biodegradable sticky tape, think about making fantastic home made candied peel even some sweet mincemeat. See how to plan a plastic free Christmas here

Then there is the office party (groans!). Given the choice between washing up in the tea room sink, and disposable cups, the answer may seem obvious. However at the end of the night when the black bin bags come out that decision may seem rather environmentally unfriendly.  So we put together some plastic free party tips here.

Leaf Mold

Another C word and one of our favorites. Yes it’s composting. Hooray! You can use all those Autumn leaves to make seed compost. Instructions here

This Year

see what we got up to the rest of the year right HERE

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October

Because plastic is too scary – even for Halloween

Whhhooo oooo

Yes its time for spooks, ghouls and zombies to take to the streets and beg sweets.  We have put together a few tips to cut the plastic horror that results. Included are…

  • Get,(or make), some fabric trick or treat bags to take out with you – not to my house obvs.
  • Buy plastic-free sweets for when the ghouls come calling.
  • Use compostable, disposable partyware
  • Make a reusable, burlap witches hat .
  • make your own costumes

Check out the How To Halloween Plastic Free page for details. And please do add your own grisly finds and ghastly zero waste ideas  ….. love Hollies mushed beetroot brains!

 

This Year

see what we got up to the rest of the year right HERE

 

Updates

Compostable Coffe Cups

Look out for the lovely green van. Maybe you can hire it for your events. Not sure. You will have to contact them. As well as a great vehicle they are using compostable disposables. Mmmmmm.
London based
We’re a new mobile catering company coming soon! We’ll be serving excellent artisan coffee and bites out of our gorgeous vintage wagon!
Thanks to @BiopacLtd for our compostable coffee cups & other packaging! #TheWackaWagonCo http://www.TheWackaWagonCo.com

Straw Wars

All Bar One
Are cutting plastic straws…..
It’s simple really, over the next year we’re going to reduce our straw usage by a third.
Don’t worry you can still sip away merrily on our delicious cocktails and soft drinks, and for those crushed ice cocktails we’ll be offering replacement eco-friendly options.
So why does this matter to us? Our own research show just how many straws are in use and in turn, creating an environmental problem. To give you a snapshot of just how many straws we use at All Bar One:
Straws are served in 25% of our drinks
An average of 1,600 straws a week in each bar (about 13,000 a day as a brand)
We purchase 4.7 million straws a year
We need your help, we can’t make this happen without you, the change starts with how you enjoy your drinks and we ask that when you do, you don’t ask for a straw. Let’s all work towards making a difference and get rid of plastic straws for good.
We’re also calling on other bars to join the pledge and get involved in the #StrawsSuck movement.

Check out the website HERE

Weatherspoons
Are also giving up straws for new year.
From January 2018, Wetherspoon chains will no longer automatically put plastic straws in their drinks, instead using only biodegradable paper straws. The pub chain claims this will stop 70 million plastic straws from heading to landfills or finding their way into the ocean, where they can cause damage to all kinds of sealife. The plan is part of a massive campaign called Refuse the Straw, which urges pub chains and restaurants to stop handing out plastic straws willy-nilly.

Read more
HERE

If you really need a straw, there are some options here – reusable or compostable. Read more.

Some more loose food here…

Hi, I have a stall on Northampton Market every Tuesday and Wednesday doing “Scoop and Save Herbs Seeds and Spices” where I encourage folk to bring their own jars, otherwise it’s a resealable reusable freezer bag…

Apples

October is the time for apple harvesting. If you don’t have your own tree you could try a PYO farm. There are hundreds of orchards offering this in the southern counties, rather fewer up here in the north.Check out this great farm finder website

Urban Harvest

Otherwise you coud get involved in some of the urgan harvest programs. They pick and distibute unwanted fruit. Abundance in Manchester is one such. From the website…

“A mature garden fruit tree produces more than the average family can eat. And at the same time there are lots of people in our city not able to access fresh food.

Abundance Manchester is a voluntary project which picks surplus or unwanted fruit from gardens and public trees around South Manchester and distributes it to local groups and communities who can use it. We also collect and distribute surplus vegetables from allotments.”

I have listed a couple more here.

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The Fulsome Foolish Skirt

We were planning to visit Seville for the Feria, the big flamenco party. To say it is dreey would be understating. I spent a lot of time wondering what I could possibly wear. The flamenco dresses I had seen looked very elaborate featuring different fabrics, trimmings and all manner frou-frouery. Needless to say I possessed nothing like that. Then, while meandering through the Indonesian markets, I came across some very lively sarongs. They were highly patterned strips of fabric featuring a bold use of color and frantic patterning. If, I thought, I was to make a skirt out of such sarongs, it would look extremely ornate. Not frilly but with a general air of exuberance that would make it suitable for a flamenco night out.

So I bought some. They were amazingly cheap but I was assured they were made from Indonesian cotton. They are not. They are synthetic fibres. I didn’t realize this till I got home, tried to iron them and they melted. I was annoyed. Not only did I have to spend hours scraping away at the iron but I don’t like wearing synthetic fabrics. I’m sure you know that synthetic fibres contribute to micro plastic pollution. When they are washed, they shed tiny, non-biodegradable, synthetic fibres into the drains. These are then washed out to sea where they are now polluting the oceans and being eaten by plankton.

Still I thought I could still make the skirt, wear it for the Feria, and never, ever wash it. After all how much demand would there be for such a lively skirt in my daily life? So I copied a pattern for a circular skirt from the internet, sewed it up and tried it on. It hung nicely but it was full…. very full. Draped over my Rubenesque curves it looked rather tent like – by which I mean a big top. It might have worked if I had made it from a different fabric. Something with less pattern and nicer colors. Lord knows what I was thinking but dominant tints were bottle green and aquamarine blue covered in hot pink and purple flowers. It looked funky in the market place as a sarong; it looked insane as a swirling skirt on a wide berthed middle aged woman. So much so I will not be featuring a photo of me modeling it.

