panic

I don’t do regrets.  I can’t see the point in looking back and getting upset about something that has already been and gone.  Today I am going to make an exception.

Why on earth did I go public about trying to go plastic free.  The more observant readers will notice the introduction of a new word.  Yup “trying”  because as the 1st September fast approaches I am starting to panic that it is all going to go belly up pretty fast.  There is so much plastic around us.

The project is not helped by the fact that I have three teenage daughters.  Three perfectly formed modern consumers who like stuff.  Not masses of stuff to be fair and they are discriminating about on what they spend their money.  But much of the stuff they like tends to come with plastic: toiletries, Haribou tangfastic; soft plastic bread for toast; cotton wool pads; fresh strawberries in plastic punnets.

They already think I am bonkers, the mention of the plastic free month was met with  much eye rolling, sighing and pleas to be a bit more normal.  They are fairly well resigned to the fact that all jams and jellies for example are homemade, but still look longingly at the jars of pap on the shop shelves.  I did suggest (as a joke) that we made our own Nutella (which as a plastic lid by the way), you would have thought I was suggesting they eat raw tripe for a month!

But I cannot put all the blame on them.  I have spent this month looking at everything I buy and how much plastic is involved.  Oh boy, there is so much and some is going to be very hard to avoid.

One area that I am really struggling with is cleaners and toiletries.  Not buying them, I can do that quite easily and make my own instead.  But the ingredients I need to make them come in plastic bottles!  Vinegar, surgical spirit, rosewater, witch hazel, beeswax, glycerine, oils.  They all come in plastic bottles.  I have to buy in bulk because I use so much so I have to buy over the internet and nobody is going to send glass bottles through the post if they can avoid it.  I’m wondering if I can send them back but I suspect the answer will be “no it’s too much fuss”.  Grrr

10 thoughts on “panic

  1. I attempted to do Plastic Free July, only to be called to the USA to help after my mom’s surgery, so it became impossible. But the Plastic Free July I halfway participated in was good, because they plainly stated that it is pretty much impossible to totally eliminate plastic. And they were right. In today’s world, I think all we can try to do is cut back on it. Maybe “Plastic Cut-back July” would be a better term!

  2. “much eye rolling, sighing and pleas to be a bit more normal” Ha ha ha! Kids eh? I bet they secretly love you for your plastic-free plans 🙂

  3. Plastic freaks me out too. I wish I had some advice for you, but I don’t. Maybe I could suggest making your own variation of the challenge, rather than one that sounds extreme.

    For us, reducing is the best we can do for now, and we have reduced a lot, just by simply considering our usage.

    Whichever way you go, I wish you all the best, and look forward to hearing about your adventures.

  4. Thanks for following my blog. We are lucky that we can recycle plastic bottles, which I try to avoid as much as possible, but the plastic packaging is way too much. Nice to meet you 🙂 Annie

  5. Gillie, your tenacity is to be revered! I thought I was quite good on recycling but you are on a different stratosphere to me in that regard. I agree with others, cutting back is probably the realistic approach. I do try to buy in large quantities and decanter toiletries and cleaning products in the hope that it takes fewer resources to make one big bottle as opposed to five smaller ones. I also buy Lush products feeling that the paper wrappers are more environmentally friendly (although a friend did tell me she thought there wasn’t much between waxed paper and plastic – do you know?) But as to making my own cleaning products, I wouldn’t have a clue! I do use Asda’s organic bathroom cleaner etc which has less harmful stuff in and smells gorgeous – but environment-wise, it wouldn’t be a patch on your homemade delights! Maybe you should go into business with people returning their plastic bottles a la Lush for you to re-fill??
    Loving your new blog!

  6. Coming back to this subject briefly, I was browsing the Manufactum catalog today (sadly delivered in a plastic sleeve :() but thought these might interest you:
    http://www.manufactum.ch/anchor-glasbehaelter-p1423207/?c=192937
    http://www.manufactum.ch/aufbewahrungsdose-edelstahl-p1451224/?c=192937
    (I hope these links work – glass and metal containers instead of Tupperware & co!)
    You will probably enjoy browsing the whole site, to be honest!

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