Last week was our half way mark in our rubbish free year. I just popped into the pharmacy to pick something up for a family member and was struck by how I wouldn’t be able to buy almost anything in the whole shop. And then I was stuck by how weird it is that living rubbish free has become ‘normal’ for us. Of course its not normal at all, odd that it feels that way. Odd that I just don’t need to buy, nor have any desire to buy things contained in plastic, or things that are themselves disposable or junky. We were aware that getting sick would be a major source of rubbish creation and so we have tried to keep ourselves fit, eating healthily, warm and non-stressed, believing that we would be unlucky to get ill if we looked after ourselves that carefully. And so far we haven’t been sick – apart from a cold, but it was easily dealt with with garlic, lemon and honey, lots of kiwifruit and oranges and lots of rest. When Jess got sick last week though, we didn’t muck around trying to find rubbish free alternatives, I am sure it would have been quite easy actually, but somehow it was different with her, I guess we didn’t know anything about how to deal with doggy stuff alternatively, and the track to the vet was well worn.
I guess the ‘event of the week’ if anyone could call it that, was the purchase of a rubbish free padlock. We had a combo one securing our garage and it stopped working, we suspect someone tried to break in. So the next day I raced down to the Wharehouse only to find their range entirely cocooned in plastic display cases hanging neatly, one by one, off hooks. This is pretty normal and we are used to trying multiple places before getting what we need, so next I headed to Smith City, found the same thing and then unsuccessfully tried a little locksmith stand in a mall. So then I put an ad on Freecycle (the web based free swap) but before someone could get back to me I happened to see a locksmith store and he had what I wanted: A padlock in a cardboard box. It wasn’t on display, he had to go out the back and dig around for it for about 2 minutes! What a lot of effort. Most people who hear what a palava we through ask why we don’t just dump the unwanted packaging with the retailer. I think that if we did do that it would still give a message, (that would hopefully get back to the manufacturers) but it would be a very different challenge. We could buy almost anything we wanted and not go to any effort to source alternatives; but we hope by choosing to be rubbish free at the point of sale, and by documenting it in our Rubbish Free Guide, we have forged a path for others to also be rubbish free comsumers.
By the way I have been experimenting with rubbish free herbal teas, try grated ginger root, honey and lemon. I make it in a pot and simply pour the contents through a sieve on its way to the cup. It is delicious, and must be very good for us too. If that sounds like hard work to you (which it really isn’t once you’ve done it couple of times) I think Twinings is the only brand with all recyclable packaging. Sometimes they look OK but have that plasticy foil inside… trick for young players.