Plastic Free July Planning

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We’re just a couple of weeks away from Plastic Free July! The goal is to give up single-use plastics for the month. Generally, people choose a few swaps they want to pay close attention to during the month so they end up being a habit afterwards. Fewer single-use disposables means less trash or recycling to deal with. It means fewer resources needed for making single-use containers. Less petroleum needed to be extraced from the earth. Less plastic ending up in the ocean. And more. plasticfreejuly.org has all the info.

If you’re new to PFJ, they propose the TOP 4 to look out for: plastic bags, water bottles, takeaway coffee cups and straws. Ready to sign up for the challenge? Sign up for a weekly email with tips, tricks, and support throughout.

Since I’ve tackled the TOP 4 in a previous challenge, I’ll be tackling some custom goals for my Plastic Free July. You may notice these are all food-related challenges since that’s what I purchase most frequently.

  1. Quit bagged popcorn
  2. Make milks
  3. Make veggie burgers
  4. Make pasta

Goal 1: Quit Bagged Popcorn

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Plastic-free popcorn?

At the office, there are dispensers of already popped delicious popcorn. With a reusable bowl, it might seem at first glance to be a plastic free-indulgence. But then you figure out where it came from…

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Double-bagged in plastic and plastifoil 😦

At this point I’m an addict. I eat several bowls of this popcorn a day, even though I know it goes against my less plastic goals. For Plastic-Free July I’ll have to bring more alternative snacks to the office to help me quit this cold turkey. A month without this stuff should cure my unhealthy addiction too.

Goal 2: Make Milks

I buy alternative milk for my husband from the grocery every week. And it generally comes in those stupid part-plastic / part-cardboard / part-foil bottles. Worse than most plastics, they’re not at all recyclable and by weight are probably half of what ends up in our kitchen trash bin.

So, the goal is to not buy any such milks in July. Instead I can try my hand at making oat milk, rice milk, pecan milk, almond milk, or whatever other varieties look promising. This one will take some investigation.

Goal 3: Make Veggie Burgers

Not bean burgers. Not mushroom burgers. But burgers filled with all kinds of delicious garden veggies to add something new to my repertoire. A few burgers for immediate consumption and some for the freezer for my husband’s burger fix. This will swap out one of the vegan “meat” products that I buy for my hubby (in plastic) each week.

Goal 4: Make pasta

Okay, this one is a stretch. Not sure if I’ll get this far. But we regularly buy pasta in plastic bags because to the best of my knowledge there is no bulk pasta available here in Austin. (If you know of such a thing, please let me know. Then this goal will be updated to try out some bulk pasta instead.)

I won’t use a pasta stretcher or anything elaborate. There are lots of instructions online about simpler pastas to make. It’s worth trying at least one time.

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5 thoughts on “Plastic Free July Planning

  1. Raisa June 17, 2016 / 6:30 am

    Challenge accepted! I know already I can’t do it 100% (I’m getting more ink done on the 2nd of July and that means I’ll be using more saran wrap in just few days than I use throughout the entire year) but I’ll try my hardest! I don’t really use plastic bags, or straws or any of the top 4 stuff but plenty of foods packaged in plastic. I need to come up with a way to get rid of that. This is going to be fun! Challenges are fun!

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  2. Deborah Ray June 18, 2016 / 10:08 am

    Glad to hear you’re taking up the challenge, Raisa! I won’t be 100% plastic free either, but I can definitely reduce and get to try making more of my own delicious food in the process.

    Like

  3. Lindsay (Treading My Own Path) June 22, 2016 / 8:45 am

    Woah, woah, woah… you have a popcorn dispenser at work?! That’s craziness! (Unless you work in a cinema. Do you work in a cinema?!) I would be tempted too!

    Tip for DIY nut milk – start with cashew milk. It’s the easiest one of all because, as there’s very little fibre, there is no need to strain. Simply soak 1 cup cashews for a few hours, rinse and then blend with 4 cups water. Job done. Plus because it’s high in fat it tastes delicious. And it doesn’t separate as some others do. Works amazingly well in coffee. Almond milk is the one you see a lot, but you need to strain and there’s so much pulp, and then you have to figure out what to do with that. So start simple!

    PS I’ve made lots of other milks if you want advice or opinions on any. Plus seeds work well too – pumpkin seed milk is delicious!

    Good luck with Plastic Free July!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Deborah Ray June 22, 2016 / 12:48 pm

      Thanks for the advice about the milks, Lindsay! I’ll probably just stay away from the almond milk for now.

      No, I don’t work at a cinema. 🙂 I work for a software company. We’re spoiled a bit with things like popcorn and sodas, and my desk is super close to the break room.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lindsay (Treading My Own Path) June 23, 2016 / 5:05 am

        The last place I worked, once I’d given my notice in I was relegated to the kitchen (there was a desk in there, bizarrely). Right next to the fridge! Not a good move… I ate so much cake those last few weeks!

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