1 July 2015

Two Years Plastic Free

I have done it. Two years of plastic free living...

...or to be more accurate, trying actively to NOT buy new plastic for two years. 

A bit of a mouthful and maybe why the term 'plastic free living' is a more memorable phrase.


I decided to reread the blog post about my first year to compare/contrast what had changed. In the post about my first year I listed what I was doing to reduce my plastic footprint by item. Some things have changed and some have not.




Personal care
Two Years Plastic Free
Soap
We buy blocks of soap from The Australian Natural Soap Company. Unpackaged, simple and all natural.

Shampoo
I was using shampoo bars from the place we buy our soap but found that it built up in my hair over a couple of months no matter how hard I scrubbed it under the water.

I then tried bicarb/vinegar for six months which made my hair horrible and gave me a sore scalp. Then I gave rye flour a go and found out it’s not great for people with long hair. Castile soap also did not wash out properly leaving an oily film on my hair.

Now I use bulk bought shampoo by Back to Basics in an up cycled glass bottle. I don’t use conditioner. If I have some oil on my hands from my body oil I will run them through my hair but generally don't add anything other than shampoo. I will continue to use a shampoo bar for travelling to save on space and weight.

Toothpaste
I make a toothpowder. I have not been to the dentist to check if everything is ok but the Builder has. He was happy to report that his teeth/gums are very healthy and the dentist & hygienist were all for using bicarb. The dentist said that bicarb is great for keeping gums healthy.

Face moisturiser
Last year I started using almond oil…well not anymore. It did not suit the skin on my face so I ended up using it just on my body which was fine. It soaks in faster than coconut oil and is more affordable. I have very oily skin so maybe the almond oil was too heavy for my face. And even Jojoba leaves my skin feeling and looking dull/congested.

As much as I lamented over this I went back to rosehip oil. It is my favorite face oil and I used it for years before going plastic free. It keeps my skin clear and bright. The bottle is glass but it has a plastic lid and plastic orifice dropper (gasp!) that I keep for reuse. One bottle of rosehip lasts the whole year as I don't use it everyday. If anyone has any suggestions on how to get this item plastic free please leave a comment. I am on the lookout for shea butter unpackaged as this would work well as it is light like rosehip oil or so I have read.

Body moisturiser
Coconut oil was too expensive! I switched to almond oil and love it. I don’t use it all the time only when I feel like my body needs it which is about once a week.

Deodorant
Still using the homemade spray option but am finding I need it less and less as the months go by. I don't reeky use it as a sorry anymore. Instead I just splash it on after giving my armpits a good wash.  I just want to mention that the Builder does not need deodorant. How unfair is that?! The man never seems to smell sweaty.

Perfume
I make my own by blending an essential oil with almond oil. I love it when the stuff I buy has a dual use.

Sanitary items
Still going strong with my moon cup and reusable cloth pads. Money saved over two years is… $290. Cha-ching.

Make up
I make my own mascara, lip balm, cheek tint, eyebrow powder and I use plain tapioca flour as a face powder to get rid of any shine.

I do miss my old makeup sometimes. I loved the routine. I also miss dyeing my eye brows and eyelashes. I am contemplating trying henna as I can buy that package free. But then again...I don't miss the upkeep!

Toothbrush
Bamboo toothbrush. Always and forever. Though I accidentally bought a child's one the other day...

Nail file
Still using the same one and have gained two more that friends did not want. I'd say i'm set for life.

Hair ties
Continuing to collect ones I find on the street.

I don’t use a body scrub often as I have a good exfoliating cloth made of cactus. When I feel like giving my face a bit of indulgence I wipe lemon juice on my skin. It keeps any blackheads at bay and my skins looks brighter. Well, I think it does - and I'm the only person who matters when it comes to pleasing how I look.

I feel like everything in my personal care section is sorted. I am in a happy groove with each choice. When I first went plastic free two years ago making my own makeup was something that never crossed my mind. Now I have my makeup DIY down pat and am so happy with it. If I run out of my mascara or toothpowder all I need to do is mix up a new batch and I rarely need to top up the ingredients because only a small amount is needed.

Everything but four items (rosehip oil, essential oil, clove oil, orange oil) is bought without plastic. The clove oil and orange oil are used in my house cleaning products. All are recyclable but I would prefer to have refill options. If anyone knows anyone in Melbourne, Victoria or Australia that sells essentials oils as refills you would make my day. Or if anyone knows a fun way to upcycle essential oil bottles I'd love to know.

