July 01, 2014

That Time I Blogged Everyday In July and Became Kind of Amish...

So it's July as of today and I am taking on two goals. Plastic Free July as announced on Sunday, and the Blog Everyday in July blogging challenge! So yes that means I will be blogging every day for the entire month and I suspect many of them will be tied into my Plastic Free July "activities."

As part of Blog Everyday, 31 prompts are provided for me. I otherwise would not be so ambitious.

The kick-off prompt is....

Goal Setting. What are your plans for today? (And/or this week? This month? This year?)

I'm choosing an "or" and want to talk about my goals for the month for, of course, participating in Plastic Free July! 

After signing up for Plastic Free July (okay that's getting annoying to type... henceforth: PFJ), I thought about what single-use plastics I currently use and will have to either do with out or replace. I already use reusable coffee cups, cold cups, straws, and shopping bags (the top 4). I started making my own toothpaste and laundry detergent a few months ago so those still hold up. But things I use regularly that are not plastic-free are ranch dressing, dish detergent, shampoo, conditioner, bulk apples, milk.... I'm sure there are more. Apples I can just stop buying or buy ones that aren't packaged instead. Milk I can get at a local dairy who sells it in glass bottles that can be returned and reused. For the most part, I just have to be good about buying food and products that come in glass, paper, or aluminum instead of plastic. The ranch and dish detergent are the ones that jumped out at me as something easy and important to convert.

So I looked up recipes for dish detergent and ranch dip (which I'll thin with milk to use for dressing) and chose some recipes from the PFJ site that I might want to try. The ranch dip recipe I chose (low calorie!) calls for greek yogurt so that's at the top of the list.

Another goal I have came about by accident. I was planning on hosting a 4th of July BBQ and when talking about PFJ, one of my friends asked how I would be able to be plastic free when hosting the BBQ. Excellent question. But after some consideration, I decided to declare the event Plastic-Free and am planning accordingly. Since I don't expect my friends to commit as fully as me, I'm providing all the food products and am asking them to just bring wine or beer and to refuse the plastic bag they might otherwise take. The BBQ resulted in a need to make condiments such as Ketchup or buy them in glass bottles, and also the rolls. I should be able to get ground beef and sausage from the meat counter at the supermarket but hot dogs have to be out. Can't get those not covered in plastic. Ice I am making myself instead of buying it! Yes, I have a bin to put it all in. 
I had to start early!
And for dessert we will have cookies and apple crisp that use plastic-free ingredients
Snickerdoodles
I also wanted to try making almond milk since the paper cartons are pretty wasteful also, and I actually already started on it last night.
Just for funzies, I'm thinking or making graham crackers. I can't use them to make s'mores (marshmallows call for corn syrup) but maybe a plastic-free pie crust.

Stay tuned throughout the month for results and updates!

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