A couple of weeks back was the glorious Earth Day, which had a smear on everyone’s social feeds at some point over the week. We celebrated it going to The Conscious Festival, sitting in for talks and taking in everything the market has to offer. We went in not knowing what to expect, came out encouraged and determined. One of the prompts we kept hearing was that recycling is good, but reducing is better.
Co-incidentally, our friends are organising a 'real' plastic recycling every last Saturday of the month, which required cleaning and sorting plastic items into categories. So we decided to go plastic-free as best we can for 30 days straight. We will keep all the plastic we didn't manage to avoid and see how much of it can be recycled. Here is a recap on how we did in our first week.
Day 1 - 3
- We only got 10% of groceries we were planning to get at supermarkets, the remaining 90% have some form of plastic packaging.
We went to the wet market, for single items, instead of a haul.
- Ben goes to work in the city and usually has his breakfast on the go. He has worked out a formula for a package free breakfast.
Single fruit items (apple, banana, avocado..) + Canned juice (OJ, AJ, V8..)
at any local supermarket
- On days without packed lunch, Ben made sure to eat in at restaurants.
- Some plastic packagings from foods we previously bought.
- We dinned out w/ friends, we had bottled beers, then brought them to the recycling bin.
So did our friends :)
- Packed most of our plastic-free essentials, off to parents' place.
Day 6 Barbecue
We messaged the organisers (YT's parents) beforehand to inquire whether we can use as little plastic as possible. The answer was yes, however, the effort was limited to utensils only. Many food items were packaged in plastic or marinated in zip locks, which were discarded after 24 hours of usage.
To say we are discouraged is oversimplifying the matter. I find it especially hard to communicate to my parents the heart of what we are trying to do. So we did the best we could: putting out boxes to collect plastic bottles, and that was it. Oh, and our dog may have helped compost several pieces of food dropped on the floor. (YT)
- Souvenirs from Japan, from our loving parents. All of them has some form of plastic packaging, one way or the other. I mean... my dad remembered I like Caramel Corn puffs and specifically bought them for me *cries* If I refuse them, I would be denied the status of my daddy's girl..
Day 7 Junk Boat
As always, preparation is essential for a day trip such as this, rather than desperate, last minute shopping spree. This is what we took with us:
- own tap water in our usual bottles that we use for everyday life
- bought all extra drinks that come in glass bottles with metallic caps (beer)
- packed fruits as snacks in tupperware
- our utensils: lunch box and spoon but no straws knowing we most likely would have lost them
- Klean Kanteen Tumbler 473ml to use instead of disposable cups. Great for mojito top ups!
We got some baked goods from a bakery and the staff was happy to place the croissants in our awkwardly outheld open lunch box rather than one of their single-use plastic bags. In line with our failed grocery shopping earlier this week, we couldn't find a single type of snacks (crisps, chocolate, biscuits) that was in recyclable packaging. (I guess we're on a diet, then!)
The day was glorious and it was lovely to hang out with friends and enjoy the weather. Though sharing a contained space with 20+ other people made us somewhat self-conscious about our mission. I think sorting out our own recycling would have definitely helped. We did at least keep all glass bottles that were used by us and took them home at the end of the day, ready to be recycled later. (Ben)
Now on to our second week! Be sure to check out our Instagram account for regular updates and daily highlights in the Story section.