I have had such a lovely weekend trying to live a slower more intentional life and focusing on less plastic while I was doing it. I think having that focus somehow made it more of an adventure.
I took Friday off because I have decided that life is about living and I should take advantage of the leave I have available to me. A long weekend is a very pleasant thing even without taking a trip.
Sleeping until your body says it’s time to wake up is soooo much nicer than hitting the snooze button 14 times and then rushing to get out the door. So that is how my long weekend started.
I spent some warm snuggly time in bed learning about my new iPhone camera and then had brekky out the back playing with the portrait feature. More practice required, he is a little blurry but who could resist those puppy dog eyes.
I did some errands, which resulted in me blowing my Plastic Free July pledge five days in.
A dead battery had slowed me down a little in a less pleasant way. After pushing the car down the hill to jump start it and swapping out the battery, the computer was giving me all kinds of odd readings. One relating to tyre pressure led to the purchase of a new tyre gauge.
Surprisingly there were none available without packaging but I am justifying this as a safety issue.
Then I totally failed to notice, when I bought a six kilo bag of dog food what it was wrapped in. I had loaded it in the car before it dawned on me.
No idea yet where to get quality dog food plastic free. I did google it hoping I could find something and return the bag but no success yet. Maybe I will just have to buy in larger lots to reduce the plastic. I wonder what size bag gives the best food to plastic ratio. If you have any ideas please leave a comment below.
Then I went to buy something special. This time recycled.
I have a covered back deck which I have turned into an outdoor library, like the kind you would find in a stately home (except tiny, and outdoors!). Think floor to ceiling bookshelves filled with favourite stories and souvenirs collected from travels or handed down from family. Leather club chairs and old fashioned lamps, the kind of place you would sip a scotch on the rocks from a crystal glass and listen to jazz music while staring into the fire.
The fire being the operative word here. A couple of weeks ago I found a very cute heater which was designed to look like a fireplace, complete with glowing coals and flickering flames. It made me laugh, it is completely cheesy but it was $40 in the op shop and I couldn’t help myself (not that I tried very hard).
But it looked too small in the space and needed a little something extra. Which I found in another recycled place. A cast iron fireplace surround.
I spotted it while shopping with a friend at The Bower, a reuse and repair centre. It was exactly what I was looking for but it would not fit in my friend’s car and we left it behind.
I knew though, by the flutter in my heart as I walked back into the store how disappointed I would be if it had sold, and the relief when I saw it still propped up against an old bike exactly where I had left it.
It’s gorgeous, I love it and I brought it home.
On Saturday we took a long walk with the dog down a previously unexplored bike path not far from my home and took the opportunity to play with my camera. Hence the photo of the bridge at the top of the post.
Then took jars to The Source Bulk Foods to buy plastic free staples. If you take your own containers they weigh them before and after filling them for accurate costing, or you can fill the paper bags they supply. I also received a free gold straw in their Plastic Free July promotion because I brought 3 of my own jars.
I never would have known that there are 3 large stores within 10km of my house I could do this in if I hadn’t gone looking.
Then it actually became a fun game trying to work out a romantic Saturday night dinner plastic free. A bit like a scavenger hunt with the bonus of feeling more engaged in my local community because I am taking the time to chat with people in shops, getting their ideas and asking for their help. It involved much more in-depth conversations with people than I ever would have anticipated.
Instead of buying a packet of water crackers I cut thin slices of homemade bread, toasted them with olive oil and spices to go with the brie I asked the local supermarket to wrap in paper instead of plastic. The gentleman who served us was completely happy to help and even provided us with tastings of a variety of cheeses. That has never happened to me in a supermarket before.
Instead of buying a premade dip I made hummus with tinned (are tins ok???) chick peas, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil (bought in a jar).
Served these with dried strawberries, cinnamon coated almonds (from the store I took the jars to) pistachios and quince paste (glass jar) on the cheeseboard I bought on the same day at the op shop (see, more recycling!!).
It looked fantastic and tasted delicious with the Shiraz (glass bottle – that one was easy).
Then chicken risotto (sadly chicken bought in plastic – apparently the shop can’t let me provide my own plastic container for that – more research necessary), mushroom (paper bag), chicken stock (tin), olive oil( jar), roasted pumpkin, sweet potato and peas (frozen pre July purchase – is that cheating?).
Then Sunday another sleep in. Coffee in bed made with the Barambah Organics milk my partner managed to find which is sold in glass bottles that can be returned to participating stores for washing and reuse.
Spent the afternoon listening to The Dan Barnett Big Band. Can’t tell you if they are plastic free. There was lots of brass though.