I wish I had calculated what I have saved in this area of my life as it is one of the more popular questions I am asked. I can only imagine I have saved money because I am not wandering into stores that house hundreds of cosmetic choices or dragging my mouse across online beauty bargain spaces. Going plastic free means I am limited severely. It’s easier to make my own rather than trawl search engines looking for plastic free alternatives to buy. Most of the items take 15-30 minutes to make and the biggest bonus is that I know what is in them.

I am looking at doing a price comparison post soon for those interested.

What about the Builder? 

We share the same soap. He also has shaving soap that is purchased from The Australian Natural Soap Company too. We share the toothpowder. He also uses a bamboo toothbrush. And that is the extent of his grooming.



Grocery Shopping/Kitchen

We have become pros at this. Practice and routine has enabled our grocery shopping to be seamless.

Our shopping is split between the farmers market, butcher, fish monger, delicatessen and bulk food stores.

We visit the farmers market each Sunday and if on the rare occasion we can’t make the market then we will go to a fruit & veggie store near our home.

We take cloth bags to the market and baskets to carry it all out in. I write a list before we go referencing what is in season. I don’t like food going to waste so we stick pretty closely to the list.

We have stainless steel containers that we use to collect our meat and fish. We have reduced our meat and fish consumption at home. As I type this I cannot remember the last time we bought meat for cooking. I wonder if we will end up removing animal meat out of our diet? Time will tell...

The delicatessen we visit is always busy post 9am. It can get hectic with the staff running around dealing with so many customers. So we decided it would be easier if we just reuse the plastic containers the staff are used to. We did toy with the idea of buying a collection of smaller stainless steel containers to collect dips, cheese, blood sausages, soft cheese, anchovies and whatever else we feel like getting…but quickly realised that would be too expensive. We don’t go to the deli every week, more like once a month. The plastic containers work perfectly well, are looked after (we have had them for two years) and doing what they need to do which is limit new plastic in our lives.

Two Years Plastic Free
The bulk store is last because this is the place we probably visit the least. We used to go every other week but now it is every three to four months and each time we buy less and less stuff. My food shelves are stocked with less than ever before and this might be because I am using my cookbooks and other online recipes less simply because the cookbooks and food blogs i used to trawl rarely work in favour of eating seasonally.

Two Years Plastic Free
Two Years Plastic Free
We take all our own jars, bottles and bags. I write a list of exactly what we need and take a container for each food item needed. In the last two years there has been an explosion of bulk food stores opening up around Melbourne.

I think one of the reasons we visit the bulk store less often is because we don't crave things like beans, legumes, rice and other grains. Maybe I never did like those foods that much and only bought them because they are in the supermarket or there was a pretty photograph on a food blog. We had a good couple of months where we had an empty pantry and were just eating vegetables. My diet has changed considerably in the last two years. Not only has all processed food vanished completly from the house (and a knock on effect outside the house) but also realising a lot of the food choices I was making were driven by food blogs, recipes books and magazines. I have a better understanding of what foods make me feel good and those that don't, learning to lean in more into what I naturally crave rather than chasing down a superfood or the latest diet trend.

While we can buy mustard and other sauces in glass I don't buy them anymore as the lids have a plastic lining. We don't miss this type of processed food. I might try and make my own sauces like tomato or mustard over summer. I can make my own mayonnaise so that's a start. What we eat/cook is a commonly asked question and I will expand on it in the future.

Two Years Plastic Free
Two Years Plastic Free
Two Years Plastic Free
We are now refilling our beer, cider and wine. I can only imagine this business model taking off. It's so much fun tasting the beverage first before buying it.

I buy butter from Curds & Whey in my own container.

People email me asking about milk and yogurt...I don't drink milk really. It's not something I crave at all. I buy it occasionally for cooking and yogurt is pretty much non existent in my diet. I thought about nut milks but again i don't drink it enough to make it and nuts are expensive! I can buy my milk in bottles from either Elggar Dairy or La Latteria. Both will take back the glass bottles for reuse but the lids cannot be reused due to some silly law in Australia. They can be recycled BUT I only just learnt that the lids are lined with plastic (another silly law). Milk that is in cardboard also has plastic too. So I am not buying milk until I find a solution or maybe its time to jump onto the nut milk bandwagon? Or maybe the laws need to just change in Australia. Thank goodness I can get cheese plastic free. A milk free life I can deal with.

