Research and reveal 1 new tip a day for a month. That was Emily Mossman’s ambition during Plastic Free July.
“My overall feeling is that anyone can make time to significantly reduce their waste if they make it a priority.” Try simple things like taking your own container, coffee cup or bags. “We shop at Pak N Save Petone for our deli meat and fish. We take our own Tupperware freezer containers and have never been refused. We’re also having success at the Hardy Street Butcher in Waterloo, Lower Hutt for meat. He is friendly and has offered a small discount to bring your own container.”
Or make your own instead of pre-packaged items like bread. “If we can make this change stick, we will be saving approximately 150 plastic bags per year.” Try making yoghurt, toothpaste, cleaning products, soap and shampoo bars. “Just keep it in a dryer spot in your shower,” Emily suggests – her first bar lasted nearly a year. Buy butter wrapped in paper rather than margarine or loose leaf tea over tea bags which contain plastic. For ethical shoppers, choose natural fibres over synthetics. “Recycling plastic bottles to make fabric is actually more harmful, as it allows the plastic fibres to spread further and wider.”
“If we can make this change stick, we’ll be saving approximately 150 plastic bags per year.”
A good place to start is by changing the way you grocery shop. Buy loose items instead of pre-packaged, use paper or cloth bags to wrap goods instead of the plastic bags provided, and buy in bulk using re-usable containers instead of individually packaged servings.
“It isn’t all hard work,” Emily says. “We enjoy baking, cooking from scratch and vegetable gardening. Our children enjoy nature with us on bush walk adventures, so that gives them a base appreciation of our wonderful environment, on which we build with green habits and education. We get them involved in volunteering activities too, like pest trapping and beach rubbish clean ups.”
Each day for a month, just look at something new. By taking note of the changes you’re making, you can easily track how you’re doing and how you can improve.
Emily’s tips to help you on your journey:
Tip 1: Take your own container for meat, fish and deli food
Tip 2: Make your own bread and save 150 plastic bags a year
Tip 3: Choose natural fibres over synthetic