So I now have a huge and very ugly skirt which I can never wash and never wear. But as I can’t bear waste so I am keeping it as a permanent pattern for future huge skirts I may wish to make. In fact I used it as the base for my Japanese Fish Wrap Skirt.

More

Weight 243g. This counts as part of my fair share fabrics project– a self imposed rationing system where I use no more than my global share of fibres and they have to be sustainably sourced. Whats a global share? 11.74 kg per person of which 3.8 kg is natural fibres. As I don’t like synthetics I try to stick to 3.8 kg of natural fibres.

2016 WLLM Want to share my bath?

Or perhaps you would prefer to post some photos of the local shops you support. Here’s the deal…

“Each year the UK alone is putting over £3.8 billion worth of resources into landfill and evidence suggests that increasing rates of consumption and material possession are not necessarily leading to healthier societies and may in fact be damaging to our happiness and wellbeing.”

Waste less, Live More have had enough and have taken to organizing a week of events to combat this. WLLM is a Keep Britain Tidy’s annual campaign. It is 7 days of awareness raising, rubbish, cutting activities and brings together a wide range of partner and supporter organizations… of which I am one.

Yes, from 19-25 September, ” organizations, charities and businesses, (ME!!!), will be hosting … events and activities which encourage people to waste less and live more – events demonstrating that what is good for the environment is good for us.”

Eek – hosting!? What am I going to do?Well WLLM have kindly put together over 101 activities including having a bath together. Feel free to join me in the tub but I was thinking of something more inclusive. It’s a small tub and I’m a big girl.

Love Local, Photo & Post

Because I move around a lot it’s hard for me to do anything on the ground so I plan to do it virtually. Last year I organized an online litter pick where I photographed and posted pictures of the plastic litter I collected. People were kind enough to join me and I could do that again. BUT…. after my week of eating-plastic-free -but- only-buying- from – supermarkets project I would like to to focus on local shops.

Activity Number 46 looks ideal. It is Buy local – Try buying local for a day. Using local businesses instead of chains is great way of supporting local jobs and investing more money back into the local economy.

Like the litter pick, I will be posting photos of local shops and businesses and the (plastic-free) produce you can buy from them. Once again I invite you to join me. Together we can celebrate, promote and support the independent traders and, (of course), packaging-free, waste-less produce. One day in the week, when out shopping, take a photo of your favorite indie, local shop then post it up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or all of them. A few details on where it is and what it does would also be good.

Post Where?

Post on your Facebook Twitter or Instagram account but do remember to hashtag your photos. You can also post them in the Plastic Is Rubbish Facebook Group group  where they will remain as permanent record of great places to shop. Or up on the WLLM Facebook page.

Tag Them

Use tags #pirlocalshop and #wastelesslivemore

Like this

“love my #pirlocalshop The Hut, Huddersfield #plasticfree kabanos Celebrate indies 4 #wastelesslivemore week.”

Feel free to copy – using details about your own shop I mean. Then you can promote the project with more posts like this one…..

Visit #pirlocalshop gallery & on line photo competition for #wastelesslivemore week. Vote by liking. On line photo competition for #wastelesslivemore week. celebrating indies.

Galleries

You can also visit the galleries…..

Check out the Twitter gallery here

Facebook gallery here

Photography Competition

Got the bit between my teeth now. Why not, I’m thinking, combine it with

“Activity No 17 Have a photography competition – Create a list of things or themes to photograph, such as ‘favourite local green space’ or ‘best place to relax’, or ‘neighbourhood’ and ‘sharing’. Have fun comparing your results!”

Add #pirshoplocal hashtag to be in with a chance to win fantastic

Prizes

I’m thinking Activity Number 39 Make a puppet or sock monkey – Odd socks? Try upcycling them into the ultimate toy/mascot/desk companion.”

Or we can we include “Activity Number 77 Share a bath ?” – a voucher system maybe?

So Trashionistas what do you think? You in?

More

You can sign up at the Waste less, Live More website and let them know you are supporting them. And if you don’t have any local shops, a camera or shudder at the shared bath, here’s the list of activities – all 101 of them. There is something to suit everyone.

101 Ways to Waste less and Live more

This year we are challenging you do as many of our 101 ways to waste less and live more as you can. Let us know what you are up to via social media (#wastelesslivemore) – we can’t wait to see how you get on!

  1. Become a RAKtivist – Do little things to ‘pay it forward’ as a Random Acts of Kindness activist – leave change in the parking meter, give out free hugs, pick up groceries for a neighbour.
  1. Have a declutter day – If you don’t love it loads or use it often, donate it to a charity shop.
  1. Rediscover the fun of the playground – Jump rope, hopscotch, duck duck goose, hide and seek, limbo, leapfrog, stuck in the mud – PLAY!
  1. Grow from scraps – Give your fruit and veg another lease of life. There are great beginner guides online to get you started!
  1. Take it outside – Take your next meeting, lesson or catchup outside. Remember, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing!
  1. Organise a shared lunch – Everyone brings a dish and you eat together. You’ll get an amazing spread and think of the sandwich wrapper waste you’ll avoid.
  1. Set up a book-swap shelf – Got a spare shelf at work, school or in your local pub? Ask if it can be turned into a book-swap shelf. Give away your books and pick up something new to read 
  1. Organise a street party – Get together with neighbours and plan an afternoon of activities for all. Check with your local council about road closure procedures and permissions.
  1. Have a go at upcycling – Turn something old or unused into something new and usable. Broken umbrellas can become saddle covers, cheese graters can become earring holders – get imaginative!
  1. Support your local library – Rather than buying that book/film/cd you are after why not borrow it from your local library instead?
  1. Make a pinecone birdfeeder – Hang it near a window so you can birdwatch too!
  1. Scoot to school – Micro-scooters are more fun than walking and more eco-friendly than a car.
  1. Give collaboratively – Club together to get a lasting gift – save money and wrapping paper!
  1. Be intergenerational inspirational – Your grandparents or children can help you see the world in a different way – what skills and stories can you share?
  1. Organise a walking bus – Get to work or school on foot and pick up your colleagues or classmates en route – a little fresh air and exercise make a great start to the day!
  1. Support a local community project – Get in touch with your local volunteer bureau and find a project that needs some help.

