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Plastic free lent: #2

After the triumph of making my own yoghurt and the cheese wheel dreams, I now start to wonder why I am bothering at all.

Day 4 continued: Headed out to local shops with small child twin 1 in tow muttering about how he hasn’t given up plastic for lent and is bringing 48p that he found in his bedroom to buy something. The offer of a loose apple doesn’t suffice his consumer desires.  Reasonable success in the local health/organic shop. Small child reminds me I can’t buy bread as its in plastic but helps me pick out other bits and pieces that are wrapped in cellophane, which is biodegradable. Can’t buy chamomile tea as its either in a cardboard box with that stupid plastic/foil inner or in a plastic package. Note to self to email Clipper teas to see if inner wrapper is actually plastic. Small child is “persuaded” to purchase no sugar chocolate bar wrapped in foil and paper which means I have to sub him £1. Have good cathartic mutual rant with woman in health food store and other random customers about use of plastic, emailing supermarkets and being thrown out of stores for complaining (not me yet I hasten to add but at this rate its only a matter of time). She thinks that Lye Cross Farm cheese wrappers are not plastic (yay!) but I’m waiting for them to email me back. Leave store feeling slightly less of a nutter and like I’ve found my plastic free tribe.  This feeling does not last long.

Less success in pet shop.  Chicken feed is in preweighed plastic bags, although they do have a big sack at the back. “Can’t you just weigh it into my container?” I ask sweetly. Met with rather blank looks and told that it will only sit on scales if its weighed into bags. Decide not to pursue it this time but do get them to pour it into my container “although we’ll just end up throwing the bag away love” and then, as the container won’t quite shut, despite my protestations, they seal up my container with sellotape. And have to buy straw in plastic bag too. Think I have a long way to go.

At home, partner starts talking about hiring a car to find a farm that sells straw in bales so we can just buy a bale or two for the chickens and even goes so far as to start searching for straw bales on ebay. Given that he was deriding my cheese wheel idea two days ago this feels like a small victory.

I have decided to make my own hummus and by adding a tonne of garlic its quite nice. The falafel less so. Homemade yoghurt goes down a storm with everyone, minus the child who doesn’t like yoghurt, but only made about 400ml so its all gone.

Despite various set backs, feel like I have made some progress today.

Day 5: Found out that Fb group is actually “plastic less” not “plastic free”, more realistic. But start the day wondering what I am doing due to reading various blog posts about how plastic isn’t that bad compared to say paper, the plastic oceans only come from certain cities/parts of the world, and that is trying to reduce plastic is just a middle class angst/privilege to offset other consumerism/follow a trend.  Perhaps my mother is right, I’m just trying to make my life too difficult.  However, we have nothing to eat for dinner now so I am committed to the farmer’s market. “It’ll be fun”, I think.

Due to various dull, familial logistics planned trip to said local farmer’s market with beloved partner doesn’t come to pass and instead is preceded by irritable grumpy exchanges about “why are you trying to make things more difficult” (aimed at me) and “why aren’t you being more supportive” from me. He complains about my plastic bag of unrecyclable plastic that I was keeping for reference cluttering up the kitchen.  This is followed by some flouncing out of house by me, if its possible to flounce whilst carrying a large (reusable natch) bag of plastic containers. Small son in tow again.

Still, I’m feeling optimistic until I quickly realise that ALL the meat at the farmer’s market is prewrapped and sealed in … yes plastic. Or even better, clingfilm and polystyrene. I could weep into my Tupperware. I’m committed now though so I overbuy as the stallholders are v friendly and, with some kind of pathetic fallacy, the sun has gone in and its freezing cold again. The promised fish stall is non existent and all the cheese looks prewrapped and I’m too fed up to go and talk to anyone now.  I do get two lovely punnets of tomatoes which last precisely 30 seconds when eaten by twin 2. And some nice apples. All gone by dinner time. I don’t think I can afford the farmer’s market.

Small son demands some index cards for the homemade top trumps he’s making and I’ve given up by this time so just ignore the fact that they are wrapped in plastic. “You’re not allowed to touch it, Mummy” he says sticking it in the bag of redundant Tupperware on our way home. Then he announces that although he’s not giving up plastic or anything else for Lent, he’s decided he will help me out with being plastic free because he thinks I need all the help I can get.

Am told I am not allowed to grumble about the farmer’s market as I was the one who created this situation so I need to get over it. Not sure this helps much but partner has reused the plastic bag which I was “saving” for all my non recyclable plastic to get it off the worktop, so I think this is a positive. Got to take them where I can.

Spend rest of the day alternating between feeling rather glum that this task is utterly pointless, too hard and soul destroying and scouring packets to see what type of plastic they are then googling if they are recyclable.

Realise I haven’t even had the motivation to take some lovely pictures of plastic to brighten up my blog. Maybe tomorrow.


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