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It might not work.

But at least we tried.

I watched a show in the ABC recently about airlines and globalisation. There was a scene and a story about the largest cargo depot in the world, it was in Hong Kong.

They were moving general freight, horses, perishables like lobster, crabs and snails, exotic fruits from Brazil and even the little titbits we order off eBay.  It was madness.

This cargo depot was a wide as it was high with a matrix of ten story high conveyor belts and storage bays – it was the size of Wimbledon stadium they say.

Every piece of freight was wrapped tight in plastic or boxes of polystyrene – millions of them.

cargoIt’s been about 5 years since I have been considering packaging before purchasing and in doing so I have changed my diet and tastes to suit. I haven’t eaten kale in about 4 months as my local shop now puts it in plastic first… which I think is pretty silly as it’s one pretty tough old leaf!

The #plasticfreeproduce campaign focuses on large supermarkets – especially Woolworths, where they have adopted an automated process packing loose hardy products in plastic bags to increase their margins. Anita Horan is the campaigner behind reversing these detrimental actions by the big corporations and is doing a great job at the source. Continue reading “It might not work.”

What is normal?

I lied in my bio.

A few months back when I decided to create this blog/website for my plastic campaigning I wrote…

“join me on a quest to lead a normal life in a normal house with normal hair and normal clothes but with as little impact as possible on our fragile little planet”

Well, it turns out that I don’t actually lead a ‘normal’ life, and in a few months’ time I certainly won’t be living in ‘normal’ house either.

A few years ago we met Tim. A 6ft plus professional bar tender living in a tiny apartment in Pyrmont and building an even tinier house on the South Coast of NSW.

Tim needed our carpentry skills and, as we had decided to live a year on the road in 2015, we were looking along the coast to swap accommodation with our trades.

building.jpg Continue reading “What is normal?”

Things I learned during Plastic Free July

For the past 4 years I have heavily reduced my plastic waste, but this July I excelled. With just over 5o pieces of plastic between my partner & I, we were pretty stoked to reduce our single-use that much.

What I didn’t realise though, was all the hidden benefits to my health, social life and moral for being so committed.

Here are my lessons, musings and experiences I got out of ‘doing’ a whole month (almost) Plastic Free.

A huge thanks to the people who started and continue Plastic Free July.

OurPFJattept

Crisps just aren’t as good as they used to be.

August 1st we went straight out to do a ‘big shop‘ and came home with some of the plastic wrapped crap we had been intentionally avoiding for the past month. I have no idea what came over me… like I had been deprived for the whole of my life! I bought a packet of dark chocolate Tim Tams and a bag of CC’s (and an extra one because they told me I should get two).

After scoffing them down and feeling horrible after a 3-day binge, I realised that they just don’t taste that good anymore.

And the guilt – oh the guilt of throwing that bag away after such a good effort!

Shops were more likely to support my request for no plastic if I said “No plastic please – I am doing Plastic Free July”

In the past I never had an easy answer or a quick retaliation to the refusal of bags, straws or an automatic plastic offering. Often they’d scowl, take the items out of the bag and just throw them straight in the bin anyway.

But last month was different. When I’d say “no bag please – I am doing Plastic Free July” their ears prick up, eyes brightened and would usually ask what it’s all about. 100% of shop tenders approved and were genuinely excited to be supportive of my request.

So from now on you’ll hear me ‘doing’ Plastic Free August, Plastic Free September, October, November and so on. Try it, they won’t know.

Plastic Free could be the next diet fad.

During my ‘Chip Free July’ as I sometimes called it, I lost a few kilo’s and also lost my cravings for crisps and chocolate in the afternoons.   (See next lesson)

Who is going to do the next craze diet ‘I quit plastic’ A 12-month diet for everyone?

Could be a money spinner and good for the environment – Imagine that!!!

PF_diet_illustration.jpg Continue reading “Things I learned during Plastic Free July”

Plastic Free Pot Luck Dinner Party

This July why not invite some friends over for a plastic free dinner party?

It’s a little different and a great challenge for everyone.

Back in 2014 I invited 6 close mates to my little unit one night for dinner. The theme was plastic free pot luck where everyone had to bring a plate or bowl of food to share around where all the ingredients or meals were to be sourced with as little plastic packaging as possible. Continue reading “Plastic Free Pot Luck Dinner Party”

Who gives a crap?

In my quest to be plastic free, I often found my self roaming up and down the isles looking for the dunny rolls in the environmentally friendly-looking brown paper packaging.

I would eventually find it, tuck it clumsily under my arm and waddle out of the shop with a disproportionate sized shopping bundle than usual.

I was cool with that. At least, as a practicing plegan, I had an option in the bog-roll department.

