It’s always an interesting conversation when talking about the elimination of plastic. Last week i was eating out at a local restaurant in my neighbourhood called ‘Yellow Flower’ and the topic of ‘plastic free sex’ arose. First of all, condoms are not made of plastic. They are made of latex which, in most instances is from a rubber tree. Plastic is usually from petroleum but can be other types of polymers also. So when we were trying to think of other options to use instead of condoms for safe sex, I am off the hook here. Just wanted to clear that up as it seems to be a regular question from my age group.
THE NEXT PARAGRAPH IS FOR WOMEN ONLY. IF YOU ARE A MAN AND YOU CONTINUE TO READ THIS PARAGRAPH JUST KNOW THAT IT WAS YOUR CHOICE AND YOU CAN”T BE ANNOYED THAT YOU READ IT AS I DID WARN YOU TO GO TO SECTION 3
Of course the next question from many women is: ‘What about my vibrator?”. Yes , I’ve said it. They asked it. I didn’t answer however i have included a picture of a very interesting looking eggplant my neighbour grew in her garden two weeks ago……..
We also discussed the use of tampons. They are wrapped in plastic. I was then enlightened by my very adventurous swedish friend who told me about a rubber type device that is reused. The ‘Moon Cup’ or ‘menstrual cup’, if you want a boring term is completely re-usable. I am still undecided as to whether i can use this device but i am going to have to try. Apparently “you get used to it”. Well in the mean time i do have a question to anyone that knows of a tampon brand that does not wrap them separately in plastic and holds them in a plastic free container?????? I do hope there is something out there as i really don’t want to be writing another post on menstrual bleeding.
MEN CAN CONTINUE TO READ HERE:
Anyway the point of this post is actually to discuss going ‘plastic free’ when eating out. At restaurants or takeaway places etc.
We were at yellow flower which is an Indian Diner and i was impressed that the cutlery is steel , the takeaway cutlery is wooden however the containers for take food away food are ‘plastic’. So, we ate in. We used china bowls with out steel cutlery and glass water bottle s and cups. We were feeling very plastic free until the dessert was required to be taken home for a friend.. Thankfully the lovely ‘Adrian’ (picture below) from Yellow Flower allowed us to take the delicious sticky date pudding home in the china bowl which i later returned. It did get us thinking at the table about how this system could actually work. You bring your own bowl to the restaurant , any leftovers come with you and no plastic throw aways required.
The other option is to use tapioca or starch based plant containers with are completely biodegradable and can be used many times over as an alternative to plastic. These are also pretty cheap to buy (not as cheap as plastic but if everyone starting using them the price would drop due to increased consumption). Also known as Cassava starch, the following link provides much more information on these products than i could ever explain. There are plenty more companies apart from this one as well that we could be using for our disposable containers. (If we really need disposable containers??) http://www.eco-go.net
It also made me realise as i sat there with my four girlfriends that it’s much more fun to be eating a meal at the restaurant than by myself with a takeaway container at home. I even ate less because i was talking so much that i didn’t feel the need to go and order more, or eat the remainder of my bowl even though it was there. Eating in a social environment has been shown to decrease overeating and now there is the added benefit that it can be plastic free as well!
Could it be possible to have more plastic in our supermarkets than actually food????
Visiting my parents home in Victoria i’m even more inspired to keep the plastic free ideas growing. Living each day gets me thinking deeper and deeper into how much plastic we really use. I was given the job to get some ingredients for a rhubarb and apple crumble my Mum and i were going to make. We had the rhubarb and apples from the local community garden from which my Mum owns a plot, so we just needed oats, flour, chia seeds and yoghurt .
I walked to the shops which was about a 6km round trip ( 6km walk per day is great for someone recovery from back pain too by the way as well as not using a plastic car and fuel!) could not find anything in the supermarket that was not packaged with plastic for what i needed. I ended up buying yoghurt that was in a plastic tub and walked out feeling like a cheat and a hypocrite with it in my green reusable bag. As i was about to leave i noticed the ‘health food’ store. I found in the health food store oats in a calico bag, coconut flour in a brown paper bag but no chia seeds that weren’t in plastic. Feeling bad enough about the yoghurt i didn’t purchase the chia seeds but was happy walking home with my plastic free organic oats and flour. It did get me thinking about the yoghurt though and i think i could probably purchase some in a glass jar somewhere. In Paris last year i was able to get small meal sized glass jars of yoghurt and i am sure we can do it in Auz too.