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  1. Have a photography competition – Create a list of things or themes to photograph, such as ‘favourite local green space’ or ‘best place to relax’, or ‘neighbourhood’ and ‘sharing’. Have fun comparing your results!
  1. Sleep under canvas – Even if it’s only in your back garden, get the tent out and spend a night under the stars.
  1. Have a fix-it party – Got a pile of stuff you’ve been meaning to fix? Gather the things you’ll need and invite your friends over for a fix-it Check out YouTube for tutorials on how to fix almost anything.
  1. Make a home for wildlife – Make a bird box, bug hotel or a hedgehog shelter. It’s easier than you think and you can get advice online from theBBC or the RSPB. 
  1. Build a bottle rocket – There are plenty of tutorials online. Too easy? Have a competition with friends – who can make their rocket go the highest? Be safe!
  1. Gift a tree – A great alternative to conventional presents – try the National Forest or Woodland Trust.
  1. Darn it – There was a time when most people knew how to darn. Check out YouTube tutorials or find a friend or family member who can teach you and give those socks a new lease of life!
  1. Get gardening – Even if you’ve only got space for one pot, you can garden. Why not try growing herbs on your windowsill or looking after a spider plant? You can find some great beginner tips and tricks
  1. Spend an evening by candlelight
  1. Pledge to have zero waste lunches – Think about how much packaging you get with a lunch bought out. Pledge to have zero waste lunches for the week – bring in your own from home or sit-in to eat.
  1. Arrange a themed movie night – Invite friends over and watch a movie, follow it with a discussion. We recommend the Minimalism Documentary, My Stuff Movie or Black Fish.
  1. Get a teapot or coffeepot for work – A teapot or coffee pot is a great addition to the office! It’s sociable and the kettle will only be boiled once.
  1. Ditch the disposables – Try to go a whole day or the entire week without using disposables.
  1. Preserve and pickle – Gather old glass jars and fill them with delicious and long-lasting preserves and pickles – there are loads of recipes online. They make excellent gifts too 
  1. Create a new game (no purchases allowed) – Remember making up games as a child? Have fun creating a new game using things you’ve got at home.
  1. Get inventive, Masterchef-style! – Get together with friends to see who can create the best dish from all your leftovers and what’s already in your cupboards!

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  1. Chit-chat for charity – Organise a coffee morning – get people baking, donating and chatting to raise funds for a local cause.
  1. Patch it – Patch the holes in your jeans and tops rather than dispose of them – make the patch blend in for a ‘good as new’ look or go bold and make a statement!
  1. Share your skills – Can’t cook but can play the guitar? Get together with others to swap your skills.
  1. Get your office growing – Plants are a great addition to the office – they encourage a positive and healthy atmosphere so get planting with colleagues. Herbs are easy to grow and can be used in your lunches! 
  1. Play team sports – Organise a game of football or ultimate frisbee in the park with friends or colleagues.
  1. Lift-share – This week, try to make no journeys in the car alone. You’ll be reducing your environmental impact and have someone to chat to. Too easy? Travel further afield using a scheme like Blablacar.
  1. Make a puppet or sock monkey – Odd socks? Try upcycling them into the ultimate toy/mascot/desk companion.
  1. Love your local park, river or beach – Go to your local park, river or beach and show it some love. Are there any Green Flag parks or Blue Flag beaches near you?
  1. Join a choir – We have a great choral tradition – it is sociable, creative, keeps your brain active and it is great fun!
  1. Give a hen a home – Contact the British Hen Welfare Trust to give a hen a free-range future. Over half a million re-homed hens to date!
  1. Try geocaching – Use a GPS-enabled device such as a mobile phone to treasure hunt for geocaches near you. There are over 2.5 million globally!
  1. Eat seasonably – Seasonal fruit and veg need less artificial input, have less environmental impact, taste better and are often cheaper. Check out your local market, grocer or food store and don’t be afraid to ask if it’s in season.
  1. Make a musical instrument – Make a rain-stick using lentils, a guitar using plastic bands or a tambourine using bottle tops. Too easy? Form a home-made instrument band and record a song!
  1. Buy local – Try buying local for a day. Using local businesses instead of chains is great way of supporting local jobs and investing more money back into the local economy.
  1. Organise a spoken word or unplugged music night – Why not get in touch with Sofar Sounds and host a gig in your living room?
  1. Set up a stuff library – Need a drill for that DIY project? Bored of your DVD collection? Set up a real or virtual library to share the things you have, helping everyone’s stuff get used more and gather less dust.

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  1. Harvest rainwater – Make a DIY rainwater harvester to collect rainwater for use on your lawns and gardens. Too easy? Why not install a more permanent domestic rainwater harvesting system?
  1. Join your local transition town – ‘Transition towns’ are grassroots groups aiming to increase self-sufficiency to reduce environmental impact. Check out the one in Totnes.
  1. Buy milk from the milkman – Fewer plastic bottles and more reusable glass. Why not get your orange juice from the milkman too 
  1. Scrub naturally – Use sugar, sea-salt or oatmeal to make your own microbead-free exfoliant – there are plenty of tutorials online.
  1. Food-share – Become a food philanthropist and grow food to donate to local charity partners.
  1. Row, row, row your boat – Gently down the stream.
  1. Organise a Big Tidy Up – Visit the Big Tidy Up website and order a kit to get you started.
  1. Be a lover, not a leaver – In restaurants a lot of food is wasted through preparation, spoilage and what’s left behind on the plate. If you’re eating out, commit to asking for a doggy bag and LOVE those leftovers!
  1. Yarn-storm your garden – Decorate your garden with colourful knitted or crocheted yarn installations.
  1. Do a bug hunt – Join the Big Bug Hunt or just see which creepy crawlies you can find in your garden or local park.

