We are half-way guys!!! Look how much we’ve achieved already!
15 | Buy food with no plastic or minimal waste
This one is hard!!! But whats important is to at least start to think about what packaging you are buying. Trust me cutting back what packaging you bring into your home is the easiest way to minimise the waste leaving it. I try to avoid as much pre-packaged fruits and veggies as possible, opt to use glass jars and tins instead of plastic and even try for plain cardboard instead of waxed cardboard. I now will read the ingredients (hello sugar free) and also look at whether it says whether we are to recycle or trash. If there are two options for about the same price I will pick the one which I can recycle!
16 | Fill your own water bottle and take it with you
This seemed like a no brainer… but seriously the number of times I forget my water bottle and are soooo thirsty when we are out was astounding!! So now I always have a water bottle (ideally with water in it) in my bag which means I avoid caving to buy a plastic single use bottle or a plastic cup. And if it is empty its easy enough to find somewhere where I can fill it up.
17 | Learn how to freeze food without plastic
Even now I’m still trying to get my head around this one haha. Ziplock bags were life! But now I am trying to freeze things in Tupperware containers and storing scraps (like all those veggie odds and ends) in paper bags (great for saving space!). Did you know you can safely freeze stocks and other liquids in glass jars (mason jars are the best for this)? And wrapping bread or pasta in a tea towel is also a winner.
18 | Research shopping veggies by season
Not only is this a great way to save on your veggie budget but it means your fruit and veggies are always fresh (and therefore more nutritious) and means you aren’t buying imported produce (carbon miles guys!!!!). Added bonus if buying at a farmers market and supporting local businesses.
19 | Join or visit a library
As kids we always used to get so excited when our monthly trip to the library came around. We could borrow 30 books and read them over the month, often swapping with my siblings for some variety. But I haven’t visited a library properly for over 10 years. Brilliant strategy by my parents… they would have saved thousands of dollars not having to constantly buy new books for us all.
But when you think about it, library’s are amazing with all the free books and resources you can borrow, enjoy and then return for the next person to enjoy. I don’t know about you, but I used have a ton of books that I read and loved that ended up being donated or thrown out!
20 | Visit a local farmers market
I am sorry to say but this was something I had never done!! But I had a decent visit to our local market on the weekend and I totally want to make it a regular habit from now on.
At a farmer’s market you have access to locally grown, fresh produce and are most of the time supporting the farms directly. And most of the time you have so much more choice over packaging!!! You can take your own produce bags and even return the egg cartons or rubber bands to the stall next visit. Farmers markets are also really fun for trying weird and wonderful fruits and veg that you may have never seen before.
21 | Make your own cleaning spray
I used to love the smell of that all purpose surface spray… ahhh it made me feel like the benches must be truly clean. But after reading the Low Tox Life by Alexx Stuart, I realised that I have NO IDEA what is actually in the spray and I was putting it all over my kitchen benches where I prepare my food.
So now we use a homemade citrus vinegar with some essential oils and we use it on everything. The bench, coffee table and even the walls!! My hubby is a massive fan of using it and it smells amazing. Here is a recipe to try and make your own!! The bonus of making your own spray is the reusable bottle and using up your citrus scraps! Add that to the list of things to shove in the freezer.
How are you enjoying this challenge? Only one and a half weeks left. Keep an eye out for the final post in this series next week!!!