Plastic Free July – Week 2 Update

I’m now halfway through Plastic Free July and am doing much better than last year. I haven’t given up and although I’ve had a few slip-ups, overall there have been big improvements. I still haven’t touched any bottled iced coffee, which is amazing.

One item we bought this week that contained a fair bit of plastic was a packet of puff pastry sheets. The only real way around this would be for us to make our own pastry – something to consider next time.

Something that I gave up a while ago was bottled shampoo and conditioner. For at least the last few years (with only one short-term lapse) I have been using a shampoo bar and making a conditioner from diluted apple cider vinegar (1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup water). My hair is much shinier and looks healthier when I use this method. Sometimes if I rub too much of the shampoo bar into my hair, it can dry out a bit too much so this is something I still need to perfect. I have considered going “no poo” (water only), but I still haven’t tried, although I have met someone who swears by it.

A shampoo bar and a bottle of homemade conditioner made from apple cider vinegar and water
A shampoo bar and a bottle of homemade conditioner made from apple cider vinegar and water

One part of my life where there is an obvious need to reduce plastic is the use of sanitary hygiene products. One way that people reduce the use of pads and tampons is to use a menstrual cup made of medical-grade silicone (see here or here), which can be reused. I have considered it for a long while, not only for the reduced waste but also for all the money that will be saved, so I have now ordered one for myself.

Other ways that we have been reducing plastic this week includes buying our produce from a market and using mesh produce bags (see photo below), and cleaning our mirrors with homemade window cleaner (1 part vinegar: 1 part water) and some newspaper.

Our grocery shop using produce bags.
Our grocery shop using mesh produce bags.
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