6 Ways To Have A Plastic-Free Summer

We find the summer holidays one of the most challenging times to be plastic-free. The routine of the week and comforts of home make packing your own lunches in glass or metal containers, remembering your shopping bags and sipping from your water bottle easier. 

Now the summer holidays are here, and you might be out of the house a little bit more, away from home visiting family or looking for ways to treat yourself to a coffee from your local cafe. It’s all too easy to fall back into your old plastic wasting habits.

Incorporate some plastic-free activities and practises into your summer holidays. Soon they will become second nature, meaning that you will be reducing your plastic without even thinking about it! Here are six of our favourite plastic-free activities to get you started.

Take your own picnic

If you’re lucky enough to be able to explore or even travel further afield, pack up a picnic and set off for your local park or beach. 

For the ultimate plastic-free picnic, wrap your goodies in muslin or wax and store items glass or metal containers. You can also bring your own water bottles or thermos’ to drink from and bamboo cutlery, if you need them. Then all you need to do is just sit back and relax.

Remember your water bottle

Plastic bottles are the quickest thing to sink to the bottom of the ocean, and they never biodegrade. Plastic particles from bottles are also slowly eroding into your water so on a whole they are bad for the environment, and bad for your health! Grab yourself a stainless steel water bottle instead and remember to keep these on hand when you’re out and about this summer.

Visit the local farmers market

Farmer’s markets are a great activity, and a great way to save on plastic wrapping, eat organic, support local and independent businesses and have an all-round more personal shopping experience. You can find these in your local town, and more and more are popping up in cities. Bulk food stores are also another way to save on packaging, just grab your favourite refillable container!

Buy from the deli or bakery

When it comes to buying the ingredients for family gatherings or summer BBQs, try to visit your local bakery, butchers or deli. Most small businesses are happy to wrap your products in your own containers, or wax wraps so just ask!

Start your own herb garden or veggie patch

Herbs and veggies often come with a considerable amount of plastic waste. From herb portions wrapped in plastic to fruit on plastic trays, there are so many ways that you can reduce your plastic waste and growing your own is one of the best. Even if you just have space for a few small pots of herbs or salad leaves on your window ledge growing your own is a perfect activity to keep the whole family busy all summer long.

Ditch the coffee runs

We know that grabbing a coffee from a cafe feels like a treat, but disposable coffee cups can no longer be recycled. It is estimated Australians use 1 billion disposable coffee cups each year. That’s approximately 2,700,000 paper coffee cups thrown out every day! Instead, invest in your own reusable coffee thermos or some quality, fair-trade coffee that lives up to your takeaway coffee standards and make your own at home.

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5 of the best plastic-free swaps for No Waste November

If you missed our last Instagram post, this month is No Waste November – a global movement to inspire people to pledge to reduce or eliminate waste in their lives. 

The initiative was started by Roots and Shoots, a youth-led action program in over 50 counties.  Founded by Dr. Jane Goodall, the program’s mission is to foster respect and compassion for all living things, to promote understanding of all cultures and beliefs, and to inspire each individual to take action to make the world a better place for people, other animals, and the environment.

Why a month? The theory is that it takes a month to develop a habit – in this case, one that benefits the planet!

The No Waste November pledge aims to help people (especially young people) to create good habits and healthy habitats.

You can get involved in No Waste November by:⁣

– Pledging to reduce your waste throughout November

– Getting your friends involved and joining the conversation through #NoWasteNovember

– Keeping it up for the rest of the month…and beyond!

If you have already pledged, we’d love to hear how you are doing and what kind of changes you have already made in your day-to-day routine.

If you are just starting, we wanted to share some of the easiest and cheapest ways that you can make a few swaps in your life which will make a massive difference to the amount of waste you create and reduce your plastic usage.

Reuse your shopping bags

Somewhere between five billion and one trillion plastic bags are used each year around the world, so get yourself some pretty reusable bags to take on your weekly supermarket trip. These are usually more attractive, bigger and last longer too. Plus there are so many great options of bags which fold up small so you can always keep one in your bag/pocket, just in case. Alternatively, grab an empty cardboard box from an aisle for an easy option to carry those extra items.

BYO reusable drinks bottles and coffee cups

Plastic bottles are the quickest thing to sink to the bottom of the ocean, and although coffee cups are made mostly from paper, they’re hiding an interior coated in plastic. Plastic particles from disposable water bottles are also slowly eroding into your water, so on the whole, they are bad for the environment, and bad for your health! Grab yourself a Vesica BPA Free, stainless steel bottle and a refillable coffee cup/tea infuser and keep these on hand whenever you’re out and about. 

