Plastic Free August – Week 3

Finally temperatures are decreasing; I am not a summer fan – sorry, Sun!  I like the time of year when nature either wakes up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (spring), or when it is tired and wants to have an extended snooze after you tuck it into bed (fall).  The time of cozy sweaters, warm drinks, and… RAIN!  There is rain in the forecast!

Every year at this time, our wildfire season is in fierce force in the Kootenays, and every year I send my gratitude out to all the firefighters and crews who work tirelessly to ensure our safety; the ones out there in the sweltering heat, smoke, dust, dirt, and danger.  Thank you for keeping our families safe.

Still a great time to participate in Plastic Free August!  You still have time to do a short challenge to do your part to reduce your plastic waste you send to landfill every week when that hardworking waste management worker picks up our bins.  Out of sight out of mind will not solve our problem.  We caused it – we must solve it!  Follow me on Instagram (@zerojourney) for easy sustainable swaps, and use #plasticfreeaugustchallenge to share your experiences, advice or questions.

Let’s recap how I fared in Week 3 of our PFAC:

I keep noticing the importance of PREP when it comes to living zero-waste or plastic-free.  If you prep and create habits, such as remembering your bags in your car, or anticipating travel mugs on the go, you will be very successful in reducing plastic waste sent to landfill.

With my dearest family visitors we had a few outings and we came prepared!  We packed a picnic to take to the lake, had a large family dinner, went to our favourite restaurants, visited the park and remembered our bags and requests at the market.  We also caught Cranbrook’s multicultural festival where my daughter got to see her first intertribal dance – what a great experience.

Overall we laid low due to the intense smoke and air quality advisories, but still had a great time together.  What’s that saying: collect moments, not things!

I have also started contacting local businesses on their plastic-free efforts – stay tuned.

Plastic headed to landfill:

  1. chip bag leftover from potluck (1)
  2. receipt from restaurant (1) – till tape has plastic properties
  3. wrapper (1) – my Mama wanted biscuits and I indulged
  4. lid (1) – from Mama’s coffee jar that I also use

Some questions/discussion that came up:

Paper towels/toilet paper: I no longer use paper towel because they are unnecessary, expensive, and use a lot of bleach and water to create; they also come wrapped in plastic at the store (sometimes doubly so!).  I use rags and towels instead and have not bought a single roll of paper towel in many years.  Toilet paper – same story – plastic wrapped awfulness.  I purchase large boxes of TP from Staples; these come individually wrapped in paper, which still is not the BEST option, but it IS more sustainable than plastic wrap, and then I compost the plastic wrapper.

Hair elastics and clips: I did not start “scavenging” for hair elastics until Bea Johnson told me to!  Now I seriously see those little buggers everywhere, so if they are in good shape, I collect them, wash them, and use them, so I do not need to buy a whole new plastic packet.  I found an Etsy shop who crafts hair clips from leather and wood in Red Deer, so I have no need to buy clips in the store.

Ramen noodles: Where on earth can you find these in non-plastic packaging?!

Cloth diapers: I could obnoxiously talk all day about cloth diapers!  I cannot reiterate enough that they are A) WAY more cost effective, B) WAY more reliable, and C) a much more sustainable option.  Cloth for the win!

Huzzah for our final week!  Let’s do this!

In love and compost,

Nadine

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