I’ve been trying to reduce my waste and impact on the planet, for more than a year. After hearing stories, such as #trashisfortossers, and getting involved with climate changes issues, I started making some changes.
First, I decided to only buy groceries at LPG, a 100% organic supermarket in Berlin that cares where their food comes from. You pay a monthly fee to help them support local producers.
I’ve also started consuming less in general. Being more mindful about my choices. That’s when I entered the world of organic, vegan, and sustainable clothing.
However, although I recycled and tried to go packaging-free with most items, I’m still far from being waste-free. When I heard Jonathan’s interview, something clicked. For good.
Which brings me to this video:
I discovered this project through Beth Terry’s book Plastic-free, and I can’t describe how incredibly powerless and sad I felt after seeing this. And ashamed.
So, I’ve decided to change dramatically. Since March I’ve been trying to reduce packaging as much as possible and go at least 80% plastic-free (in new purchases). I started with a budget of 4 packaged items per week, and reduced further as I went on.
A big part of it is food packaging but also cleaning products, make-up, body lotions… Our addiction to plastic is so overwhelming that the list seems to go on forever. But the good news is: it’s definitely possible. It’s something I do have the power to change. It’s in my hands.
Now, 8 months later, I’m happy to report that my plastic consumption has indeed reduced. When it comes to food packaging, I’m not completely plastic-free. There are a few items that after a few attempts of making my own, I wasn’t satisfied with the result and the extra costs.
One of them is milk. I’m currently using Libuni. They sell these little Tetra Packs that contain a concentrated starting point for you to make your rice milk. You can choose to make 0.5, 1, or 2L – that’s up to you. How do you do it? Just mix it with water!
So yes, this is still a lot of packaging. However, one order will last for at least 6 months. And with that I’ve reduced 75% of the packaging, when compared with the conventional 1L TetraPacks of milk sold in stores.
The other item is soy yogurt. My apartment just doesn’t seem to handle fermentation well. So every now and then I buy a big carton from Provamel that lasts me for almost two weeks.
You can see my plastic-free diary (ahah, how cute is that) here. Although I don’t update it weekly, it does have a few tips and useful information on how to reduce your plastic consumption. But my best advice is: just be aware. You don’t need to be radical. In the beginning I almost panicked every time I saw something with plastic. It’s all about balance and doing what you can.
So I’ll leave you with two places I believe really make the difference when it comes to reduce your food packaging. One in Berlin and one in Lisbon.
In Berlin, we have Unverpackt. They are 100% organic and sell everything in bulk without any plastic. Sometimes I wish they had more variety, but still, this place had a huge impact on my decision.
And in Lisbon, it’s the lovely Maria a Granel. I’m really proud to say that their variety is incredible. You can find everything from seaweed to dried blueberries. I believe they are also organic and, really, their team couldn’t be nicer. Every time I’m in Lisbon, I make sure to stop there.
My first giveaway
As a reward to you for reading all this, but also to encourage you to start thinking about your choices, I’m hosting my first giveaway! I’ve teamed up with Eskay Essentials to offer you my favorite deodorant. This giveaway is open to all of Europe. All you have to do is:
- Like my Facebook and/or Instagram pages
- Like Eskay’s Facebook and/or Instagram pages
- Tell me in comments below why you’d like to get one of these!
This will run until the end of next week, December 18th 2016. Good luck!
And to finish I’d like to say that as a vegan, if I wasn’t doing this for anything else, it would be for this:
“My initial motivation for getting off my plastic diet was concern for the well-being of animals. I couldn’t stand that products we used and tossed for the sake of convenience were causing harm to other creatures.” — Betty Terry