 

  1. Join a veg-box scheme – Fresh organic veg delivered straight to your door to help you eat in-season and get creative in the kitchen.

 

  1. Stargaze – You don’t need any special equipment and a good place to stargaze might be closer than you think, even if you live in an urban area. There are lots of free guides online, including the Dark Sky Discovery’s website.

 

  1. Go zero waste – Try to produce no waste for a day.

 

  1. Host your own DIY Olympics – Use what you have to make hurdles and javelins, toss bean bags and relay with buckets – the possibilities are endless… Don’t forget to make medals for the winning team!

 

  1. Go paperless – Think before you print, switch to paperless billing – you’ll never have to open a bill again (well not a paper one anyway!)

 

  1. Make a cork memo board – Collect wine corks and upcycle them into a functional and stylish cork board in just a couple of hours.

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  1. Fly a kite – Get yourself up the nearest hill and enjoy the simple pleasure of flying a kite. Too easy? Make your own kite from recycled materials and fly, fly away!

  

  1. Buy nothing – When was the last time you went a whole day without buying a single thing? Give yourself, the planet and your wallet a day off.

 

  1. Have a (non-computer) games night – Get out board games or a pack of cards and have an evening of fun together.

 

  1. Go walkies! – Borrow a dog from a family member, friend or neighbour for the day – they make great companions for a walk!
  1. Re-love some stuff – Check out a local car-boot sale or charity shop – enjoy the thrill of finding a bargain or unexpected treasure!
  1. Go for a bike ride – If you haven’t got a bike, why not borrow or hire one, take a nice ride in your local park or explore your local neighbourhood using pedal power!
  1. FoodCycle – Find your local FoodCycle Hub, where communities unite to make sure no good food is wasted, and get involved.
  1. Race to save water – Challenge family members and flatmates to keep showers to less than three minutes. Who can be in and out the fastest 
  1. Become a citizen scientist – Join project like the British Trust for Ornithology Survey – collaborate with other members of the public and professional scientists to collect and analyse data about the world around us. 
  1. Plan an overland holiday – Pick somewhere on your wanderlust list but don’t get on a plane – go by boat or train and make it a real adventure.
  1. Host a ‘jumble trail’ – Like a car boot sale but along your street, communities coordinate to set up stalls outside their houses to sell bric-a-brac, toys, vintage clothes and cakes.
  1. Create unique reusables – Organise a workshop get the people involved in customising their own canvas shopping bags or water bottles to take home and use.
  1. Share a bath
  1. Organise a ‘Give and Take’ day – Give or take days are a great way of getting rid of items that you don’t need, and taking items you do. Left over items can be donated to local charity shops.
  1. Make your own – These days we can pop into a shop or go online and buy almost anything we like. This week, commit to making your own – bake real bread or make a gift for a friend.
  1. Arrange a scavenger hunt – split into teams and see which team can capture the most photos from a list of miscellaneous objects.

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  1. Get crafty with bottle caps – There are loads of creative ways to reuse your beer bottle caps or milk bottle caps.
  1. Theme your next book group – Pick a book with an interesting social or environmental theme such as The Spirit Level and 10 Billion for discussion at your next session.
  1. Green your roof – Whether it’s a few pots on a flat office roof or getting a professional to waterproof your shed roof and cover it in vegetation – make the most of space available and bring nature closer to home.
  1. Go dairy-free – Cut out cheese, cream, butter, milk and eggs for a day. Too easy? Why not try and last the whole week?
  1. Do good, get fit – Join the Good Gym – a group of community-minded runners that combine regular exercise with helping those in need 
  1. Create your family tree – Get together with family members to map it out and share memories using photos you have around the house.
  1. Go birdwatching – There are lots of apps available to help you identify birds from their calls or appearance. How many different species can you spot?
  1. Get together to doodle, paint, sketch, draw… – Get together and whip out the colouring pencils, pens and paints. Get messy and creative!
  1. Break the bag habit – Stop using single use bags and invest in a nicer reusable alternative.
  1. Forage – September is a great month to forage for nuts, berries and other delicious treats. Guides online will help you identify safe produce. Remember to leave plenty for wildlife and check local bylaws on foraging before you set out!
  1. Visit your nearest green open home – The National Network for Low-carbon Open Homes enables you to visitopen homes in your area to see what others have done to become more energy efficient.
  1. Build a den – indoors or outdoors.
  1. Plug-out – Turn off the wifi, phone and all other electronic devices for a day and fill your time with other waste less, live more activities. We don’t want to hear about this one on social media..!
  1. Volunteer with your local Scouts / Guides group – Channel your inner Bear Grylls and contact the Scouts / Guides to offer your skills.
  1. Make rubbish art – Get creative by making art and sculptures with recycled materials.
  1. Go meat-free – Cutting down on meat is good for you, other people and the environment, so why not try going without meat for a day. Too easy? Why not try and last the whole week?

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  1. Try an outdoor gym – Outdoor gyms are springing up everywhere enabling people to exercise in the fresh air for free. Check with your local council website or the Great Outdoor Gym Company to find one near you.
  1. Swish your clothes – Bring friends or colleagues together to swap items of clothing you no longer want and find yourself a new outfit.
  1. Write and perform a song, poem or play – A great activity for children and adults alike and you might discover you’ve a talent you didn’t know you had.
  1. Go swimming outdoors – Get down to your local lido or swimming ponds – enjoy!
  1. Turn off the TV – Try going a whole evening without watching any TV. Too easy? Try the whole week!

 

…Phew! Happy Waste less, Live more Week 2016!