How we store everything has not changed since my first year. Glass jars, ceramic bowls and the stainless steel containers are all we use. We have not dropped down dead from germs....because we all know that cling wrap will save us from germs.

Two Years Plastic Free
In the last year I have learnt to make:
- pasta
- olives
- pickled vegetables
- mayonnaise
- jam

This year I would like to learn the art of sourdough and maybe ginger beer.



Eating Out

If we are at a food festival or somewhere we know there is the possibility of plastic cutlery like a friends or family get together we take a kit with us that includes plates, cutlery and cups. That way we are never caught out. 



Cleaning

The cleaning products have changed dramatically and so has my attitude to cleaning. We refill our cleaning products at the bulk stores in Melbourne.

I kept old wine and juice bottles for collecting castile soap. I use the castile soap for hand soap, hand dish washing, floors, general surface cleaning.

I still have the old boxes from our clothes washing powder and dish washing powder that get reused and reused.

There is a giant container of bicarb soda that is used for cleaning the toilet and oven plus used for toothpaste. And I have vinegar which is a great multipurpose cleaning tool for the windows and a multitude of stuff.

I keep clove oil and sweet orange oil on hand.

Two Years Plastic Free
Two Years Plastic Free

I still have the spray bottles that I put watered down castile soap into and also the window spray. These are plastic and were bought last year.

General cleaning is done with old cotton t-shirts. We wash dishes with an second hand cotton shirt cut up and sea sponges collected from the beach. We still have our old brooms and vacuum cleaner.

There is no bleach. No harsh chemicals.

Attitude to cleaning = relaxxxxed.



Clothes

I don't know why I included this on the list in the first year.

Continuing to buy second hand but even this has bottomed out. I bought one top over the whole of last summer and two tops this winter. We do laps of second hand stores but always walk out empty handed.

I did end up giving away boxes of clothes and shoes (so many shoes!!!) not because I have planned to go all minimalist but because I was not wearing any of them. I am leaning towards more natural fibers with the last three items I have purchased made of linen and wool. I love wool, it's perfect for Melbourne. Why have I not worn more of it?? So there, I am leaning away from synthetic ‘plastic’ fibers.



Health

This is a popular question – what do I do if I get sick?

First things first, I am not anti plastic. I am anti the misuse of plastic. Plastic has done some great things for medicine. It has healed and prolonged life, made mobility easier, given the gift of hearing, walking - the list goes on and on.

Whenever someone asks me what to do I tell them to make a decision based on what's best for them.



How was the second year? Good? Bad? Any ugly moments?

This year has been pretty good. All in all I feel like I am finally on top of this no plastic life. I have scaled the peaks and conquered the mountain of change. I feel content and happy, and as silly as this might sound, more in harmony.

You would have seen in the list that there are areas where plastic has popped up; my rosehip oil, essential oils and milk lids. Sometimes I get upset that I have not found the willpower to live without these items. My plastic free life is not completely plastic free but I am striving. These last two years has been hard work and I am sure that I will find alternatives to those few products eventually.

There is another mountain in the distance and the trek ahead of me is going to include moving from behind my screen to becoming more active in my community. I have changed my life now it is time to spread what I know to others to show others why we all need to make changes.

I'm thinking community events, movies (showing not making...well not yet), writing for broader publications. I want to tackle straws and plastic bags in the Moonee Valley area. So if you are from Moonee Valley feel free to contact me and let's get a group going.

I will continue to write and share everything here. Maybe my journey from blogger to public motivator might inspire fellow introverts to find their voice too.



As I finish this long post I want to give a high five to the Builder who has been a patient partner, my greatest ally and a wonderful problem solver. And to all my family and friends that go along with my choices, help me out and make cloth bags (mum and sis!).

And a round of applause to all the people who comment, email, like, double tap when I have a question or query. I learn so much from you all. Keep sharing with me.

To another year plastic free,
post signature

26 June 2015

Promise or Pay

Plastic Free July is almost here. Next month thousands of people will be giving up single use plastic for the month of July. Making a promise to giving up anything is a challenge especially if the fear of failure is the thing that stops us from trying.

