Monday, 2 July 2018

Things We've Done To Be Greener In ... June

Another month, another chance to think about the little things I've done to be more eco-friendly. I can see this monthly feature becoming harder to write as time goes on as actually, most of the green things we've done this month are a continuation of previous months. It's been a brilliant month for line drying, with the tumble dryer getting a much needed rest. My 'no poo' efforts are ongoing and I am planning to write more on the subject when I've finally cracked it - or given up entirely! We're still taking full advantage of the ability to take our own containers to the supermarket to buy meat, and use paper bags for fruit and veg.

But there have been a couple of things this month that I haven't mentioned before ...

Making our own lollies

When the weather started to heat up, we stocked up on shop-bought lollies, but I soon started to feel guilty about the wastefulness of it. We were throwing away plastic wrappers daily and I'm still unclear on what to do with wooden lolly sticks - are they compostable? Recyclable? I've got enough craft sticks without hoarding lolly sticks for all those activities we'll never do!!

So I dug out our lolly moulds and made simple fruit juice lollies. It's cheaper, less wasteful and means if we run out I can make more. (Which I'm having to do at least every other day in this heatwave!!) It does mean that we're getting through a lot of juice though. I might have to look at other recipes.

Oh and one related thing - I made blackcurrant sorbet out of a huge bag of blackcurrants we'd had in the freezer for ages! They were from our garden so zero food miles (except for the sugar), and I used a reusable container. I'm a culinary disaster zone so felt very proud that I'd managed to make it, and it was delicious!

Signed up to TerraCycle

You know that meme that was going around about the Crayola marker recycling scheme? It kept popping up on my social media feeds, shared by people in the UK, and I was getting increasingly annoyed by this as it's a North American scheme only! But in finding that out, I also found a website called TerraCycle, which does have a writing instruments recycling scheme. It's only available for schools though, so I couldn't sign up myself. But I have mentioned the scheme to a relative who works for an academy chain, so hopefully I'll be able to palm off my old felt tips to them soon!!

One scheme I could sign up for is the Cracker and Biscuit Wrapper Recycling Programme. I keep meaning to reduce my snack waste by doing more baking but realistically I don't have the time to keep the supply up - I basically live on biscuits. So this is one scheme that will assuage my guilt about my biscuit habit until I can either get it under control or start baking more regularly. So I signed up! I'm now collecting biscuit wrappers in a big padded envelope, ready to be sent off for free whenever it's full. There are a few other schemes open to individuals, and others with public collection points, so have a look at the website to see how you can recycle more stuff!

So I may not done a lot of new stuff this month but every little helps. A couple of people have mentioned Plastic Free July to me and, while I don't think I can quite commit to that, I will be doing what I can to reduce my plastic use further this coming month. Are you taking part?