I have been reading about going plastic free/zero waste for a few months now, and Plastic Free July was my push to do it. As someone who considered herself to be very environmentally aware and friendly, I quickly realised I still had a long way to go! I already had a Keep Cup (not that I buy takeaway coffee, although I still use it daily), reusable shopping bags, reusable BPA free drink bottle and etc, but there was still plastic entering my household- mainly in the form of packaging. Firstly let me clarify, I live with 5 other people- my partner and 2 couples, and occasional house guests, and not everyone is on board (yet!) so there are a few things I cannot control. We all shop and cook in our own couples, so there is always something happening in our kitchen. I am now trying to lead by example- and I can feel I am influencing one other couple in particular, it's the older ones who are more set in their ways that will be hard to change.
So far Plastic Free July has been rather easy for my partner and I (let's hope it stays this way!), probably because I had been preparing for a few weeks and was already fairly good at avoiding single use products. The BF wears daily contacts due to the nature of his job, this is our number one waste item as yet. He recycles the plastic part in a container of the same plastic type. From our kitchen we have had only two bits of rubbish- a plastic ring from some Kale (which usually only comes in a bag), and a yeast packet. I use veggie scraps to make stock and then compost or in the worm farm.
We have been finding new bulk stores and exploring new suburbs in Auckland (despite being Aucklanders there are many places we have yet to venture to- it is a large sprawled area after all!). The Bulk stores we have visited in the past week are Khyber Spice Royal Oak which was great for its bulk spices and lentils, I just take my mesh produce bags, paper bags or any old plastic ziplock bags that were already floating around our house.
Khyber Spice bulk bin selection.
We also visited Bulk Food Savings in Mt Eden, but I was a bit disappointed as it seems majority of this store was prepackaged bulk food (in plastic!). They had a few bulk bins of baking products- I bought some polenta and baking soda. They also had laundry products such as soda ash- however it was prepackaged.
During the weekend we aim to check out Bin Inn in Howick and go for a walk along the shore whilst we are out East. I need to find some plastic free cat food, brown sugar and pasta- fingers crossed!
Tangent on cheese:
Why is plastic free cheese so hard to find?! I asked at Countdown Mt Eden if they have any of that plastic wrapped cheese in the deli section that wasn't already wrapped. I was told no but if I don't like plastic he can unwrap one and put it in my container for me- I declined this obviously. In the meantime I am making ricotta at home, but alas I still buy milk in plastic for this.