Plastic Free July

Knitting isn't going well these days. Actually I think I can safely say I've got knitters block. I was working on my son's Funky vest when I noticed a serious mistake about 55 rows further down. Oh no! I thought I could sort it out without opening everything up again, but realised very late that that isn't the case. It so depresses me that I have to open up that much again that I put the whole thing aside. I know the feeling will go away and until such time - and the warm weather isn't an incentive for knitting for colder days anyway - I do other things.


I pledged to do Plastic Free July because Siobhan, my lovely colleague and friend, partners in crime (in a positive sense of course) on the Department of Sociology Green Team, practically coerced me into it by forwarding me the confirmation email from the Australian Marine Conservation for her own pledge. Just to make my life that much more difficult after having given up eating free sugar. But what is giving up things in my life against the oceans getting dirtier and dirtier, which would ultimately kill me and the rest of the Planet?

When it comes to using plastic I'm not a saint. I do use a fabric bag for shopping and transporting my lunch to work. Indeed, wherever I go it goes with me, just in case I need a bag. I dom't use plastic bottles for drinking water. And I only very rarely buy tea and coffee on the go (those paper mugs have a thin plastic lining on the inside). But otherwise it looks pretty bad.

I make at home and bring in my lunches most times but sometimes I either run out of time in the morning or have forgotten to go shopping. In these cases I tended to buy ready-made salads in plastic bowls from the supermarket. Well, not anymore. That takes a bit of organisation and preparing food the evening before when I know I won’t have much time in the morning, but it has turned out not to be too difficult. I have found I quite enjoy pottering about in the kitchen in the evening preparing my lunch. It takes out the hurry of the morning.

I also try to buy more stuff without plastic packaging. It’s relatively easy to do for fruit and veg, but other things are simply not available without plastic packaging, and if they are available without plastic packaging it has a very detrimental effect on my budget… and life in Cambridge isn't cheap. A realisation that has knocked me a bit. An unpackaged shop in Cambridge would be nice but we do not have one, well, not that I know of (if anyone in Cambridge is looking for a business idea, this is it). So, for this month I aim for a reduction in plastic packaging and see how that goes and what is possible in the future.

But I don’t want to end on a not so positive note. Two weeks ago a friend of mine gave me a fabric bag from Kyrgyztan (above). It’s very spacious, but it didn’t have an inside zipable pocket so I inserted one. I now use it as my handbag, but it would also serve well as a shopping bag.