Monday, 24 July 2017

#PlasticFreeJuly - three weeks completed

It's a general consensus that changing ingrained habits takes time. This is a point I need to remember as I easily get frustrated when everything New doesn't happen Now!

Having discovered the near-impossibility of avoiding single-use plastic when buying meat, fish and dairy, I am investigating alternatives such as making my own cheese which looks like fun. Even plant-based food isn't always a plastic-free answer as tofu is vacuum sealed in plastic too so I also want to try making a kind of Chickpea tofu. The instructions seem easy enough?!

We were camping in Wales for the whole of this third Plastic Free July week but my reduced kitchen didn't make for as much difficulty as I thought it would. I managed to get our rices and pastas into recycled glass jars before we departed so had several lock-tite tubs empty. Of course they are themselves plastic, but I am not going to discard perfectly serviceable containers so our reusable plastic will stay until each piece wears out! Anyhow, our Outwell coolbox is excellent but it does tend to collect condensation. Cling film is useless when it gets wet so I was very glad of my tubs for cheeses, half onions and lemons, and my lentil spread (which is easy enough to make on a camping hob). Partway through this week I realised I hadn't actually reached for the cling film at all this month which, for me, is quite an achievement! The roll we bought in Spain last winter might now never get finished.

I was delighted on our return home yesterday to have an envelope from Bee Bee Wraps waiting for me. I featured these innovative food storage cloths in my Top Five Etsy Finds a couple of weeks ago and now have a trio to review. They are pretty and I have been looking forward to trying them out. I will share my thoughts in a future post.

Today, instead of nipping to the Co-Op for plastic-bagged bread, I dusted off my favourite Slow Cooker Wholemeal Bread recipe. I began baking this regularly on our 2014-15 caravan journey because It was usually easier than trying to find the 'right' sort of loaf in Spanish supermarkets. Using the slow cooker keeps our energy consumption right down and meant we didn't have the oven overheating the caravan! Overheating isn't so much of a problem in our flat, but our inherited an electric oven uses 2000w+ to bake bread. The slow cooker uses just 163w so even with the much longer bake time, it's still about a tenth of the electric cost. The ingredients are cheaper than a bought loaf too, it tastes better, and dough kneading is superb exercise for reducing 'bingo wings'! Win-win-win-win! I'm struggling to remember why I stopped baking bread.


2 comments:

  1. Have hit the same problem with you when it comes to fish and meat. I was trying to remember how it worked when I was a child and realised that the butcher and fishmonger visited in a van and my Mum went out with a plate. Not sure what the 21st century substitute can be.

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    Replies
    1. That sounds perfect!
      I wish they'd at least go back to wrapping in 'butcher paper' or ideally that customers bringing their own containers becomes the norm. After all it would save these businesses a lot of money on unnecessary packaging every year!

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