Archives for posts with tag: environmental

It is undeniable that this ‘no plastic’ challenge is, well, a bloody heck of a challenge!
It has changed the way I live my life and truly opened up my eyes. I feel like Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense…only its not dead people I’m seeing…its plastic!
From takeaway food to coffee on the go, single use plastics have a really sneaky way of wheedling their way into our hands. It is a MIND BOGGLING battle which has me perpetually on my toes!

My little sister told me recently that she has been taking her own bags to the supermarket (like a trooper) and trying her hardest to go plastic free. She mentioned that even though her bag wasn’t plastic, everything in it was. She also mentioned that at times she felt hopeless in the face of this monstrous mission.
I have to admit that I too share in this hopelessness. BUT it is at this point that we should remind ourselves that what we are doing is AMAZING and part of something much bigger.

We are aware of this plastic pandemic which is the first step in combating the issue.
We are taking steps to break free and change our habits, whether it be using our own bags or refusing over packaged products. And most importantly we are inspiring each other to make the change.

I have noticed that this movement creates other positive chain reactions. For example, If I want chicken for dinner, I know that I can’t buy it from a supermarket. It will have been packaged to within an inch of its life so I have to look for a solution.  Say hello to my local butcher. I know that if I take my own lunchbox he will happily serve it to me minus any plastic. So there you have it, a triple win. The local butcher gains support and can continue to thrive, my meat comes from a healthy source free from hormones and my waste is ZERO. My point being; this is one person making one small step which created a whole lot of positive vibing!

Nice to meat you…

I believe in the power of an individuals actions, and as a wise man once said ‘99 is not 100’. Be that one person, even if it means looking like a lunatic! Remember that one less piece of plastic going to landfill is EXCELLENT news.
(And don’t feel too terrible if the fish and chip man sneaks in some plastic cutlery when your back is turned!)

Thank you for trying. You are my heroes x

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SOOOO…shampoo’s and conditioners come in plastic bottles and seeing as I recently took the vow, under oath: Thou shalt not buy any new plastics...I’ve been searching for an alternative like a demon! I mean, I’m all for the cause and I could suffer for my art, if I wanted to, and I’m definitely feeling the environmentalist vibes but I’m not sure that I’m ready to stop washing altogether!
I wondered to myself “what did folks do before the days of Vidal Sassoon and Herbal Essences”? We take it for granted nowadays, the market is saturated with ridiculous concoctions and we are constantly reminded through TV commercials how bloody important it is to keep those tresses primped and preened!! So, feeling curious I gave myself a quick history lesson in shampoos through the ages! (in no particular order)

DANG! My hairs like wire bloody wool!

GLADIATORS READY?!

Apparently Ancient Romans viewed shampooing as a bit of chore so very rarely did it. They had far more important things to be doing such as watching Gladiators kill each other in grizzly fashion, or re-writing history to suit their own political needs, or engaging in illicit sexy times with family members. However, when/if they did wash their hair they would use an attractive mixture of animal fats and ashes. This heady mix was so harsh that many would have been walking around with hair do’s resembling a used Brillo pad! Because of this most people would simply shave their heads.  The elite and privileged would then don elaborate wigs and headdresses.

GAME OF THRONES

If you were unlucky enough to be born a peasant during medieval times chances were you would probably NEVER wash your hair. This would be the last thing on your mind seeing as you were living a slave existence and spent your whole life working your filthy fingers to the bone JUST to pay your wages to the church and lords in taxes. The fear of hell-for-your-sins was so deeply terrorized into them by the church that they just got on with it, filthy hair and all without so much as a murmur! In fact during these grim times you would probably experience only two baths in your entire existence, one at birth and one when you carked it!

WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN

The Egyptians on the other hand were incredibly vain, they would style their hair with animal fat based products to enhance appearance and really show off their individuality, not really washing as such, but damn they would have looked good! Even after death their loved ones would maintain their ‘do’…because who wants to walk into the afterlife with a bad hair day?! Mummified remains have been found with impeccably preserved hair in a whole range of trendy styles.

OOOOOH, your hairs dead shiny!