Then just recently, my partner and I returned for more bog roll to find the brown paper bag of 6 was no longer on the shelves. There was plenty of other options – 12 pack, 24 pack even a 40 pack!

How on earth is one able to carry that out of the shop without a pack mule?

pack_mule.jpg

Continue reading “Who gives a crap?”

10 easy ways to be Plastic Free July ready

July is on its way and unless you have been living in a bubble-wrapped bubble then you would have heard about Plastic Free July.

It was created by a passionate group of people in West OZ to make us aware of how much plastic we consume and sets a challenge to reduce our own personal consumption of plastic – particularly singe use plastic.

The challenge is to not

  • buy 
  • receive
  • use 
  • throw out

ANY single use plastic.

Going 100% plastic free is pretty hard core in this day and age, but if you are like me and care about our waste but also love a good challenge too, then this July why not give it a go?

Preparing early will give you a fighting chance to be pretty successful so here is my top 10 simple prep ideas for the lead up.

1. Source the best Chocolate

PLJ doesn’t mean no chocolate… It means fancy chocolate!  Look out for the chocolate and sweets in cardboard. There are a few to choose from but no need to look past the Lindt Excellence range in my opinion!

2. Find an understanding and supportive Butcher

Everyone knows that butchers love a chat, so why not have a conversation with them about you grabbing your meat for July in your own containers or just in the paper bag? When you get home it is a simple case of transferring it for storage.

IMG_0407 Continue reading “10 easy ways to be Plastic Free July ready”

Pleganism – Lets make it a thing.

I think I have made up a new word.
Like a vegan is animal free, I am plastic free.

“No straw thanks… I am a plegan”

“Sorry, I don’t do plastic – I am a plegan”

“Is that Plegan”?

Continue reading “Pleganism – Lets make it a thing.”

Thinking Inside the Box

Are you one of those people who normally take a bag shopping with you?

Then forget it?

I am one of those people.

With a basket or trolley of loose veggies and some essentials, it’s not unusual to see me scrambling before the checkout looking for a suitable vessel to put my carefully selected  purchases.

I find it no worries – It’s Just at the beginning of most aisles or just down one a bit. They are in the SPECIALS section usually. An empty, or near empty box of something (usually sugary and over packaged – but that’s beside the point), ready to be found by the night-stacker and thrown away with the rest of the waste that evening.

I simply rearrange any products still left over, grab the empty product display box then shimmy on through the checkout proud as punch with no need for a plastic bag and a box full of goodness.

I think it’s small acts like these that make us aware of our dependence on convenience. Most of the time it only takes a little thinking outside the box (or should I say inside the box) and some creativity.

 

The 10 things that made me re-think plastic

1. THE BAG IT MOVIE

It was about 7-8 years ago that I was invited to see ‘The Bag It’ movie/documentary with my housemate in Newcastle, presented by Tim  from Take 3 who was raising funds to explore more of the great ocean garbage patch. http://www.bagitmovie.com/

It showed me a side to our consuming ways which I had never considered before.  I was horrified! All the lies from the marketeers, all the ‘natural products’ that I was told were good for me, all the plastic toys and packaging we get automatically when we shop – it was unreal and endless.

2. SEEING IT FOR MYSELF

COCOSPLASTIC-13
After seeing ‘The Bag It’ movie it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had a business on the Cocos Keeling Islands for years which is right in the middle of the Indian Ocean gyre and I had never considered the litter that was there before.

Sure, we used to have fun with all the washed up thongs; trying to find a pair to scramble over the coral to snorkel, or make beautiful artworks out of the ropes entangled in the old palm trees and around rocks floating shallow in the lagoon, but this was all fun and games until now.

A few months after seeing the movie I went back to the Cocos Islands with fresh eyes. I couldn’t believe it. I no longer could blame just the Asian countries for littering, there were items on the beach that we all have in our own households too. Continue reading “The 10 things that made me re-think plastic”

The Wooden Turtle

To this day, the Fijian wooden turtle pendant I bought on my very first holiday overseas rests happily nestled under synthetic piece of old washed up rope in an artwork I made oceans away on the Cocos Keeling Islands.

It was a souvenir from 1998 when I 1st discovered I could travel the world windsurfing and then kitesurfing. An event that changed my path in life from a zoo keeper to a travel-obsessed kitesurfing tour operator.

It wasn’t until 2013 when I returned to Fiji where I lead kite tours to the epic Cloudbreak and Frigates reef and to many other magical Islands dotted off the coast. I went on a mission to find a replacement authentic hand carved turtle as after 15 years the original was wearing out and about to break from too much love.wooden_turtle_inset

But did I find one? Continue reading “The Wooden Turtle”

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