But did you know that when money is put down the possibility of reaching the goal is increased by 72%. When something like our hard earned money is put on the line we are more likely to achieve the goal we set. 

Promise or Pay is asking you to do just that – put money down this Plastic Free July and go into the running to win a Klean Kanteen bottle.

"Our vision is to inspire millions of people to be the best they can be and, at the same time, encourage and facilitate much needed donations for charity. We invite you to join us. Make a promise or support a friend (or stranger!) and together we can make a better world." Promise or Pay

How it works:

1. Make a promise to give up single use plastic this July.

2. Make a pledge to a charity like Two Hands Project. If you break your promise Two Hands receive your pledge to help continue their fight against plastic pollution.

3. Choose the date/number of days and put a limit on it.

4. Share your promise with your family and friends!




About the charity Two Hands Project: Two Hands Project is a collaborative approach to dealing with plastic pollution: take 30 Minutes and Two Hands to clean up yOUR world anytime, anywhere. Two Hands embodies the spirit of the huge national/international clean up days but asks what you can do with your two hands in 30 minutes, at a location near you, on any day of the year. We are taking it all back to grass roots, looking at what you can do to care for the place(s) that are near to you or important to you, anytime that you want.



I am putting $100 down this July with Promise or Pay. While I am already living plastic free I will be setting myself the challenge of convincing one café in my area to put their straws under the counter and to only give them out if a patron asks for it specifically. If I fail the money goes to the Two Hands Project.
Want to help me keep my promise? Click this link to make a donation that will go to the Two Hands Project and get me to convince two cafes to hide their straws.


Join myself and thousands of people from over 70 countries & make a promise to refuse single-use plastic during Plastic Free July for your chance to win a Klean Kanteen!

There are resources to help you along the way.



Let's do this,
post signature

25 June 2015

Where to shop Plastic Free and Zero Waste in Melbourne


Alright Melburnians here is a list of places to help you shop plastic free this month. Don’t forget to sign up for Plastic Free July.

BAKING (flour, sugar, yeast, baking soda etc)

Friends of the Earth Co-op
312 Smith Street, Collingwood
Monday to Friday: 10:00am – 6.00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 4:00pm
www.melbourne.foe.org.au/foodcoop

The Source Bulk Foods Brunswick
112 Sydney Road, Brunswick Melbourne 3056.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

The Source Bulk Foods Camberwell
749 Burke Road, Camberwell Melbourne 3124.
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

The Source Bulk Foods Prahran
176 Commercial Road Prahran VIC 3181.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:30am – 5:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

Organic Wholefoods
483 Lygon St, Brunswick
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm
www.wholefoods.com.au/

Organic Wholefoods
137 Mount Alexander Rd, Flemington
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm
www.wholefoods.com.au

----

GRAINS & LEGUMES

Friends of the Earth Co-op
312 Smith Street, Collingwood
Monday to Friday: 10:00am – 6.00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 4:00pm
www.melbourne.foe.org.au/foodcoop

The Source Bulk Foods Brunswick
112 Sydney Road, Brunswick Melbourne 3056.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

The Source Bulk Foods Camberwell
749 Burke Road, Camberwell Melbourne 3124.
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

The Source Bulk Foods Prahran
176 Commercial Road Prahran VIC 3181.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:30am – 5:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

Organic Wholefoods
483 Lygon St, Brunswick
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm
www.wholefoods.com.au/

Organic Wholefoods
137 Mount Alexander Rd, Flemington
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm
www.wholefoods.com.au

Rita’s Coffee & Nuts
South Melbourne Market
LOCATION: DELI AISLE, STALL 18

---

PASTA (fresh and dry)

Fresh:
The Fresh Pasta Shop
South Melbourne Market
LOCATION: DELI AISLE, STALL 22

The Traditional Pasta Shop
Queen Victoria Markets
LOCATION: SHOP 3-4, DELI HALL

Dry:
Friends of the Earth Co-op
312 Smith Street, Collingwood
Monday to Friday: 10:00am – 6.00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 4:00pm
www.melbourne.foe.org.au/foodcoop

The Source Bulk Foods Brunswick
112 Sydney Road, Brunswick Melbourne 3056.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

The Source Bulk Foods Camberwell
749 Burke Road, Camberwell Melbourne 3124.
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