Back to the mission in hand…after months of brewing in my dungeon and testing on my own poor tresses I think I may have found the solution! Its plastic free and entirely devoid of any harsh chemicals, double win! This is a recipe that even the Romans might have used it’s so EASY!

SHAMPOO RECIPE

Now listen carefully, this is the scientific bit, just one magical ingredient…Bicarbonate of Soda. That’s it. WOAH MAMMA, stone the crows, it’s a miracle!

METHOD

Stir 1 heaped tsp of bicarb into a mug of warm water, take to the shower/bath with you. Wet your hair, pour the mixture over your hair and massage in to your scalp as usual. Don’t be alarmed by the lack of suds, contrary to popular belief bubbles DON’T make things cleaner!

CONDITIONER RECIPE

2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a large mug of warm water

METHOD

Pour the mixture slowly over your hair, it works like a rinse. Avoid eye contact!! I leave it in for a few minutes before rinsing. This shit is the BOMBDIGGITY!

Shiny disco ball…

Your hair will be more shiny than a teenagers t zone and more dazzling than John Travolta’s false teeth.  People will literally have their minds blown out of their skulls in sheer wonderment, be careful where you point it!

Tip #1 – use luke warm water to rinse, this helps with shine and doesn’t frazzle your hair.

Tip#2 –  it takes about a week for your hair to rid itself of the previous products and chemicals found in conventional shampoos.  Whilst you go through this transition your hair may feel heavy and greasy,  give it a chance to settle before you give up hope! Healthy, shiny and chemical free hair is worth the wait, I promise!

Fact; most modern shampoos are made with synthetic components, whilst your hair appears to be healthy and sleek, it is actually more of a man-made shine. These chemicals aren’t particularly good for you or the environment.

EGGSTRA-ORDINARY DEEP CONDITIONING RECIPE

1 egg, beaten (more depending on your hair length or the amount of heads you plan to smother)
2 TBS of extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

  • Mix the egg and olive oil together in a bowl
  • Wet you hair
  • Smooth on the mixture
  • Wrap your head in a towel and leave for 20 minutes
  • Wash off under luke warm water, any hotter could result in scrambled eggs…in your hair. NOT, I repeat NOT the desired effect!

* I use the egg conditioner a couple of times a month just to give my tresses a little eggy treat. Any more shine and I could be considered a public liability, people would literally be dazzled blind!

My plastic collection so far is modest, not bad at all I’d say. But every now and again I will admit I do fall upon the odd failure.
My biggest fail to date occurred at an impromptu feasting session. Myself and a friend were invited to fill spaces at a food tasting event…on a boat…on Sydney harbor…with free wine! How could we refuse?!

Unfortunately the food cruise dream quickly descended into a plastic nightmare! Most samples came served in tiny plastic cups and as friendly sales people loomed over me , long arms stretching towards me brandishing plastic spoons and bowls and cups of delicious looking fayre, I shied away as if they had offered me baby vomit or nuclear waste. The sales people were visibly confused by my reaction and dejectedly sniffed at their offerings checking for off meat or hairs dangling out.

(This is a slightly dramatised version of reality, in truth I ate everything I could get my greedy paws on as long as it wasn’t served in plastic. I caved in to a free sample of exotic spices on the way out. It tasted great and I was dazzled by the marketing, what can I say? I’m weak, sometimes!)

 

THE OFFENDING ITEMS;

Not so bad, most of it is merely the remnant of a former life; old razor cartridges, cleaning product bottles which broke before I could reuse and the wrappers from dishwasher tablets which we are STILL getting through!
New items include the packet which contained 50 envelopes, I had to post wedding invitations home and couldn’t find then loose. The wrapper from a jar of Jalepenos, wrapper on a jar?! What madness! The offending spice packaging which was actually bags within bags…NAUGHTY.

Have you ever wondered what toothpaste really is? What’s the secret ingredient that makes your gnashers shine like stars? What makes that sweet foaming action? And how your breath stays so minty fresh? As my project continues I am discovering more and more about what goes into the products which I use every day and this week my challenge came in plastic tube form; TOOTHPASTE!


