MY LITTLE BATTLES WITH PLASTIC
Updated: Nov 26, 2018
It seems to be somewhat of a topic at the moment - so here are some of the things we do to reduce how much of it we get through.
I don't profess in any way to be living the holy grail lifestyle of what living plastic free might look like. But I do try and make an effort to reduce how much comes into my house and look for ways to lessen my family's contribution to the giant waste mountains. So, here are a couple of things we did today. (I think a full list would be boring in one place right?)
This morning a few little packages from Splosh landed inside the front door.
We've been using the kitchen cleaner and the washing up liquid for a while. I hadn't ordered any of their other products because we have a lot of things in the cupboard (I bought an 15L refil of Ecover laundry detergent last year which should last another year.) This week they launched a couple more products including glass cleaner! I should probably here confess that we have a cleaning lady that comes in for a couple of hours each week and on a Thursday transforms my house into a clean smelling tidy place (it lasts for several hours, I promise), she likes to use glass cleaner for all sort of things so I'm quite happy that I can stop buying the bottles of that. I find it endlessly baffling that I, along with millions of other people, regularly put in their shopping trolleys a bottle that is filled half with water and has a spray mechanism that is made for each and every bottle. It's insane.
Oh - and look how much space these take up on the shelf. Rather less than the equivalent 3/4 bottles a piece - and I can make up the difference with water from THE TAP rather than paying for it to be trucked around the country.
The other things we've done this Saturday have been to make up a loaf of bread and make some muffins.
The bread requires such a small amount of effort it is almost daft. My parents bought a bread maker when I was a teenager and used it religiously. I asked for one for Christmas, now nearly three years ago, and have been giving it a solid purpose in life ever since. Today was a pretty standard loaf, mostly white but with a bit of wholemeal flour mixed in for good measure. But it also gets used to make pizza dough (last night's dinner), fruit loaves and dough mixes for making up monkey breads and things with kids. We do still go through a fair number of packages from the shops of things like bagels and hot cross buns, but I'm working on how many thing we can make up at home.
Whilst Pip was down for his nap, Sally and I made some little muffins for her packed lunch boxes. These ones are chocolate chip and raisin (Tesco's basic milk chocolate is palm oil free so another mini win there), we used this recipe from the BBC although we reduced the sugar level rather a lot. The yoghurt in them which does actally make them extra tasty, althought not quite so nice as the time she made them with grandad, the full compliment of sugar and cream instead of yoghurt! https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/chocolate-chip-muffins I wont give her a chocolate muffin for her snack every day as that seems like foolish parenting, but I can put most of them in the freezer and pull them out as needed. Cup cake size cakes defrost in time for break, and if you stick them in the freezer as soon as they've cooled you don't discover that the husband and small people have eaten half of them in one go, and consequently wont eat their dinner!
Baking with the kids is a nice thing to do at the weekend, it helps Sally with her numbers and general manual dexterity and whilst I haven't worked out the cost of any of it, it's gotta be cheaper than putting an Goodies snack bar or something in every day. Yes, some plastic gets involved - the chocolate bar we used half of was wrapped in it, and the cup cake cases come in a plastic tub, but its all a hell of a lot less than buying everything individually wrapped. Besides, putting them in the trolley doesn't make Sally's face do this, or make the house smell nice. (Again, I'm not going to pretend that snack bars don't get consumed on a fairly regular basis, but right now, I'm trying to stop them from being a daily thing.)
As a last point - I bloody love my freezer. I finally replaced the one that my parents bought for my brother in 2001 this summer. It liked to frost up the drawers pretty much immediately so that I could only ever use about a drawer and a half but I could never quite justfy spending the money on a new one of something that worked just about well enough. It was also one of those things I said I'd be better at when I get a new thing. I proffessed I'd batch cook things, I'd make more pastry, I'd make sure there were plenty of healthy meals for the kids in the freezer and there might even be space for ice cream - but WHEN I got a new freezer. And you know what, now that I have a whole four freezer drawers at my disposal - that has actually turned out to be the case! We do have loads of food in the freezer and most of it is neatly portioned ready to bung in the oven/microwave. I'm not sure anyone is actually more suprised than me - and it's ace.