By the way…. the rhubarb and apple crumble was A-Mazing!. Benefits: less bin waste, reusable calico bag and the brown paper is recyclable. We also made the crumble insead of buying it pre-packaged which was even better and healthier! (visit www.mynewroots.com
for her amazing crumble if you need some inspiration for cooking!)
It’s Summer in Australia and i have been in our most southern state, the beautiful Tasmania with friends for New Years Eve. We experienced the rugged coastlines and bush of the most untouched part of our country. Tassie is very clean and it was on this adventure that i decided to make my new years resolution to be ‘plasticless’. My 4 friends and i had stopped at Adventure Bay General Store on Bruny Island and after a deep discussion with my friend Randal about the poor health of our ocean and the poor decisions our government has been making recently about our environment in general, I was feeling very passionate about not using plastic all of a sudden . So i decided that i was not going to buy any supplies for our camping dinner that included plastic.
I was hoping that the rest of my four friends would join me on the bandwagon of plastic free but unfortunately the Bruny Island sausages wrapped in plastic were too good to pass up. So in we headed to the general store with my eyes open to anything with paper, cardboard, foil or ‘nothing’ wrapped around it. We already had veggies in the eski (which is still made of plastic at this point) so we were after some accompaniments to our vegetable based meal.
I found some flour in a cardboard box, eggs in cardboard and olive oil in a bottle. I would make herb and garlic damper on the fire with roasted herb and olive oil vegetables in the camp oven pot! Delicious! There was one problem which was that if we wanted a tastier damper we would probably need milk and unfortunately all the milks had at least a plastic cap on them. So ‘Phill’ our fellow traveller bought the milk so i would not break my challenge (but i admit i did use the milk). So milk is actually my first ‘brick wall’ at present. On Bruny if i was better prepared and it was not after 5pm i probably could have gone to the local dairy farm or cheese house and purchased milk with my own vessel. So lesson one: plan where you are getting your choice of milk from before it gets too late in the afternoon. Lesson two: flour in a cardboard box still comes in plastic inside the cardboard box………
Dinner was a hit by the way! No plastic except for the soy milk carton and flour which i now know i can get in paper bags elsewhere! This also meant minimal rubbish as most of it was organic waste or went in the fire! I have to admit we did have large plastic water containers which were bought in preparation for our trip. Next time (now that i’m plastic free) i would take large glass bottles and get the creek/ river water which is so clean in Tasmania and boil it on the fire for our water. So we did have tea brewed with water from plastic containers that night and the wraps in this picture were not mine. But it was only the first day! Below is the ‘Herb and Olive Oil Damper’ with local Tassie honey (glass jar) which was delicious!
If you have any tips on going more plastic free when camping please let me know on the ‘leave a reply’ section.
Website artwork is courtesy of the extremely talented Jessica Leitmanis. My friend and Mermaid sister.
Who am I? I’m Lucy and if you’d like to check out my credentials feel free to go to Pro Health Studio.
You can check out my clinic there too. I live in Byron Bay on the Far North Coast of NSW, Australia. But that’s not important right now. What’s is important is that soon our hospitals and medical centres will be over run by cardiovascular patients needing surgery because of ‘Western World diseases caused by unhealthy, sedentary lifestyles. And for many kids it’s due to the unhealthy genetics gained from their parents with these diseases This in turn is spending our taxes on hospitals instead of on other more pressing issues such as ‘global warming’.
So you have probably realised by now that I am passionate about health and not just my own but YOUR health, your family’s health and the generations to come. Recently I have become more passionate about the Mother that we all share; your Mum, my Mum and your friends Mum: Mother Earth. Every single thing we use in our day is derived from Planet Earth and yet we seem to be abusing her instead of giving back and treating her with respect. And you know what? If I was Mother Earth I would probably be getting angry and starting to give some negativity back to ‘us’‘ too by now. So after some research into what’s going on with our environment, our health crisis in the Western World and what will happen in the future, I have decided to use my skills to take a different approach to health consulting. I believe that if we can live sustainably in a way that is respectful and loving to our planet, we will in turn begin to reverse our health problems and perhaps even eradicate some of these ‘new’ lifestyle created diseases that do not need to exist.
“If you love something set it free,
If it comes back it is yours,
If it doesn’t , it never was.”
I used to think this quote was relevant for everything in life. BUT IT”S NOT! You can’t set your plastic wrappers free? They won’t just come back! The turtles will eat them first. And that’s not good people.