Looking at the list of ingredients my mind boggles; what the hell is titanium dioxide?! Or PVM/MA copolymer?! Doing the only thing I know  in these situations, I Googled it!  It turns out that most of these unprenouncables are pretty undesirable too, and most definitely NOT what I want in my gob! The list ranges from white paint to washing detergent (to get that good old frothy feeling) and a gluey type substance to stick it all on your teeth. Yum! Suddenly the good old friendly toothpaste starts to look rather ominous.


In light of these discoveries this week my housemates became (willing) human guinnea pigs! Our bathroom is slowly filling up with an assortment of jars full of curious looking powders, pastes and scrubs and I found a simple recipe for a homemade and natural toothpaste…


HOW TO MAKE COCONUT OIL TOOTHPASTE (enough for a week)

  • 3 table spoons of pure cold pressed coconut oil
  • 3 table spoons of ordinary Bicarb of soda
  • 3/4 drops of essential oil (I chose peppermint for its minty freshness!)

That’s it! It’s so easy!  Just mix the equal parts coconut oil and baking soda in a bowl with the essential oil. I then transferred mine into a old jar (sterilised) and have been using a mini butter knife to scoop it onto my toothbrush.

In all honesty the flavour takes a bit of getting used to, without the froth and the sweetener the vibe is totally different but just knowing that the ingredients are natural and that I beat the plastic tube makes the victory all the sweet that I need! What’s more our teeth are clean and after a week most of the house are converted! No more painty teeth, no more plastic!

So my first week of plastic free living has proved a lot easier than expected. Having perused my own cupboards and witnessed the overwhelming amount of packaging in the supermarkets I was feeling a looming sense of trepidation, I realised that I had fully committed to this cause and had very little idea what I was getting myself into! But then what is life without a good adventure? I feel alive! I’m on fire! A raging ball of environmental activism is burning within me! I’m ready for action and armed to the teeth with my reusable items and as I set out on my shopping trip I am filled with a real sense of purpose; its not just about choosing dinner now…this means BUSINESS!

My first challenge of the day was the butchers shop, and when I say challenge, this is a wild dramatisation! The staff in the shop were more than happy to help me on my quest; they put my meat into my own reusable tub and even sold me their own stash of grated Parmesan because the regular stuff was vacuum sealed in plastic. It almost seemed too easy! As I babbled my story like a crazed lunatic they listened with friendly intrigue, the fact that I was doing something different was a great conversation starter and I felt like I had passed on my message without even trying. I left the butchers with a deep sense of satisfaction…

Amy 1 – Plastic 0!

The trickiest challenge actually came when I went shopping at the supermarket on the hunt for a pasta dinner. Have you ever tried to find a bag of pasta which isn’t made of plastic? It’s virtually impossible! In the end I decided to bite the bullet and make my own, like momma used to make! So here’s my incredibly complex recipe;
2 cups of flour and 2 eggs. Boom.
Method; Mix the flour and eggs together until doughy…

Knead the dough until it feels elastic, leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes wrapped in a damp cloth, roll out the dough and slice into something which resembles Linguini! Some people like to use a rolling pin or pasta maker,  call me crazy but I used a wine bottle.

The fact that I was making my own pasta had inspired me so much that I also made my own pesto and the fact that I was doing all this creating compelled my house mate Deb to purchase a beautiful bottle of wine! It was like a circle of tasty joy was forming! The final product may have looked a little lumpy but it tasted delicious, and as we sat stuffed and rosy cheeked from the wine I felt that happy feeling of satisfaction creeping back in. Another sweet (and tasty) victory for Amy.
As I slowly use up the plastic products which were purchased prior to my mission, I will find new ways to live, minus the plastic wrapping.  I feel like my eyes are open and there’s no turning back. This new challenge has my blood pumping and it feels great!
*Last weeks plastic waste; 1 x plastic bag!! I KNOW! EPIC FAIL! was so busy feeling amazed at a sale price that I momentarily forgot my mission! 1 Blueberry box, 2 x cosmetic containers (purchased prior to mission) 2 x dishwasher tablet packets, 1 juice lid (Tommie) 1 x Chai tea packet. Not bad for the first week! There is hope yet!