Day 1: I made the plunge and decided to participate in Plastic Free July. Read my post on why I decided to take part in Plastic Free July.
Day 2: Today I also both emailed and twitter tagged some local businesses to ask them to take part in Plastic Free July. I also successfully remembered to ask for no straw please in my Margarita.
Day 3: My first county fair! I brought a zerowaste pack with me to the county fair because I wasn’t sure what to expect. The fair had its good and bad points. Good: all the food packaging at the food trucks were compostable and the fair organisers had a huge number of compost and recycling bins available. There were water refill stations for my water bottle and all of the carnival rides were clean energy powered and Marin County Fair prides itself on being the greenest county fair on Earth. Bad: the way the food trucks were set up it wasn’t possible to get my food served with my own container so I went with the best option available a hotdog in a paper compostable wrapper. For an agricultural fair I was a little disappointed in the food choices as there were hardly any vegetarian or healthy options.
Day 4: My first fourth of July living in the United States was fun and of course we went to a BBQ. I brought all of our salads in reusable containers. I brought my own cutlery, glass and napkin but should have remembered to bring a plate or container to eat from. We used paper plates but they weren’t composted. The meat and burger buns also came in plastic packaging. I think it’s perfectly possible to have a plastic free and near zero waste BBQ but I need to plan better next time. It’s a learning process.
Day 5: Today was almost a success. I absentmindedly bought a chocolate bar without even thinking about the wrapper. Also my vegetable delivery arrived but even though I thought I hadn’t ordered anything that comes in plastic bags the kale was wrapped up in plastic. It’s an annoying situation where the vegetables sold are not acceptable to supermarkets so it saves a lot of food waste, but it produces a small amount of plastic waste that I usually avoid by buying loose veg in the supermarkets. I emailed the company and asked them to consider using compostable plastic wrappings or none at all.
I was successfully single use plastic free today! I needed to stock up on supplies of grains, nuts, shampoo etc so I made a mega visit to Rainbow Grocery with my jars. I filled a jar with chocolate to avoid anymore unnecessary plastic wrappers. I also bought travel size reusable bottles and filled them from the bulk shampoo and conditioner section for my trip.
Day 7: A plastic free day but I turned up to my favourite lunch place and there was a massive queue for tables – we decided to get takeaway but instead of my sandwich being wrapped in compostable paper it was in a non-compostable shiny paper box (unusual for San Francisco). On the bright side my Friday night was a beer in a pint glass straight from a keg, an art gallery opening, and a gorgeous dinner with real silverware and napkins with some wonderful new friends.
Week 1 tally:
Plastic Free Days – 5/7
Zerowaste Days – 3/7
Lessons of this week – Sometimes plastic free or zero waste is easy, sometimes it is not. It’s important not to get too worked up about the mishaps and learn from experience. I’m coming up with a plan for the next BBQ, I’ve bought bulk chocolate to avoid plastic wrappers, I know not to get takeout from that cafe.
Next week will bring much more challenges as I tackle airports and a four day bus tour around Ireland!