July 23, 2019

That Time It Was Plastic Free July 2019 (Part 2)...


Plastic Free July is in FULL EFFECT!

Here's how I'm doing so far with my list...

Stuff I used to do and will do again/more:


No plastic-fiber clothes/only allowed if used. For this, I mostly had to unsubscribe to all the clothing store emails that I was getting. They would tempt me with promos and sales that I'd get sucked into. If I do need something, I shop on thredUP or at Plato's Closet which is all used clothing. I currently am maxed out on clothes, it's really bad, so I'm trying to not shop at all until some of my stuff wears out and there's room in my closet again!
Regardless of all of that, one of the problems with synthetic fiber clothes is that when you wash them, teenie bits of plastic get into the water. So I am going to try to look for clothes made from natural fibers going forward. I had to crochet something with yarn recently and chose cotton yarn instead of acrylic. Way more expensive, but worth it! It's a little harder to work with but feels nicer once you're done.

Use bar soap (just say NO to liquid!)
This is the easiest most obvious thing someone could do to reduce plastic! It doesn't cost extra or anything. It's maybe a little hard to find soap that doesn't have any cellophane around it, but it does exist (I found a bunch in the dollar store, not sure if they came out of plastic packaging... hoping they don't... maybe I should ask). 
Sometimes soap can get weird in its soap dish. I've found that my ceramic one that has exposed stone works great because the water that drips off gets absorbed instead of ruining my soap. If you can't find one like this, wood/bamboo is also good, or you can go to your local Color Me Mine and make one! While this is mostly a joke, if you did do this, you'd need to not paint/glaze the whole thing. 

Don't buy ANYTHING packaged in plastic. This is basically impossible, and it's something I do as much as possible already, so for me it means just not buying anything. Between me and Husband, we basically already have EVERYTHING, so it should be easy. But it's not. We also have to get our friends and family to do the same. I started asking for "Green" gifts which means consumable (like wine, beer, food) or experiences (like gift cards for cruises). We'll see. 

These things:
  • Buy milk in glass
  • Make yogurt from said milk
  • Make salad dressing from said yogurt!
I did all of them! I forgot to take photos. We pretty much just make Ceasar and ranch dressing with the yogurt. Ceasar is harder and required an immersion blender. Or maybe it doesn't but that's what Husband uses. I'll ask later. Ranch is easy though, you just need to add some herbs and spices. 
This is from a make-it-at-home cookbook I have.
I also use my plastic-free yogurt to substitute for sour cream except for when I actually want it to taste like sour cream.

New stuff:

Buy/use metal safety razor. Here it is! I actually like it. It did come in a plastic box, and the replacement blades come in a plastic case, but it's way less plastic than disposable blades. It's harder to not cut my legs, so I have to shave them in the sink so I can see better. Otherwise, as long as I'm not sloppy, it's as good as my old razor.
Yes, I do still have blades for that one and I'm not going to just throw them away. I'm going to keep that razor in my travel bag till I use up the blades. Not sure what I'll do after that.

Use a shampoo bar. I combed through several shampoo bars and their reviews on Amazon and tried a couple. Based on the bad reviews I was nervous about trying them.
My hair felt weird while it was wet, but dried soft and healthy. I didn't even have to use conditioner! Yes, I have long thick hair, so this is a big deal. Husband also tried it and had no complaints.
The first one I tried was JR Liggett's Tea Tree & Hemp Oil variety. It had the best combination of reviews and after using it for two weeks, I can highly recommend it. My tip is that if you rub it on your hair, it will suds. If you rub it in your hands, it won't. Weird, I know.

Use reusable containers for fish/meat/cheese. This is easy if what I want is beef or fish. I just hand my containers to the people at the grocery store and it's done. Chicken is harder. I went to a butcher shop to get chicken that wasn't pre-packaged, which isn't possible at grocery stores. I drove 35 minutes to do so (not sure what the net carbon on the journey is) and the employee tried to tell me that she wouldn't touch the meat.

Not sure what that was about. I explained why I didn't want my chicken in a bag and another employee said he would do it for me. Instead of letting him do that, the first lady got pissy and did it against her preference and spent the next 10 minutes taking her anger out on my containers and my meat.
Probably won't be going back. Unfortunate because it was otherwise a successful experience. I'll have to favor fish over chicken more in the future and just go to the grocery store. 

Henna hair dye (I mean... I don't dye my hair... it's totally all still brown.) I was not able to get this without plastic, but I was able to get it with less stuff that has to be thrown away and at least the containers are down-cyclable. Also, I should be able to not use shampoo and conditioner for colored hair anymore, so that makes a difference. I had to get "henna" and "indigo" to be able to make brown. http://thepaleobabe.com/how-to-dye-your-hair-dark-brown-using-henna-and-indigo/

I didn't actually try it yet because it wasn't time, so I'll report back in my next PFJ post.

There's a lot more for me to do! I have to look up what I need to buy to make all these things and then I'll knock out as many as I can... and then mostly use them in August.
  • Make fresh mozzarella
  • Cleaning products
  • Make lip balm
  • Make lotion
  • Make glue
  • Make deodorant
  • Make tortillas

I want to mention, again, that this stuff is beyond what most people would do. I'm just like that.  I don't expect everyone to make so many changes overnight or... over-month(?)... Here are the easy ones that make a big difference!:

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