Negotiating a Non-Plastic Existence

Prototype sculptures for Psyfari Festival decor.

Prototype sculptures for Psyfari Festival decor.

The 3 ‘R’s.

You know them right? Reduce, Re-Use and Re-think.

Over the last 13 days I’ve been trying hard to re-think my relationship with waste and be plastic free, for July. To clarify, I still use plastic, but I avoid one-use only plastic. I’ve been making sculptures from PET bottles (seen above), and saying no to all those plastic bags we’re offered daily.

It’s much harder than I imagined, and last week I caved in a weak moment and a meal of Nachos at home sent me over the red line, with a PLASTIC bag of corn chips, hard cheese wrapped in the big P, and a PLASTIC tub of sour cream… I’m reusing the tub, but the one-use-only plastic wraps sadly went in the bin, along with my staunch resolve. So I lasted a week without Plastic with strict discipline, which is certainly not my strong point. The experience has fully opened my eyes to how much we as a community needlessly waste plastic, and has inspired me to continue to try to live as plastic-free as possible.

I’ve been able to purchase most ingredients from my local co-op in Enmore: Alfalfa House, and from another whole foods shop in Newtown: Naked Foods, which is expensive but delicious, and organic. I’ve been eating nuts like crazy, and making my classic breakfast muffins most days, so I can snack plastic and guilt free all day long. I’ve spent less on food than I usually do, because now I make most of it myself.

Naked Foods Newtown

Naked Foods Newtown

So it seems my love of food is the main factor to negotiate in this plastic-free life-style, and if you’re wondering, kebabs seem to be the most available take-away option. Although I now have to spend more time thinking about where to get my food from, as well as remembering to take my own bags and containers out with me, the silver lining is that I now eat food of excellent quality all the time, with most of it being fruit, vege and grains, and my health and happiness are reaping the benefits. I don’t think I’ve ever consistently eaten this well.

Last weekend I went away with a group of friends and to my surprise they had done a plastic free shopping trip, to include me in the culinary experiences. I was stoked, and super glad to see that I’d made an impact on a larger scale than just myself, already.

In conclusion, I’d like to add that I’m so glad butter comes in paper! This delicious lump of Pepe Saya is churned just around the corner from our workshop in Tempe. Mmmmm. Butter.