Plastic Free July – Day One

I’ve decided to go plastic free in July. Apparently this is a thing. I’d never heard about Plastic Free July until someone mentioned it to me a few weeks ago. Why July? Who knows, but it seems like perfect timing to me.

I’ve reduced the amount of single use plastic I buy by quite a bit – no straws, takeouts, yoghurts, drinks, cling film, minium fruit and veggies wrapped in plastic. But I’m still relying on plastic-wrapped cereal bars, bread and crisps, as well the odd sandwich, because I’m often too unorganised to get around to making a plastic free alternative.

This all stops in July though.

As I type, I have bread in the bread maker and flapjack in the oven. Plastic…I. Am. Coming. For. You. Well, more accurately I am avoiding you.

To get some tips, I visited the Plastic Free July website. I quickly abandoned it, as one thing it suggested was to buy a goat to avoid buying milk in plastic bottles. I’m not sure buying and milking a goat is the best use of my time. Especially as I don’t drink goats’ milk.

Today has been a good day on the plastic free front though.

The only plastic I’ve used are Evan’s nappies and wipes. Yes, he has reusable nappies but he’s now a massive baby and soaks them through within an hour. I don’t think the staff at his nursery would thank me for sending him in them. Nor would my fellow travellers on the commute if I got on the tram with a bag of dirty nappies.

At lunchtime I went on a hunt for cashew nuts at the local Kelham Island Deli. (Never has a more middle-class sentence been typed.)

The Deli didn’t actually sell cashews, so I filled my reusable tub with luxury museli to have for breakfast at work. (No, I think that¬†was the most middle-class sentence that’s ever been typed).

Plastic free deli
Like a tiny row of plastic soldiers going to war with their single-use brothers

I also found out from the owner that there’s a plastic-free shop fairly near where we live. Plastic free food on my doorstep – it’s all falling into place this July.

When I got home (after nearly a two hour journey on the bus, but more about that later), I baked some vegan banana flapjack – plastic free, palm oil free and made with ingredients we already had in. And made some homemade bread in the bread maker. The result? Ultimate plastic-slaying smugness.

So it was a good day for minimum plastic but a bad day for cutting carbon by leaving the car at home.

All in all, I’ve spent three hours communting today. Nearly two of which were spent waiting for and sitting on a bus. This is not the first time Sheffield’s transport system has left me and the kids frazzled and angry. Last week, the number 20 was 35 minutes late, in the rain.

I filled out the complaint form, laughing to myself at the sheer level of sass I attained. But when I pressed send, an automated message came up saying that I wouldn’t get a reply.

Cue more rage.

I really, really don’t want to drive to and from work. But I also really, really don’t want to spend three hours a day travelling to and from work when it takes about 20 minutes in the car.

For now, I’m going to take it a day at a time and see how badly Sheffield’s buses mess up and how sweaty I get walking to work, before I abandon the low carbon option and drive to work instead. Time will tell.


Update: have just discovered another piece of plastic. Today my monthly copy of Prima came through the post in its plastic wrapper. Andrew’s mum got me the subscription for Christmas – can I blame her for this plastic entering our home? Probably not…

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