This year I’m taking part in Plastic Free July for the first time.
I’ve decided to take on the TOP 4 challenge, refusing single use plastic straws, plastic bottles, plastic bags & coffee cup lids.
The straws are easy as we swapped to stainless steel straws at home earlier in the year – and I can’t remember the last time we got a takeaway drink with a straw when we were out and about.
We’re also pretty good with keeping our stainless steel water bottles all topped up and ready in the cars.
There’s a stash of large and small reusable bags at the front door which we throw in the back of the car when we’re leaving – I do need to make some more fresh produce bags for myself though – I gave all my demo’s away as gifts last Christmas!
We’re not great at taking our reusable ceramic mugs out with us – especially if they’re not filled with a hot drink when we’re heading off, but we still don’t get take away coffees very often anymore – it was one of the traps of walking around to the shops back in the city but that’s not quite so simple now, here in the suburbs.
So when I announced to my husband and son at dinner that I’d like us all to participate in this challenge but with an extra twist, I could have sworn I saw them ‘exchange glances’ (wait – can a 2 year old even do that?)
The two main items we bring home in plastic are by far milk and bread. I would love to reduce our consumption of this packaging (afterall there’s only so many strawberry trees we can build!) With no sign of a resurgence of the classic Milk Man run on the horizon, where people would leave out their empty bottles for collection, I tried to find at least some glass options.
The only glass bottled milk I can recall is by Elgar Farms, I used to buy it at Passionfoods in South Melbourne but being further out of town there are no stockists to speak of.
La Latteria Deli in Carlton has just recently begun supplying dairy milk in customer’s glass containers but once again Carlton is a bit of a stretch for us distance wise.
So unless someone opens up a dairy around here sadly we’ll have to keep receiving plastic bottles with our milk.
That brings me to bread – with the encouragement of Tammy from Gippsland Unwrapped I decided to sew up some simple bread bags to take next time we’re shopping – at least I can anything from a bakery can come home in cloth bags! Oh and of course I get to sew too!
Using a large old souvenir tea-towel from the local op shop, I set about following the instructions from Tammy’s blog.
I was excited to find this one as there are a lot of special places on this map. We were married in the far north, dad lives on the Gold Coast and my sister and her family live in the south west.
The thick fabric feels like it will help keep the bread fresh.
The tea-towel was huge so after prewashing it I cut out 3 bags.
There’s just one issue – these artisan loaves of sourdough and olive bread fit in the bags fine, but the full length sandwich loaf I purchased from Baker’s Delight was too long meaning I couldn’t tie the bag closed.
I made the bags to the measurements of 11 x 15 inches, and added a tiny hem at the end, but they’re not quite long enough for the everyday loaf.
I haven’t decided whether to add a calico collar to these bags to lengthen them all or keep them for the artisan loaves and just make another set of bigger ones.