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Living Lightly 2 – Bye Bye Plastic Bags

I have been trying to cut out using plastic bags – especially single use plastic bags for some time. Like many people, my intentions have been good but, from time to time, I still find myself accepting a bag when offered in a shop. Even when I am determined to say ‘no thanks’ I find myself saying ‘yes please’!

So, inspired by ‘Polythene Pam’ and her Plastic is Rubbish blog  I have decided that from now on I will NEVER use a free plastic, single use carrier bag or produce bag again. I will also avoid, as much as I possibly can, plastic packaging and other disposable plastic stuff.

I have bought some re-useable produce bags from Onya. They are made of a nylon mesh and are very light so loose fruit and veg can be put in them and weighed. They can be washed and reused 100s of times saving 100s of plastic bags from ending up in landfill.

I’ve also bought some PLA tubs and lids. These look like clear plastic deli pots but are made from corn starch and are compostable. I will use these for buying olives, houmous etc. as well as storing food in the fridge and in our packed lunches. They can be used a few times before they start to break down. I will use new ones for shopping so as to not freak out the deli counter people too much.

I’ve also bought some compostable kitchen caddy liners and bin liners. I will use these in place of a plastic bag for instance when buying fresh meat and fish as well as lining the bin. This will probably freak out the butcher/fish merchant but I’m sure they’ll get used to it.

The other investment I’ve made is in some sandwich wrap mats – wipeable, washable, reusable wrappers for sandwiches so I can stop using cling film.

Being technically backward, i haven’t managed to insert links to the products mentioned above so I’ve listed them below:

plasticisrubbish.com (very inspirational site – if i can be half as dedicated to ridding the world of plastic rubbish I’ll be chuffed!)

onyabags.co.uk (reuseable produce bags, sandwich wrapnmats etc.)

all-green.co.uk (compostable bags, bin liners, caddy liners)

vegware.com (compostable PET containers and other eco friendly catering/household supplies)

Plastics-bags

Look like jellyfish don’t they?

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Day 4

The 4 things I’m getting out of my life today are:

  • A mobile phone charger which no longer fits any of the phones in my house but, luckily, fits my grown up daughter’s and she has recently lost hers. Lucky, eh?
  • A bunch of scruffy, manky old pony tail bands which I would not contemplate putting in my daughter’s hair but, nevertheless, I had kept for some unfathomable reason. Landfill.
  • A broken toy which came from McDonalds and I had thought was somehow worth mending!? Landfill.
  • A pair of uncomfortable socks which I had kept in my sock drawer in case they miraculously became softer  and less lumpy overnight. These went into the fabric recycling bin at Waitrose along with the previously recycled clothes.

This is proving quite easy so far although I expect it will get more and more difficult when I have to find more and more things to get rid of. I am trying to think ahead and sort out cupboards. I’ve already started with my unused hygiene products – see my previous post. I don’t quite know what to do with the ones that have been started….

I have put some stuff on eBay, Freegle and a local sell,swap,give site. I will put them on my disposal list once they are sold or given away.

I’ve also thought about another reason for living a minimalist life:

It must be morally wrong for us to have so much stuff we don’t know what to do with it all when there are people in the world who have nothing.

I will donate the money I get from selling my unwanted stuff to a local homeless charity.

My photo today is my untidy home office. Shame on me! The red armchair is one of the things I will be giving away together with it’s identical twin and a 3 seater sofa if anyone in Norfolk, UK would like it? Also the print on the wall above the stove will be on eBay next week. It is a limited edition print no. 65/150 called ‘Market’ by Bentemarie Kjeldbaek. It has been on the wall for years despite the fact that neither my husband nor myself like it much. Certainly we do not find it “beautiful” as advised by William Morris!

Home Office