Swap tea-bags for tea leaves

If you’re anything like us and average upwards of 5 cups of tea each per day, every day then over the course of a year you’ll be sending over 2,000 tea bags to landfills. The numbers are shocking when you think about it! To reduce this swap your tea bags for tea leaves in a metal strainer instead. The tea leaves are often better quality too, so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Ditch disposables

Disposable items in your house like razors, plastic toothbrushes and disposable cutlery may seem small. Still, over a lifetime, they are going to add up to a lot of plastic in our landfills. Switch to safety razors which you can change the blades of or items made from natural/biodegradable materials like bamboo. Plus, they look much nicer on your bathroom shelf.

Avoid wrapped fruit and veg

One of the easiest things you can do is to refuse the pre-wrapped fruit and veg in the supermarket. Instead of buying that plastic-wrapped multi-packs or items like packs of 6 apples, visit your bulk shop or pick your own from the loose section and bring your own bag or put them straight in your basket. Even better if you are lucky enough to have access to a farmer’s market!

Are you taking the No Waste November pledge? Let us know in the comments!

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What does it mean to be ‘Eco-Friendly’?

What does it mean to be ‘Eco-Friendly’?

Being ‘Eco-Friendly’ and ‘Eco-Conscious’ are such trendy things to do these days – it seems like every other person is getting on the ‘Zero Waste’ bandwagon and hype. Or at least we seem to hear these words flung around so often now that they seem to have become slightly ambiguous or may have lost a bit of significance and meaning. Because I don’t think just swapping out your take away coffee cups for keep cups and using bamboo cutlery is the complete story really. I mean, those are some great simple moves you can do to get started, (and I know that’s not all the ‘Zero Waste’ movement is about either, there’s a lot more to it) but there’s more to this story than just reducing waste don’t you think? I know all of this comes from a place of love and compassion and wanting to do good for the environment, but living a life with less unnecessary plastic waste is only one way of incorporating a more Eco Conscious mind set into your reality.

I found this concept of ‘deep ecology’ a particularly interesting point of discussion and I feel can be a good starting point for further contemplation about Eco-Consciousness. Initially introduced in environmental literature in the 70s by Norwegian philosopher and mountaineer Arne Naess in an era after the 60s where environmentalism was emerging out of grassroots political movements. Drengson in his article Some Thought on the Deep Ecology Movement described it as having an ethic of ‘respecting nature and the inherent worth of other beings’ and involves ‘ redesigning our whole systems based on values and methods that truly preserve the ecological and cultural diversity of natural systems.’

Link to article – Some Thought on the Deep Ecology Movement by Alan Drengson
http://www.deepecology.org/deepecology.htm

Some pretty thought provoking stuff regarding to eco-conscious living, don’t you think?

But I guess what this means for me is living with an awareness of this deep innate connection that we have with the land – to the natural environment around – to the birds, the trees, the animals, the rocks, the mountains, the fire, the rain – to all other beings and the world around, including ourselves. Because we are simultaneously at one with everything that is arising moment to moment, so we must listen to it, respect it and take care of it, otherwise it dies – we die.

Actually, we are not separated from these things – we are but one part of the same interconnected whole. We are a complete Eco-System connected together and unto ourselves. Interdependent with each other and part of the larger whole. You. And me. And everything. On a cosmic scale. ..Boom. This is literally it. ..and you can feel it right down to the chaos of the complex buzzing interconnected world of your own body’s system. The living bugs and bacteria and cells and micro-organisms and even atoms all interacting and exchanging on a micro-cellular level in, on and around your body and in the environment. You – yourself – we, have a micro biome and are completely integrated with it and dependant on it for survival, as it is to you. We are all part of the infinite micro-cosmic biome.

So for me, being Eco Conscious not only means being conscious of your plastic consumption and your waste and your ecological footprint…but in the same way this is connected to how you treat yourself and your own body as well, what foods you eat, what toxins you allow to come into your life, and the habits behaviours and beliefs we choose to create in our lives. Are you truly living consciously in harmony with your own innate micro-biome? Your own personal landscape? – physically, mentally, emotionally – and even spiritually? And with the landscape around you? The people you interact with on a daily basis? the other animals you share the land with? And the land itself?

It’s all connected. And once we start to truly open up our awareness and consciousness about how we are truly impacting our ecology around us including ourselves – you begin to see that we start making more healthy choices for our-selves, our bodies and the environment. You might start eating healthier, going to the farmers market, reducing your plastic footprint, considering toxins in your life, moving around stagnant energies, learning, challenging yourself, expressing yourself authentically, being creative, being in nature and getting outdoors, going on adventures and reaching out into the unknown. You might find yourself meeting new people, discovering new places, having conversations with the neighbours cat, listening to the birds, planting trees, considering your impact on others, practising self-care, tidying, detoxing and cleansing, and healing in all kinds of different ways.

There are a few key indicators that resonate with me in terms of how I define Eco-Conscious living for myself, and I’ve outlined some of these things in the Eco-Friendly QUIZ, but ultimately it’s you who decides what living an Eco-Friendly lifestyle looks like for you.