The Source Bulk Foods Prahran
176 Commercial Road Prahran VIC 3181.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:30am – 5:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

Organic Wholefoods
483 Lygon St, Brunswick
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm
www.wholefoods.com.au/

Organic Wholefoods
137 Mount Alexander Rd, Flemington
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm
www.wholefoods.com.au

---

SNACKS (dried fruit, nuts, crackers)

Friends of the Earth Co-op
312 Smith Street, Collingwood
Monday to Friday: 10:00am – 6.00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 4:00pm
www.melbourne.foe.org.au/foodcoop

The Source Bulk Foods Brunswick
112 Sydney Road, Brunswick Melbourne 3056.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

The Source Bulk Foods Camberwell
749 Burke Road, Camberwell Melbourne 3124.
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

The Source Bulk Foods Prahran
176 Commercial Road Prahran VIC 3181.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:30am – 5:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

Organic Wholefoods
483 Lygon St, Brunswick
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm
www.wholefoods.com.au/

Organic Wholefoods
137 Mount Alexander Rd, Flemington
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm
www.wholefoods.com.au

---

SPICES

Friends of the Earth Co-op
312 Smith Street, Collingwood
Monday to Friday: 10:00am – 6.00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 4:00pm
www.melbourne.foe.org.au/foodcoop

The Source Bulk Foods Brunswick
112 Sydney Road, Brunswick Melbourne 3056.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

The Source Bulk Foods Camberwell
749 Burke Road, Camberwell Melbourne 3124.
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

The Source Bulk Foods Prahran
176 Commercial Road Prahran VIC 3181.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:30am – 5:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

Gewürzhaus
342 Lygon Street, Carlton (also located in the CBD and Toorak)
Monday to Saturday: 10am - 6pm
Sunday: 11am - 5pm
www.gewurzhaus.com.au/

---

TEA & COFFEE

Friends of the Earth Co-op
312 Smith Street, Collingwood
Monday to Friday: 10:00am – 6.00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 4:00pm
www.melbourne.foe.org.au/foodcoop

The Source Bulk Foods Brunswick
112 Sydney Road, Brunswick Melbourne 3056.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

The Source Bulk Foods Camberwell
749 Burke Road, Camberwell Melbourne 3124.
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

The Source Bulk Foods Prahran
176 Commercial Road Prahran VIC 3181.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:30am – 5:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

Organic Wholefoods
483 Lygon St, Brunswick
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm
www.wholefoods.com.au/

Organic Wholefoods
137 Mount Alexander Rd, Flemington
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm
www.wholefoods.com.au

---

PET FOOD

The Pet Grocer
South Melbourne Market
LOCATION: AISLE B, STALL 87

---

OLIVES, CHEESE, DELI MEATS

Any Deli across Melbourne.

I have not been turned down by any of them yet. But they seem to prefer old plastic containers especially at busier places.

Check out Markets like Queen Victoria Market, South Melbourne Markets and Prahran Markets too.

The Spring Street Grocer Cheese Cellar
157 Spring Street, Melbourne
Monday to Sat: 10:00am – 7pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 6pm
www.springstreetgrocer.com.au

---

BUTTER

Curds & Whey
Queen Victoria Markets
LOCATION: SHOP 12-13, DELI HALL

---

MILK, YOGURT, CREAM

Elgaars Dairy is stocked at various locations around Melbourne. Check the website for stockists
www.elgaarfarm.com.au

---

CONDIMENTS (oils, vinegars, tamari sauce, honey, tahini etc)

Friends of the Earth Co-op
312 Smith Street, Collingwood
Monday to Friday: 10:00am – 6.00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 4:00pm
www.melbourne.foe.org.au/foodcoop

The Source Bulk Foods Brunswick
112 Sydney Road, Brunswick Melbourne 3056.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

The Source Bulk Foods Camberwell
749 Burke Road, Camberwell Melbourne 3124.
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

The Source Bulk Foods Prahran
176 Commercial Road Prahran VIC 3181.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:30am – 5:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

Organic Wholefoods
483 Lygon St, Brunswick
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm
www.wholefoods.com.au/

---

CLEANING (soaps, laundry, detergents)

Friends of the Earth Co-op
312 Smith Street, Collingwood
Monday to Friday: 10:00am – 6.00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 4:00pm
www.melbourne.foe.org.au/foodcoop