We have tried to ensure that all information provided in the Waste less, Live more Week Challenge was correct at the time of inclusion. We do not guarantee the accuracy of this information and we apologise for any errors. We take no responsibility for the content of third party websites that may be referenced in the Challenge. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them. If you have any problems with the site or wish to comment on the content, please contact us athello@wastelesslivemore.com. We accept no responsibility for any activity undertaken by you as part of the Challenge. Please seek professional advice regarding any of the activities where appropriate. We strongly recommend that if children are wishing to partake in Challenge activities, they should be supervised by a responsible parent/guardian for their own safety and well-being.
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September

More Milk

Buying milk straight from the farm is one way to make sure crisis-hit dairy producers get a fair deal.
Farmers Weekly has created a map of British farmers selling direct to the public – cutting out the supermarket or middleman.
Some produce pasteurised milk, others sell raw or unpasteurised and a few have a wider dairy range to try.

See the map here

We are always happy to work with others promoting plasticfree products. Every so often we run a give away for fabulous #plasticfree prizes.
This month you are super lucky. WE have two!
Snact Fruit Jerky in compostable packaging.We have 3 sets of 3 packs of Snact to giveaway. Yup thats 3 packets of fruity goodness in sustainable packaging coming through your letter box for 3 lucky winners.
The onward packaging will also be compostable except maybe for some tape. And no Sellotape is not compostable.

WUKA period underwear cutting the need for disposables. Just for the Plastic Is Rubbish members, two prototype WUKA period underwear this month, which mean you will be the first one to try it.

You can enter here…

Zerowaste Week

Zerowaste week starts on the 4th of this month.
For a number of years now I have been a zero waste ambassador. Here are some quick zero waste week facts!
Zero waste week is organized by Rae Strauss:
It has been going since 2008:
The aim is to cut the trash going to landfill.

This year each day will focus on a different topic.
They are:
#MakeItMendItMonday – Make Do and Mend – get fixing. See how to make stuff plastic free HERE

#TrashlessTuesday – try and have a complete ZERO WASTE day with bonus points for carrying their waste around in a clear plastic bag all day!
#WasteLessWednesday – Upcycling don’t bin it transform it into something extremely lovely.
#TopTipsThursday – Time saving and Top Tips. What’s your favourite.
#FoodWasteFriday – Food waste and how to minimise it.

Visit the website here.
Click here for Zero Waste week

Of course its not just me  doing it- there are loads of bloggers doing all kinds of stuff. You can find them herded together in one easy to access place on the Zero Waste website and listen to them wittering – sorry twittering – on on the twitter hashtag #zerowasteweek

If you want to join in you can make a pledge here on the zero waste website. If you decide to blog about it you can decorate your blog or  post with various buttons, if you don’t you can print off posters for your living walls (easy tiger!) with these links posters and pdfs

Read more about My zero waste weeks here

Summer Holidays

Do you need DEET check out these Malarial regions here
Read about DEET and the plasticfree alternatives here

Which times of the day are worst for The UV index here.

UV-Control Merino (Knitwear)

A UV absorbing finish is applied to the Merino wool product during dyeing or bleaching at either yarn stage, fabric stage or during knitted garment finishing. The finish can also be applied after dyeing either by exhaustion or by padding. Read more

More about merino

Read more about Plastic free fun in the sun here.

Baking Aids

Baking paper – also known as greaseproof bakery paper or parchment paper, is grease proof paper that is used in baking and cooking. It provides a heat-resistant, non-stick surface to bake on. It used to be made by beating the paper fibres. Now it may have a plastic or chemical coating.

Not to be confused with waxed paper. They may look the same but are different products.

Waxed paper (or wax paper as it is also called) actually has wax on it. This too creates a non stick surface but it cannot be used at high temperatures so cannot be used for baking.

Lakeland says this about their Food-Saver Waxed Paper Roll 30cm x 25m
This extra strong, double sided waxed paper roll is designed to prevent food from drying out, sweating and losing texture. Great for maintaining the freshness of cheese, bacon, and for wrapping greasier items like chicken legs and pastries, it helps to keep food fresh without sweating and forms a natural barrier against moisture and bacteria.

But they are phasing  it out.

Lush making an Exhibition

lush are one of the more forward thinking British companies. And they do stuff like this:

One of four Pop Ups being staged to support the Lush 2017 Creative Showcase event in London next month, Naked House is part gallery exhibition and part immersive experience curated by the brand team at Lush to show just how easy it is to make the switch to Naked (as in living with less packaging).
Read more here.

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2017 August

Summer and it’s time for high tea with

Strawberry jam and scones
First pick your strawberries. Unless you have been super organised and grown some, you will need to visit a pick your own farm. Find a PYO farm here ….
Now you can make some jam. I know you can get it in glass jars but the lids are plastic lined. Jam recipe here

And Cucumber Sandwiches
Cakes can be tricky but Asian stores and Polish delis often stock the smaller kind.

And then of course you need a nice cup of tea…
What’s in your tea bag? Paper and tea? you wish! Most teabags contain one or more
Plastic
Thermoplastics
Epichlorohydrin
And have been chlorine bleached.
There are plastic free teabags but they often come plastic packed.
And yet in a strange twist of fate you can get conventional tea bags that contain plastic in compostable packaging.

Read up about it here.

After which you will no longer want to use a conventional tea bag ever again. And you will have to be super rich to afford the cleaner greener alternatives even if you can find them in plastic free packaging. And please let me if you do.
So what to do when you want a nice cup of tea?
Loose leaves are the way forward. But how to steep them? If you are brewing up for the WI, a teapot is fine but what when you want a quick cuppa for one?
You can get cotton bags that you can use to make your own teabags but really who can be bothered with that kind of faff.

