Plastic Free July 2018 – Day 6

Plastic free July Day 6

13. Salt packet.
14. Kome Koji packet.

I am making millet miso (bag from day 4). It needs salt and koji. Salt bought in a package is cheaper ($3.50/500g) than from the bulk goods store Alfalfa House, who are also shut at the time that I can buy the salt. The koji I bought last year. I am a bit scared about reusing the koji packet in case I accidentally inoculate something else with aspergillus oryzae. The salt packet I can reuse until the ‘zip’ part breaks.


Plastic Free July 2018 – Day 5

I put out steel forks, regular porcelain plates and cups out for a morning tea event at work with a #choosetorefuse #plasticfreejuly sign. I did not remove the option plastic plates and forks, but gave people a reusable option to choose from. I then went off to get my morning coffee using my reusable cup.

In my absence… my reusable plates and cutlery were removed.

I cry a little inside.

Plastic Free July 2018 – Day 4

I was doing so well. Then I went out to dinner, and forgot to ask for NO STRAW.

So my drink arrived with a straw (12).

I gave a little cry, my dining companion removed the straw from my glass and put it in theirs.

Then the waitress gave a little cry and said “oh, did I forget to give you a straw?”.

I explained that I was doing plastic free July, how I had my own steel straw, and how perhaps instead of givings straws out “as the norm”, perhaps serving drinks without a straw? Apparently customers can chuck a bit of a tanty if they don’t get their straw.

Turtle meets straw. Horrible.

The waitress at least had heard of Plastic Free July movement and said that they were investigating paper straws.

But what about … no straw at all?

Plastic Free July 2018 – Day 3

Plastic free July Day 3

This is getting bad. I’m already at 11 pieces of plastic and its only day 3.

8. Medical ID bracelet.
9. Sandwich container from the provided lunch. But I did use my own reusable cup when I was asked if I would like a cup of tea.
10. Zip lock bag that contained millet. This has been sitting in my cupboard for several years. I’ll use it to get flour or beans from the bulk goods store, Alfalfa house.
11. Plastic bag that contained spinach greens bought from the farmers market.
These were pre-weighed/pre-proportioned and already in the bag. Perhaps I could have put the spinach greens in a paper bag, but would the stallholder re-use the plastic? Unlikely. They did have a stash of “boomerang” reusable shopping bags (unfortunately made of synthetic material).

Plastic Free July 2018 – Day 2

I wanted to make grandmother’s tofu mapo tofu for dinner, but I was struck by a dilemma.

Do I buy fresh tofu in a tube made of soft plastic; in a box made of a combo of hard plastic and soft plastic lid; or
Do I buy shelf stable tofu which comes in a possibly aluminium lined cardboard package?

Which has least impact upon the environment? Does the tetra pak even get recycled in Australia?

I came up with an idea – make chickpea (flour) tofu, and there was an Indian shop nearby that sells some bulk goods. Unfortunately, they don’t sell besan flour/chickpea flour out of the bulk goods bins, only in a plastic wrapper. There is no paper bag alternative. I don’t have time for a two hour round trip into the bulk goods store in the city. Although I think I have soy flour, I have seen some webpages saying that making tofu from soy flour has a gritty unpleasant texture.

Plastic Free July Day 2

4. Chickpea flour wrapper. The plastic bag has the word “hygenic” written on it.
5. Tomato paste wrapper. It’s made from a foil/plastic combo. 50g portion, I don’t have to store the rest of the jar in the fridge-with-no-space like I would if I bought a glass jar. Sigh.
6. Takeaway container from a thai mung bean dessert. Purchased in June, finished in July. But it’s so tasty! And I have tried to make it myself and it wasn’t as nice! (There is no option to bring your own container). No more thai desserts for me for July. I will reuse this container.
7. Soap wrapper. In June, I supported a small business by buying their little soap product at a community market. I should ask them to think about using paper wrapping (or no wrapping!) in future.

Oh! But I managed to buy my pork mince in a resused plastic takeaway container!:

Plastic free July Day 2

Okay, so I don’t think the high school kid behind the counter had done any food safety handling courses, and he sort of handed me my change with a meat smeared glove …. but that’s one plastic bag less, right?

Plastic Free July 2018 – Day 1

Plastic Free July Day 1

Not a good start to the plastic free July pledge.

1. The big zip lock bag I washed and dried and it will be reused.

2. I had a porterhouse steak that came in some shrink wrapped plastic – a combo of both hard & soft plastics. Admitedly, I purchased this in June but consumed in July. Actually, this is probably the habit that will be the hardest to change, the ease & convenience of buying meat from the supermarket; and then the general resistance from the butcher of me trying to use a re-usable container.

3. The last piece, on the right, looks like it came off a magazine subscription. It was used to bundle up some shea butter and cocoa butter that I got through a swap. So it was on its second usage.

Crop Swap July 2018

There was a crop swap event for July organised at a permaculture garden. Unusually for a crop swap event, lunch was provided, as long as you brought along your own bowl & cutlery.

For lunch we had scones with jam & cream; corn & basil soup with toasted flatbread with olive oil/thyme/dill/salt; three bean stew; red cabbage and coconut oil; egg free chocolate cake. It was all very delicious, and a lovely way to spend a winter afternoon.

Swaps out



These are oranges that I have been taking from my neighbour’s tree. I don’t think they know food grows on trees.

(L-R) Jun, Kombucha Scobies, kimchi

Fermented swaps

I finally remembered to bring along a bottle of jun as a swap. The Kombucha scoby was for a direct swap for some beeswax wraps. The vegan kimchi was a variant on the food scrap kimchi, but this version had smoked garlic instead on regular garlic.

Swaps In.



How pretty is this? It almost looks like a bouquet. I snipped off the outer leaves & stems to stir fry; and planted the rest: Hopefully it will grow!

Aniseed Mrytle, Kasundi, Water Kefir crystals.

Aniseed Mrytle, kasundi, water kefir

Homemade Kasundi! How could I say no? I asked for some water kefir crystals, as I think I might have killed my current coconut water batch while I was away on holidays

Beeswax wraps.

Beeswax wraps

These are made with 100% beeswax; rather than with jojoba oil, coconut oil or pine resin. A wonderful swap – although I have bees, and beeswax, I’ve never actually managed to make wraps on my own.

It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, swapping and having lovely conversations with like-minded people.