The Source Bulk Foods Brunswick
112 Sydney Road, Brunswick Melbourne 3056.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

The Source Bulk Foods Camberwell
749 Burke Road, Camberwell Melbourne 3124.
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

The Source Bulk Foods Prahran
176 Commercial Road Prahran VIC 3181.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:30am – 5:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

Organic Wholefoods
483 Lygon St, Brunswick
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm
www.wholefoods.com.au/

---

BODY CARE (shampoo, conditioner, oils, soaps)

Friends of the Earth Co-op
312 Smith Street, Collingwood
Monday to Friday: 10:00am – 6.00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 4:00pm
www.melbourne.foe.org.au/foodcoop

The Source Bulk Foods Brunswick
112 Sydney Road, Brunswick Melbourne 3056.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

The Source Bulk Foods Camberwell
749 Burke Road, Camberwell Melbourne 3124.
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

The Source Bulk Foods Prahran
176 Commercial Road Prahran VIC 3181.
Monday to Friday: 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:30am – 5:00pm
www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/victoria/

Organic Wholefoods
483 Lygon St, Brunswick
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm
www.wholefoods.com.au/

Lush (various locations)
High Point, Swanston St, Melbourne Central, Doncaster, Chadstone.
www.lush.com.au

The Australian Natural Soap Company
South Melbourne Market
LOCATION: STALL 88A

---

MEAT/FISH

Any butcher or fish monger. Don't ask at your local supermarket (Coles, Woolsworth, Aldi etc). Just take any container with you, even if its plastic.



Remember this month long challenge and being plastic free is about asking for no NEW plastic. Don't feel guilty about taking your old plastic for reuse.

If you live in an area with ethnic food stores pop your head in to see if they sell dried goods in bulk. I know of a few on Sydney Road and one in Moonee Ponds (Rays Nuts, Hall Street) that does.

Most of the above locations can be found via the Bulk App. A handy tool for all your Plastic Free July shopping plus it’s free to download from the Play and App Store. When you download the app don’t forget to add any gems you find.

Have fun,
post signature

18 June 2015

Plastic Free July essential tools

Thank you for all the feedback on the kits. I have had many people say they wish the kits had been ready for July. While the kits are not ready to go I have compiled a list of similar items that I deem essential tools for Plastic Free July and plastic free living in general.

I have grouped according to readers from the northern and southern hemisphere to help you save on postage costs and carbon footprints.

Like the items in the kits the list below feature what I have found helpful and wish I had when I started living plastic free and zero waste.

Plastic Free July essential tools 


> Southern Hemisphere (Australia and New Zealand)

http://www.biome.com.au/fathers-day-gifts/6543-u-konserve-stainless-steel-insulated-coffee-cup-16oz-473ml--853768002539.html
Buy - Stainless steel insulated coffee cup





> Northern Hemisphere (USA, Canada and Europe)

Buy - Oval Bento Lunch Box




Buy - Portable Place mat with Cutlery Holder


Buy - Insulated Steel Pint Cup by Klean Kanteen



Buy - Organic Cotton and Hemp Produce Bag







If you happen to make a purchase through any of the links above I do receive a commission that helps to keep this blog running. I have had nothing but great experiences with the online stores that sell these items and highly recommend them to anyone.

Also, don't forget to download the Bulk app to help find your closest bulk food stores. Lifesaver!!! 

Reuse, 
post signature

17 June 2015

Update Starter kits for plastic free and zero waste living + Podcast interview + Giveaway

Way back in March I announced my intentions to put together and sell Starter kits for plastic free and zero waste living. They are almost ready to sell.

Starter kits for plastic free and zero waste living
Starter kits for plastic free and zero waste living
Starter kits for plastic free and zero waste living
Starter kits for plastic free and zero waste living

Originally the plan was to have them ready to sell before Plastic Free July.

But....life had other plans for me as I made the decision to go overseas to visit with family. It has been a loooong time since I have enjoyed a visit to the US in the summer. My last couple of trips have been over the winter holidays. I am excited to give the Builder a taste of the South and meet my family. If anyone knows of some great bulk food stores in Little Rock please let me know. 

The kits will now be available the end of July and I will be sharing a blog post about them then. They will only be for Australian and New Zealanders. The reason for this? It will be easier to post out plastic free. 