I have found that a steel mesh single cup infuser works perfectly. It sits on your mug, you fill it with loose tea, let the brew, brew then remove. Really no effort at all and very easy to empty into the compost bin after. Mine was given as a gift but I have found something similar on Amazon

Fun In The Sun

Don’t forget if you are going out berry picking to slap on some sun block.
Sun protection even on cloudy days is vital. But dont listen to me, have a look at www.skincancer.org website an invaluable source that should be read by everyone. Though you might find yourself spending the rest of Summer cowering in a cellar coming out only after dark after doing so.
But educate yourself and you can enjoy the sun sensibly.

More

There is lots more information about sun protection here. Do read up before you decide to make your own.

Oily Sun Tan Lotion

The following information is for guidance only. None of the following recipes or tips have not been tested on anyone other than me. I strongly advise you do your own research and proceed very carefully as sunburn is not only painful and aging but dangerous.

I have been mixing up sun tan lotion using zinc from home with rice bran oil bought in a Thai supermarket.
It chose an oil in a plastic bottle but there is a reason for that. On the island we are staying I have seen several points where plastic bottles are collected for recycling and none for glass. I have seen a lot of glass bottles piled up round the bins. Judging by the dust and weeds they have been there a long time. So I while I could have got coconut oil in a glass jar, I chose rice bran in a PET plastic bottle. principals are fine but not if they add to everlasting waste trashing up this island. And glass also lasts forever, is heavy and costs a lot to transport. PET plastic bottles are easy to recycle. They are the plastic most often collected by litter pickers because they have a value.
So I chose to buy one big plastic bottle of oil because it is most likely to be disposed of “properly”.

I added the zinc to oil to make lotion which so far seems to be working. You can see my recipe here. making your own sunblock

Rest Of The Oil
It was a very big bottle so I used some more oil to make
suntan lotion you can see my recipe here.
It can also be used to make

After sun lotion
I don’t believe all the hype about essential oils. That said it seems that lavender essential really might help with burns. And it is grown locally in Yorkshire. So I use lavender oil added to a carrier oil to make a soothing after sun lotion.

Mosquito repellent
I also use citronella essential oil mixed in a carrier oil as a mosquito repellent. I don’t know if it really works by which I don’t know if it repels Mosquitos. I feel it does and it certainly seems to soothe bites and reduce irritation. Obviously mosquitos present a real risk of malaria and you should consider your options very carefully before you proceed with this option.

Essential oils
Essential oils are resource hungry, have a large environmental footprint and should only be used on special occasions.
You can read more here

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2017 July round up

Hello and welcome to July. This month sees us back from Japan and hanging out on a beach in Thailand.
We are backpacking #plasticfree. You can find more details as to how and where in the packer tracker section.
But first”Plastivists united will never have to secumb to icecream in tubs”. Yes as a slogan it needs some work but here’s how we are going to bring plasticfree to the masses..

Stronger Together

I always wanted the blog to be a resource where numerous people could Collaborate on producing the bestest ever data base of plastic free resources for UK plastivists.

So if you want to contribute and I hope you do, please do this.

It’s not perfect but here’s how it works: find a plastic free product i.e. Pasta, search the database or A to Z index to see if there is already an entry for that product. If so, add the details in the comments for that post. You should be able to do this quite easily via any of your social media accounts.
If you have a post on the subject on your own blog please  leave a link to your own post again in the comments section.

Plastic Free Products

The easiest way to find a #plasticfree alternative in our huge database of products is to use the search function (#grandmothersuckeggs!) However we have also organised them by other criteria.
By Category Everything from food to Gardening to personal care
By Task 
Want to know how to wash the pots, #plasticfree? Check out these posts organised by task!
A to Z organised… erm…alphabetically
By Place
Towns organised alphabetically that have #plasticfree/ packaging free/ zerowaste shops. Find them here.

By Shops
Local shops Places selling refills and packaging free food (of a type normally sold prepacked)Heres a list of towns with shops selling loose food.
Supermarkets & Chainstores can surprise you – check out the plastic-free and reduced packaging products here.

By Blogger & Projects
Plastic Free People
Plastic Free Bloggers U.K. based bloggers can be found here 

Campaigns Arts, Media and Education Can be
found here

WHAT! NO POST? if you cannot find a post about pasta for example, tell me and I will set one  up.
Sharing Is caring And with your contributions,  posts can stay up to date and we can all benefit from each other’s expertise.

What do you think? Inputs, feedback and thoughts greatly welcomed. Anyone fancy out trying out and commenting on the system?

Big gold star to Yolanda for adding information on the ice cream post. Yum!

 

Competitions for designers

Any clever designers out there? Want to help design out plastic pollution and win a share of 1 million? Read more here.

And now you can reward yourself by entering our Giveaway. It’s from a company called Greencane 
They make #plasticfree tissue products including loo roll. Wahey.

They will be giving away a cardboard box  containing

32 Rolls of Toilet Paper (8 packs of 4 rolls)
6 Rolls of Paper Towels (3 packs of 2 rolls)
3 Boxes Facial Tissues

How Plastic Free

The products come in individually wrapped packs.
All the packaging is paper, card and or cellophone.
The cellophane is certified  as commercially compostable.
Delivered to your door in a cardboard box from their Brighton warehouse.
There may be some plastic tape on the box but they are working on that!
I have reviewed these produce – you can read my review here.

Enter Here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter by clicking the link and following the instructions to either
Visit the Greencane Facebook page and leave a like
Comment here on the blog on why you want to wipe #plasticfree
Tweet our cheeky tweet
OR, for a better chance of winning, all three.

SORRY but this is only for people living in the UK

Buy

Can’t wait? For lots more info and to order products  visit the website

Composting Plastic At Home
FYI While most agree that some  plastics are indeed compostable, many say that they can only composted in large scale municipal schemes. I have used and composted a number of compostable plastic products 

Of course every month is plastic free for me but plastic free July is a time to make a bit of extra effort.

What is Plastic Free July

The aim is to cut your consumption of one use plastic, for one month; how much you choose to cut is up to  you – read my take.

