Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Kitchen - Stock Check

If you thought the bathroom was full of plastic you'll be amazed at how much plastic you can force into one (rather disorganised) cupboard under the kitchen sink.

The List...

Things I rather like
  • Ecover ecological washing up liquid x 3 litres
  • Sainsburys Biological Gel Capsules x 900 ml (I know these aren't very good for my task but when my pain levels are high I find these a life saver - no fiddling around with arms that wont work trying to fill the washing machine drawer up with powder)
  • Flash Power Mop Cleaning Liquid x 2 litre (another huge life saver on the cripple front, it's so light and easy to use)
  • Flash Power Mop cleaning pads (see the cripple excuse above)
Things I could live without
  • Bleach x 2 litres
  • CIF oven cleaner x 500 ml
  • W5 bathroom cleaner x 1 litre
  • Grout Cleaner x 500 ml (and adding it here isn't just an excuse to avoid cleaning the bathroom tiles)
  • Pledge Soap Cleaner For Wood x 1 litre
  • Mr Muscle Cleaner x 750 ml
  • Ecover Floor Soap x 1 litre
Things I don't use but haven't recycled yet
  • Ant stop x 600 ml (if the ants are brave enough to walk through my kitchen they deserve the cake!)
  • Sink Unblocker x 1 litre (it smells so nasty!)
This isn't my whole kitchen - this is just one cupboard! If you look around the rest of the room you will see lots more plastic - the fridge must be full of it. Most of this seems to be cleaning material - so it's a case of getting out the lemon and vinegar and cleaning like your great - grandma did! At least now my house wont smell of chemicals.

My two keeps for this room are the Ecover ecological washing up liquid and Sainsburys Biological Gel Capsules. When I've got everything else on track I will start coming up with alternatives for these. But until then I will keep them and hope that the energy I save in using them will mean I will have that extra bit of strength to work harder on the rest.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Easy Guide To Plastic Bottles

Many thanks to the BBC! They provide a wonderful list on this web page...


I'm finding their website very grown up but it is absolutely packed full of information!

Name: Polyethylene terephthalate
Known as: PET
Used in: Fizzy drink bottles and oven-ready meal trays.

Name: High-density polyethylene
Known as: HDPE
Used in: Bottles for milk and washing-up liquids

Name: Polyvinyl chloride
Known as: PVC
Used in: Food trays, cling film, bottles for squash, mineral water and shampoo

Name: Low density polyethylene
Known as: LDPE
Used in: Carrier bags and bin liners.

Name: Polypropylene
Known as: PP
Used in: Margarine tubs, microwaveable meal trays.

Name: Polystyrene
Known as: PS
Used in: Yoghurt pots, foam meat or fish trays, hamburger boxes and egg cartons, vending cups, plastic cutlery

This last category is used for all other plastics, such as melamine – often used in plastic cups and plates

Bathroom - The Stock Check

The bathroom seems to have plastic hidden in every corner. Is it really necessary to have so much plastic packaging on everything?

The List....

Things I rather like
  • Plastic tooth brushes x 3 (one electric, two manual)
  • Toothpaste x 3
  • Deodorant x 1
  • Tube of gel for my TENS machine pads
  • First aid box full of plastic wrapped things of joy
  • Bag of cotton buds (can't think of a non plastic alternative for these!)
  • Plastic lid on my tube of pain killing muscle rub
  • Shampoo x 3 bottles. I'm not sure I have much confidence on a "natural" make your own method working on my hair.
Things I could live without
  • Sanitary liners x 1 box
  • Plastic box containing plastic wrapped soap ducks x 1 (birthday present)
  • Plastic box containing vitamin D tablets (Vitamin D is said to improve energy levels in people with CFS - but there has to be a nicer way of getting ones D than trying to swallow huge tablets!)
  • Pack of wax strips (owwie!!)
  • Plastic Packaging containing 24 loo rolls (do you really need to wrap them in plastic?)
  • 345 cream. I'm sure there's something else out there!
  • Facial scrubs. There are loads of recipes for make your own cleaning products. I'd best get reading!
  • Body scrubs (smell nice, claim to make your skin tingle, don't help the environment with all that plastic wrapping!)
  • Bottle of body wash for the chemically sensitive (why not get rid of all chemicals and make your own?)
  • Bubble bath x 3 (makes bubbles and smells funny in the bath.... I can do that)
  • 6 plastic razors
  • Shaving gel (it has a plastic lid)
  • Mouthwash
  • Hairspray x 2 (plastic lid)
Things I don't use but haven't recycled yet
  • Plastic tube containing denture cleaning tablets (from when I wore braces!)
  • Hair gel
  • Hair removing lotion (used it, hated it, but didn't want to throw it away)
  • Nail polish remover (work ensures my nails are never suitable to be polished)
  • Baby lotion (used it when I had sensitive skin, it didn't help. Having a baby seems an expensive way to find a reason to use it)
  • Talc powder (what's wrong with a towel?)

Well there you go, welcome to my bathroom! Luckily I'm not about to run out of anything in there so all I have to worry about right now is how to recycle the plastic bottles as I empty them. If I had to choose two items to keep I would choose toothpaste and my toothbrush. I am very picky about what goes in my mouth and a good minty toothpaste just seems reassuring.

Everything else I am now looking for plastic free replacements, whether that be by making them myself or just finding another way around the matter - why use all those scrubs when soap will do the job? Does soap still come in paper packaging?

Does anything still come in paper packaging?

Monday, 6 October 2008

Useful Links


Bright, colourful, full of interesting articles... what more could a girl want?


Not as colourful as recyclenow but it seems packed full of articles that will prove useful. The BBC think of everything.


Which has just told me that my C02 emissions is 7.19 tonnes a year!! That sounds a lot! But the national average is 9.96 tonnes so while I should be feeling a little comforted the target is 5.74 tonnes per year so I've plenty to do yet! (Please note that the calculating machine asked no questions about recycling!)

Starting Blocks

My house is filled with plastic, it's more than likely that yours is too.

Looking in front of me I see two plastic ducks, a plastic cup (the kind used for small children to drink out of in the hope that they wont break anything too expensive when they drop their Ribena on your priceless white carpet), a plastic keyring, four pneumatic fittings with plastic ends, and my plastic safety sun glasses.

Am I shocked and horrified? Should I be punishing myself for having such a huge amount of future land fill?

Possibly but I'm not really into self harm.

The first thing to do when wanting to use less plastic is to look at what plastic you already have, taking one room at a time.

This evening (I can't walk far enough to make it worth going out tonight) I'll be doing a stock check of the bathroom (by the end of this my house will never have been so organised!) Because if I'm going to start looking to alternatives I'm going to need to know what I use... and importantly, what I'm about to run out of. No one likes running out of toilet roll, but as far as budgets are concerned no likes paying all that much for it either.

The second important thing to start reading up on is what plastic can be recycled, and for some - just where you can recycle it. I am unlucky in that (unlike my parents who live three miles away) my little recycling bin (that goes out with the regular bin and the "garden waste" bin) only recycles glass, tin cans and paper.

Wish me luck you never know what I might find in there!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

By Means Of An Introduction

It seems only fair that I save you a few clicks of the internet and introduce myself.

My name is Clara and has been since my parents announced me to the world. I work as a minion designing "pneumatic conveying systems" and when I have five minutes I plot how to take over the world using yogurt.

I am a Saint John Ambulance member, a partner to a wonderful chap, a cripple, and a lover of classic cars (I do apologise if you were expecting a tree hugging hippy who lives off unprocessed mushroom juice).

If you want to know more than I guess you'll just have to ask.