I have put together a list of similar items and places to buy them if you want to put together your own kits that I will share next week. 




Last week I was featured on The Greening of Gavin podcast. It is my first podcast and needless to say I was nervous. You can listen to it below:




Gavin's blog has been a staple as I have wandered along my own eco journey. He is less than an hour away so it is particularly handy to have a someone blog about gardening in the same climate as me. And when the time comes to make my own cheese I will be following his recipes. His blog is a portal of very helpful information for sustainable living. Big fan here!   



Thank you to everyone who entered the competition to win Beth Terry's Plastic Free - How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too by Beth Terry book giveaway. I received a lot of entries that were all really hard too choose from. I have notified the winner and will ship the book to them today.

I have another giveaway! I don't usually do giveaways but because it is coming up to Plastic Free July I want to give people tools that will help them.

This time it's an eBook written by a fellow plastic free blogger Lindsay of Treading My Own Path who juts happens to be based in Australia too. To win a copy of Lindsay's eBook That's A Wrap you need only tell me your email and name in the comments below or via email. All entries will be put into a hat (written on second hand paper of course) and drawn Thursday 25 2015.


All the lovely people who entered the competition for the last book need not enter. I have saved your emails (don't worry I am not going to spam emails to you or put you onto a mailing list unknowingly) and will add your name to the draw. Let me know if you don't want to enter this comp though and I will happily remove you.

Competition closed. Thanks for entering :)

Happy Thursday,
post signature

9 June 2015

Green Reads: Plastic Free - How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too by Beth Terry

If all the plastic free living nerds lived in a town, Beth Terry would be elected mayor unanimously. An early warrior for the plastic free movement Beth has gained hundreds of thousands of followers over the course of her journey. Recently she released an updated version of her book Plastic Free - How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too.

Now I am not just reading this book because I am in it (cheesy grin). I decided to read it because simply I never have. Which is silly, because I should have bought this book the minute I decided to go plastic free 4 life!

Green Reads: Plastic Free - How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too by Beth Terry
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

I came across Beth’s blog when I was partaking in my first Plastic Free July and I remember umming and ahhhing about buying her book for a long time. At the time I had just moved house and stubbornly did not think that the money would be worth it. After all, what could it give me that the internet already had?

Ha. I laugh at the Erin of July 2013 and the hours she spent ransacking the internet for answers to problems encountered. All the while everything was neatly tucked into a book by the mayor of the town I was about to move into. If you want to quit plastic and would like to have a comprehensive guide on hand and not waste time scrolling pages then please invest in this book because it is a fantastic resource.

The usual plastic suspects are covered in the book; plastic bags, disposable water bottles, grocery shopping, recycling, eating out, cleaning, and personal care. There were sections that did not apply to my life yet but without a doubt I learnt a lot.

One of the key themes I loved about this book is the constant reminder that there will be some emotional ups and downs, and that those speed humps are normal. Giving up plastic is not a walk in the park; it’s hard and even more difficult when it feels like you are the only one. And it won’t just be hard because of the plastic you are giving up but also many other factors that can leave you feeling frustrated and angry at times. Beth gets this, has rode it out and gently reminds readers as they move along how to deal with the emotional hang ups and feelings of guilt that pop up.

There are checklists and activities to work across as you move through the book plus funny anecdotes and interviews with individuals from around the world. If this book morphed into a human being it would be your very own plastic free cheerleader.

And another thing I loved about the book was the lack of plastic involved in the printing of the book. This lady walks her talk right down to how the book was put together.



G  I  V  E  A  W  A  Y 

I am giving away ONE copy of this book. 

Competition closed. Thanks for entering :)

To enter all you need to do is write in the comments below or email me the most bizarre plastic item you have come across. Whether it is packaged food or something else that has left you asking whhhhy. 

Please don’t forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you have won. The giveaway closes 14th June and the winner will be notified the 16th June, giving me time to get the book for Plastic Free July. 


Feel free to share this giveaway with any of your friends.


Happy Tuesday,
post signature   

5 June 2015

BYO Bottle: Shopping for No Plastic and Zero Waste Beer & Wine in Melbourne

I have completed my first year living zero waste (yay!) and next month I will be celebrating two years of living plastic free (double yay!). When I tell people about my lifestyle I like to express that it's more about reducing because I find the words zero and plastic free to be a bit full on and I don't want to sound like a crazy lady who consumes nothing because that seems to be the first response I get when people learn about my choices. Because I do consume but it's just done with careful thought and consideration.