A bit of history

Plastic Free July started in 2011 in Australia  in 2013 it went global. They have a great website and are all round good eggs.

My Plastic Free July
I try to cut all disposable plastics including the lesser known sneaky plastics

 U.K. Participants

2017  This year progress  and uk bloggers can be found  here 

More Info

And you might like these other health & hygiene posts.

Packer Tracker

Back in Malaysia and not drinking bottled water. Is the tap water safe to drink in Malaysia. I can find out using this super cool website ” can I drink the water.”  I pick the country you want and read the result. And  No it’s not safe to drink. But it does have a few water refill machines that are cheap and easy to use.

You can read about them here

Otherwise it’s back to tap water made safe by a steripen. You can find that and other plastic free travel aids here.

How Much Plastic

Last month others from the PLastic Is Rubbish Facebook group agreed to track our plastic consumption for a show and tell at the end of the month. This is not a competition or one upmanship but an out of interest kind of project.

I don’t know how they did but I made more plastic trash last month than I have done in the whole of my 10 years boycotting plastic. I was camping in Japan where it is almost impossible to buy food plastic free. When travelling a I take my plastic free shopping kit of reusable bags, tiffin tins and compostable PLA bags. But this only works if you can find loose produce. In Japan they love packaging. We did what we could but noodles, rice and even potatoes came in plastic bags. While we sometimes found a loose lettuce most veg was bagged. Most protein wether meat fish or soya was again well wrapped. The usual ploy of buying food in markets and local shops didn’t work here because even then they plastic wrapped it. They really are obsessed with packaging. To console ourselves we drank a lot of beer in tins. Plastic lined of course.

#myplastictrash.

But this month should be better because we are back in Malaysia.

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2016 Plastic Free July

 

This month of course is Plastic-free July.

What is Plastic Free July 

The aim is to cut your consumption of one use plastic, for one month – July. It is a great way to challenge you relationship with plastic. We have done it for a few years now.

Plastic Is Rubbish Support Group

This year I set up a Plastic Is Rubbish Facebook group where people share plastic free tips. It’s a great resource.

Ecosewing? Saturday 16th July

The first ecosewing and pampering experience ever probably – sounds like fun!

Fun In The Sun

Going on holiday? Read our plastic-free travel guide, get a SteriPEN and make your own sun block!

Other Projects

Check out our other ongoing projects and see what our plastic free buddies are up to here….

The MSCUK plastic challenge is over for this year. Well done to everyone who did the full month. It has been great to see this project get bigger every time. Hope everyone managed to raise lots of money.

Sad to have missed it? Dont worry there is always next year.  Read more about it here.

Plastic Free July is an international event promoting a plastic-less lifestyle. Of course every month  is plastic free for me, but this month I get online more. I try to post a plastic-free tip a day. Find me on Twitter (#pfjuk), Facebook and recently, Instagram.

And to mark the occasion I have learnt how to Youtube…. These are my first ever Youtube videos….. I hope!?!

What is Plastic Free July

See more about Plastic Free July here

See It In Pictures

[instagram-feed]

Failures

Yoghurt!

I tried to make some yoghurt – it didn’t work. All I got was a teaspoon of yoghurt and whole load of runny juice. So I tried making pancake batter with flour eggs and yoghurt juice. That didn’t work either. Several flabby pancakes later I gave it up.

In the past I have tried eggs, flour and milk to wash my hair. What is pancake batter if not all three? Today I washed my hair with failed-yoghurt,failed- pancake batter. Because I’m worth it!

Day 1

Preparing for #PlasticFreeJuly UK #PfreeUK by getting  loose fruit & veg at the Peapod Grocery, Marsh. Also does unwrapped bread and fish and jam in returnable jars. Yay!  Read more here….

2016 U.K. Participants pfjuk featured

It’s really important to link up with U.K. based plastivists who will be sharing throughout the month. While some solutions like solid shampoo from Lush can be accessed UK wide,  many are local. If you are tweeting or writing this month get on the list….

Contact me if you want to be included. Tweet me @plasticSrubbish  e- mail www.plasticisrubbish@yahoo.co.uk or leave a comment.

So far we have have

the lovely Pip- squeaking @Pip_Squeaking of   arefugefordaffodils.wordpress.com in her second year now. 

Vicky@busygreenmum I blog about homegrown and foraged food and drink, reducing waste and buying less to reduce our carbon footprint and maybe save a little money on the way. allotmentrecipes.wordpress.com

Helen McGonigal@SpotofEarth Blogger & freelance writer, literacy workshop consultant, author of Mummy Makes Milk, mum of three, wife. spotofearth.com

New Plastic-free U.K. Directory member Jerry Bottles. Read about them here. Tweet them @jerrybottles

Libby Darling – “I run a beaching cleaning group and local eco/education Charity here in Rottingdean, just outside of Brighton, I have recently led a plastic free challenge in May & June to my local schools etc and it’s on going!
It’s not easy but it’s worth every moment!”

Fiona Hancox – no details as yet but on board!

2015

2014 see here

Plasticfree U.K. Directory

bin to beach featured

I am putting together a directory of plastic less resources. The aim is to share resources. If you are a UK based plasticless  business, organisation or blogger and you want to be in the P-f U.K. directory please send a brief write up. Guidelines here.

Plastic Is Rubbish Support Group

This year I set up a Plastic Is Rubbish facebook group where people share plastic free tips. It’s a great resource.

More Resources & Info

Loads of plastic free products here… A to Z of plastic free products

And see all our past posts here

Anyplace, Anywhere

I am proof that you can do this anywhere no matter the constraints

2014 I did it while travelling  in a van. Here is how I did.

2015 I did it with a backpack  check out Plastic free Mongolia

 

 

 

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2017 June

Hello there. We are now in Japan where it is suprisingly green. Lots more trees than I expected. We are travelling round in a carvan. That is a car big enough to have a fixed bed in the back but no more. It came with a little camp stove and some bowls. We are staying in rest stops. These are car parks with toilets where you can sleep the night for free. It’s fanatastic but its not a campsite and cooking has to be quick and discrete. And there are no pot washing facilities.Or showers come to that. It’s an interesting experience. More of which later.

