We are entering a new phase in our lives. Julie is back at University, and I have finished my work at TEAR. So my role is now driving the home-ship, while Julie get’s her Masters finished. Its a good thing to be doing. I probably won’t be doing much international development work for a bit. I think that is ok, though I’ll miss the community.
One challenge we (I) have set ourselves is to do without plastic. We watched a short video, as part of our family devotions (link is here: https://vimeo.com/25563376 ), and along with some encouragement from the TEAR office in my last week, who sent out this: http://hateandanger.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/plastic-detox-deplastify-your-life.jpg
1. stopped buying milk in plastic bottles. You can buy Bannister Downs milk in 1L bags, made from chalk (how do they do that??). It is more expensive, but it reflects the real cost of a plastic free life. Plastic just passes on that cost to the environment.
2. make our own yoghurt. There is a great instructable on how to do this faultlessly here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Yogurt-By-The-Gallon/
3. make our bread. We need about 6 loaves a week. I use a bread maker (free from Gumtree) to make the dough and cook it myself. I bake on Thursdays and Mondays, 3 loaves at a time.
4. Honey in bulk from our veggie shop. I took along a 5L container, they fill it and return it.
5. Rice, flour, etc in bulk sacks. Take all our own bags for fruit and veggies.
6. make our own muesli. This is a cinch. Oats, nuts, sultanas, coconut etc, in bulk, and bake it up. Make it go a bit further with some bulk purchased wheat flakes and puffed rice. My family can’t get enough of this.
What remains? hard to get pasta in bulk… I can only find it in poxy 500gm plastic bags. Coffee. I’ll need to go to the wholesaler. Cheese. I’m not up to making my own cheese yet. Eggs we have, from the chickens, but we eat meat and fish, and they tend to come pre wrapped, unless we start going wholesale… It is a bit more work than just going the easy plastic route. One other complication is the tradeoffs – if I buy fair trade coffee, it comes in 250gm bags, and we use a lot of coffee = a lot of bags. If I go to the wholesaler, they are a long drive away = a lot of driving. Doing all this = a lot of time….
Watch the film: https://vimeo.com/25563376 . Worth trying.