The latest packaging I have been able to reduce is my beer and wine. Yes, No Plastic and Zero Waste Beer & Wine in Melbourne. 


Our (myself and the builder) contribution to the recycling bins in our house has reduced dramatically in the last year. The main items we add would be beer and wine bottles and after that paper. I love my stouts, the Builder enjoys an IPA or a cider, and we both love ginger beer. It's not to say I don't like recycling – but reducing and reusing is the ultimate goal because a lot of energy and resources go into recycling.

Most of the used wine bottles we have emptied from over the year are used to collect vinegar's and cleaning products like castile soap when I need to top up our supplies. And the rest are put aside to refill with new wine from ReWine located at the Preston and Vic Markets.

I discovered ReWine on the Bulk App last year. At the time the Builder signed up for one of those wine clubs where you get an assortment of wine delivered. So I decided to wait until our stocks ran low and had empty wine bottles I could reuse. But by the time that happened the loyal Essendon supporter that my boyfriend is came home with boxes of a Dustin Fletcher commemorative Cabernet Sauvignon and some other box of Essendon club wine. As the supply finally diminished it was time for me to visit ReWine and take advantage of their refill options.

I took our empty bottles and the friendly staff filled them with new wines. Basically how it used to be done not that long ago. Our bottles are not fancy with simple aluminium screw top lids. I can get Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Fortified wine, Pino, Shiraz, Merlot, preservative free, organic and even sparkling. I can taste the wine before I get a bottle refilled too. No more buying wine that I don't like. You can only refill with your own bottles at the Preston location. If you are closer to the Vic Markets then you must buy the bottles available and bring those ones back.



Lately I discovered BeerMash, a brick and mortar store similar to ReWine that has opened up in Collingwood. I took the Builder with me to check it out. While they have beer for sale in regular bottles the biggest draw card is the beers on tap that can be bought in growlers and squealers also for sale.

We invested in a growler for $12 and walked out with a cider for the Builder. We got to taste the beers first – very handy because the last thing you want to do is buy a beer and get home to discover that it is not that nice and I am really picky about my beer, way more than wine! They also offer two wines on tap, but I'll be going back for the stout. It's safe to say we will be regulars at BeerMash.

For a list of refilling beer stations in Australia visit Crafty Pint.

Refillin',

3 June 2015

My first year living Zero Waste (aka, see how much trash I produced in 1 year)

My first year living Zero Waste

This is my first YEAR living zero waste. Below is all the rubbish I have produced from June 2014 - June 2015.

June 2014 - December 2014 (blog post here)


January 2015 – June 2015

My first year living Zero Waste

I did it! My first year living zero waste is complete.

Looking at the trash over the last six months (second image) I can see that it is significantly smaller than the first. What seems to be the biggest contributor is receipts, boarding passes and baggage tags from my trip to the Philippines earlier this year. Another big item is a pair of sunglasses that I broke on that same trip then had repaired when we got home…and they broke again on another part of the frame.

The contents of the last six months that cannot be recycled (yet) by the local recycling companies:
  • Plastic clothing swing tags and small plastic ring from a swing tag
  • Baggage tags
  • Broken sunglasses
  • Loose thread
  • Receipts and boarding passes
  • Sticky labels from cheese and Plastic packing tape
  • Freshness packet
  • Four clothing tags
  • Cotton swab/tape from a blood test
  • Plastic spoon and plastic toothpick

Comparing to the first six months I can see a theme. I need be more vigilant when at any cash registers and not go into lala land when handing my bank card over. I have a holiday to the US coming up and I know there will be baggage tags and boarding passes as a result, though we are doing carry on so this will minimise the larger destination identifier tags.

Another waste item I intend to tackle is sticky labels from cheese. We buy cheese in wax or cloth not plastic and sometimes the cheese will come with a sticky label on it. So we need to find someplace that sells a cheese in wax or cloth without any sticky label. I could make my own but I might leave cheese making to the pros. And I am not giving up cheese nosiree.

I will do another trash audit in six months. Hopefully there will be less plastic receipts!

Until then,
post signature