In the meantime…..

New Kid On The Blog

Sarah from Devon blogs about living plastic free in this lovely part of the world. Read about it here.

Leighton Buzzard

Read this great write up of shopping for packaging free products in Leighton Buzzard. Everything from brushes to beer refills. Thanks to Vicky and her great blog

 

Tea Bag Update

Some interesting news about tea bags. Seems that they can be made from compostable materials after all. As I’m sure you know, conventional teabags contain non-biodegradable plastic but some companies are bucking this trend.

@pukkaherbs
Nope, our tea bag paper is made of a special blend of natural abaca (a type of banana) and plant cellulose fibres. And no other packaging either according to twitter users.

But sadly not completely true.  “The paper used to make the tea sachets (envelopes) does have a Polyethylene lamination. We are working on a recyclable solution as we speak”.

oh dear.

And this from Twinings Few things in life are as fresh and delicious tasting as loose leaf tea – or as simple and convenient as the teabag. The good news is, our pyramid shaped silk teabags let you enjoy the best of both worlds. We call them silky pyramids – although the bag is in fact made from a manmade, biodegradable fabric. Looking through the prism-shaped mesh, you can see the beautiful whole dried leaves of tea or colourful buds, where they’ve got just the right amount of room to swirl about in the hot water and release their flavour.

You can read more here.

Sounds good right. Hold your horses… sadly the rest of the packaging for the tea bag is plastic and very much so. A reply on twitter tells me Our pyramid envelopes are made from PET 12um / Polyethylene EVOH 60um which unfortunately is not recyclable.

One step forward!

Which is strange because Twinings do conventional teabags ( made form plastic) in compostable packaging. Or at least they used to.

Twinings Tea recently announced they will be using a compostable packaging for their Everyday tea line in the UK. The packaging is made from Innovia’s Natureflex NM material. http://www.sustainableisgood.com/blog/2009/02/twiningstea.html

Could they not combine the two to make a completely compostable product?

In the meantime it’s back to loose tea…

How Much Plastic

Myself  and others form the PLastic Is Rubbish Facebook group will be tracking our plastic consumption for a show and tell at the end of the month. This is not a competition or one upmanship but an out of interest kind of project. Feel free to join in. Don’t need to do it for a month, a week or a day will do.
Post at the end of the month, each week or whenever works for you. A list, photos, total weight however you want to record it. Post them in the plastic Is Rubbish group with the hashtag #myplastictrash.

Any other ideas on how to organise such a project greatly welcomed as I am talking off the top of my head here.
I can tell you now mine is going to be dreadful. I am in Japan and everything comes plastic packed!

Plastic Free June

Want to really cut your plastics? Then this  is a great campaign organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCSUK).The MSCUK is a UK charity “that cares for our seas, shores and wildlife”.

The Plastic Challenge takes place every year in the U.K. in June.It is organized by the

The MSCUK “have a vision of a world where plastics don’t end up in our seas and on our beaches, where they persist and impact our marine life.”
So they challenge you to give up single use plastics for a month (June), and get sponsored whilst doing it. The money goes to support MSCUK projects which are many and very worthwhile.

You can read more about it here

Giving Away

Getting ready for our next giveaway. Plastic free loo roll, and tissues and kitchen wipes. In a big cardboard box. Wahey!
Is from a company called Greencane 
They make tissue products and will be giving away a
 Mixed Box
a cardboard box, containing

32 Rolls of Toilet Paper
(8 packs of 4 rolls)
6 Rolls of Paper Towels
(3 packs of 2 rolls)
3 Boxes Facial Tissues

The products come in individually wrapped packs.
All the packaging was paper, card and or cellophone.
The cellophane is certified  as commercially compostable.
Delivered to your door in a cardboard box from their Brighton warehouse.
There may be some plastic tape on the box but they are working on that!
Anyone trying to live a plastic free life will know what good news this is!
I have reviewed these produce – you can read my review here

So call back soon to enter the giveaway!

Buy

Can’t wait? For lots more info and to order products  visit the website

Composting Plastic At Home
FYI While most agree that some  plastics are indeed compostable, many say that they can only composted in large scale municipal schemes. I have used and composted a number of compostable plastic products 

Biodegradable, Compostable Plastics

What is biodegradable? Biodegradable products break down through a naturally occurring microorganism into simple, stable compounds which can be absorbed into the ecosystem. More about biodegrading here

What is compostable? To be classed compostable, items must biodegrade within a certain time (around the rate at which paper biodegrades), and the resulting biomass must be free of toxins, able to sustain plant life and be used as an organic fertilizer or soil additive. Read more about compostable plastics here

More Info

And you might like these other health & hygiene posts.

Packer Tracker

In Japan where thanks this super cool website I know can I drink the water. It’s the only thing I can get plastic free!

 

Plastic Pollution

Saw and photographed some dreadful instances of #plasticpollution in India. You can see all our dirty pictures here on our Planet Trash FB page. Its why we travel plasticfree. You can see our plastic free backpack, find out where we are and link to other travel related posts here

Sign Up
There are now so many plastic free petitions I am now listing them on a separate page. as you already have your pen out, head on over to the petitions page.

Don’t be silly. I know nobody uses pens, or paper petitions come to that – but if you ever do want to write something try these refillable fountain pens… 

Latest Campaigns

You can read about other campaigns and campaigners here.

Product Of The Month

With summer coming it has to be fake bake lotion – of course! No point waiting for the British summer. Tan yourself . How to make your own fake bake and does it really work?

Rest Of The Year

See the plastic free diary here.