…Let us know what you think, leave any comments below, feel free to share your Eco-Conscious story and journey with us and spread the word about this awesome and inspiring Eco-Friendly movement!

Article Written by Lillian Adele
(www.lillianadele.com)

 

Photo by Sylvie Tittel
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Take the ECO-FRIENDLY QUIZ: How Eco-Conscious are you?

ECO-FRIENDLY QUIZ: How Eco-Conscious are you?

Below are some questions that you can answer Yes or No.

  • You consider your food waste and think it’s important to compost?
  • You eat mostly whole foods, organic, vegetarian, vegan or mostly plant based?
  • You like to sit and be still for moments during the day to listen to the world?
  • You enjoy being in nature – going for walks, visiting national parks, waterfalls, beach, camping, travel & eco-tourism. You can appreciate the innate beauty in the natural world and have a general sense of awe and appreciation about it?
  • You enjoy saying hello to trees and other animals and sometimes can even be caught greeting the sun and moon at times?
  • You have an interest in things like the process of life and death, plants, organic food, gardening, permaculture, eco-design, minimalism, less impact and alternative living scenarios, and you appreciate the importance of biodiversity?
  • You’re at the farmers markets, bulk food stores, health food stores and organic shops pretty regularly to buy your produce and forgetting your green bags in the car is not something you do?
  • You try to be as plastic free as you can and there’s an interest in Zero Waste Living and minimising your impact and plastic footprint?
  • Seem to be pretty interested in things like meditation, self- care and personal development, alternative therapies and holistic healing, mysticism and spirituality and you consider spiritual development an integral part of your well being?
  • You do regular exercise and yoga, or have an enjoyable way to keep physically fit?
  • You start reading the labels of things and think it’s important to find out what’s in your food and in products that you use around the house and put onto your skin – you reduce the harmful chemicals and toxins in your life?
  • You have an interest in your local community, are engaged in what’s happening globally, and feel it’s important to maintain positive healthy and intimate relationships with loved ones?
  • You enjoy a good informative documentary, book, article, blog, podcast, channel or conversation and think conscious education is important?
  • You value non-violence, human rights, cultural diversity, acceptance and tolerance of others, enjoy helping, contributing and being of service to others and you feel a deep sense of love and compassion for all other living things?

This list is by no means exhaustive, but if you answered positively for the most part, I’d say you’re getting pretty Eco-Friendly up in here…Holla!

…Let us know what you think, leave any comments below, feel free to share your Eco-Conscious story and journey with us and spread the word about this awesome and inspiring Eco-Friendly movement!

 

Written by Lillian Adele
(www.lillianadele.com)

What’s with all this Plastic at Festivals?

What’s with all this Plastic at Festivals?

So I’ve been around the festival circuit in Australia and abroad for quite some time now and I’ve noticed that there’s been a real trend happening from both festival organisers and punters when it comes to trash and managing waste…

The interesting thing is that often I see this contradiction when it comes to rubbish and this environmentally friendly conversation… and that’s these seemingly eco-friendly festivals presenting themselves as being progressive and supporting conscious choices when it comes to rubbish, but then doing things like not providing bins in venues and not separating rubbish from recyclables…

Here’s a couple of pics from The Boho Festival in Melbourne earlier this year held at The Royal Exhibition building…

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There were no bins in the venue to separate trash for attendees. So no choice but ending up as trash. Really sad to see. These festivals like Boho are trying to be eco-friendly by asking vendors to use eco packaging for food – but what’s the point if they don’t get composted or recycled?

Recently a video went viral showing the outrageous amounts of rubbish left behind after the Lost Paradise Festival north of Sydney – in a National Park! Here’s the footage https://tinyurl.com/y8x45b3k

I really don’t get it! I mean, the festival organisers don’t make it easy for punters who want to do the right thing. But also, I think it’s equally important for us as festival goers to start recognising our impact, becoming more empowered when it comes to refusing trash and making a stand for truly conscious choices.

So how can we solve this dilemma? Does it come down to lack money and funding? Lack of Infrastructure? Is it pure laziness, ignorance or lack of care regarding this issue? Or is it simply just lack of awareness surrounding alternative solutions? Who’s to say…I’m not entirely sure…

The one thing I do know though, is that we as individuals and punters need to start taking responsibility for not buying into this wasteful mentality and recognising the beauty of these incredible places and lands that we get to dance, play and celebrate upon. So remember to take your reusable kit with you so you don’t have to use the disposable products – even if they are so called ‘environmentally friendly’ or compostable. In addition to this, the festivals have a responsibility to us as patrons and to the environment to provide the necessary infrastructure for waste management systems and to continue offering plastic-free alternatives.

But I think importantly we have to continue to lead the way with our actions, speaking out about these things happening and using our voices to make a difference and support the ban of plastic at festivals!

Wouldn’t that be a different kind of party? That’s one I’d love to see!

 

Article written by Lillian Adele

(visit: www.lillianadele.com)