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Marathons #73 and #74: Plym Trail Marathon

Plym Trail Marathon.JPG

Tyre: Freeus-Blod
Event Type:
 Tarmac path that goes along the Plym Trail cycle path. This is a small friendly event and options for a 1/2 marathon or full marathon distances.
Sustainability: The RDs have said the events will be cupless next year 🙂
Start Time: 09:30
Weather: @18 degs C by mid-day
During: Checkpoints every 3-3.5 miles stocked with jelly babies + gels + crisps + peanuts + water to refill
At the End: Medal + small goody bag with food, water
Website: https://www.firstandlastrunning.com/

After a restless night car camping and waiting to take off, we were greeted by a couple of wild horses in the village. Had not expected the FirstAndLastRunning’s website pictures would be real! It is real and something to ease off the urgh of sleep deprivation + prowling pervs.

Davey pulled up and greeted us with an early morning welcome sending out more mega-watts of positive energy to the world.

Both Davey and Lesley are 100 marathon clubbers , so they know how to ensure all runners needs are satisfied.

Whilst in the “waiting lounge” (the Village Hall) captain Davey announced that next year the FirstAndLastRunning events will be cupless! Hooray was the response from participants who were there and was pleasantly surprised no one quipped about it.

Time for me to get on the run way and control tower Davey directing that everything was clear for take off. With a final description of the flight path, was soon taking off from Clearbrook Village, up past that dodgy car park, cruising along a high path for a couple of hundred metres. We then flew back past the village, and onwards down towards Plymouth for 6 miles to a turn around point at the end of a path and the entrance to a furniture making factory on one side and a railway track that a steam train uses on the other side. The flight path then returns back up to Clearbrook village and is repeated along this 6 mile track. It is in Dartmoor, so you can expect to view beautiful scenery at a good altitude above flat ground.

Here is a tour with Free-us Blod for part of that route.

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Despite the small numbers, still met folk from a previous marathon and a fellow Fetchie. Other memories of this run was the man who put his hands on his hips and asked with indignation “what do you think you are doing?”, the lady who exclaimed “goodness gracious me…what?” My response “Sorry lah, am foreign. Please be forgiving me.”

Thought I would only be doing day 1 due to a lack of training beforehand, but Uncle persuaded me to do day 2 as it had taken us 6 hours to reach Clearbrook and as he says we should make the most of it. I just needed to be able to move my legs.

The route was pretty clear of runners’ trash. Of course did my duty as last runner and picked up trash – 6 gel tabs and 2 gel packets picked up for an estimated 60 runners.

At the end, there was a final education time to a group of cyclists to teach them about disposable plastic and why thinking zero waste really is the way forward. Loved the line by a Nigerian guy

“Why are you pulling the tyre with a plastic bucket? Is it a metaphor to show us that we are going backwards with disposable plastic?”

Day 1 landed in 7:43:51.

Marathon Recovery tip: If you find you’re stiff when you get up, this might be due to dehydration. Ensure you drink lots of water (for me at least 2 litres) after the marathon and more the day after. It’ll ensure you can get off your seat!

Day 1 Night

Airplane seats suck when they are on a slant. Just seem to constantly slide down and the legs / body can never be comfortable. Yes – we stuck to car camping that night and again pretended we were in business class. We were joined by a fellow runner who simply pulled up and went to sleep. Think I might have had perhaps half an hour of sleep at 6am. Oh well I’ve trained for zero sleep running.

Day 2: 

This morning, water poured from the skies, thoroughly soaking the ground and continued to pour down for hours after. Today’s animal greetings were from a bunch of sheep that had gathered round the cars. The awesome Davey gave another energised send off. Despite the lack of sleep, zero breakfast, and a miserable day, one could only smile being in the country.

It was wet but warm with waterproofs on. Puddles had formed and in parts water was streaming on the ground which tends to slow down the tyre. Free-us Blod happily scooped up the water. But it was just great to be in the open, breathing clean air and fantastic to be active than sitting on my butt for days programming on “trivial” important company stuff to improve their processes.

Day 2’s route is the same as Day 1.

It would only be after about 3-4 hours when the rain eased off and besides the hard core runners out there, saw very few people unlike day 1 when the sunshine and warm day had lots of bystanders out and about.

As the last runner back, again did my duty to spot & pick up any runners’ litter. Perhaps due to the wet day, I did not see any gel tabs or gel packets this time on the return journey to the village. Great job runners!

Overall really enjoyed this run despite the lack of sleep. It’s always fun to see the same runners multiple times as well as to have the space to enjoy the views.

Day 2 landed in 7:40:00, 3 minutes faster than the previous day!

Thank you to:

  • Davey and Lesley for letting me participate in this event. I enjoyed the route despite the ups and downs
  • Uncle for marshaling the turn around point and Richard for the mid-point.
  • To all the other runners for their encouragement

Also thank you Davey for pledging to go cupless next year, and to reduce the single-use packaging.

Some final animals whilst crossing Dartmoor

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Preamble to Marathons #73 to #74 – Creep Alert

LookDownOnVillage

Looking Down at Clearbrook Village and Dartmoor

At times, am not the most organised person and tried to find accommodation close to the Plym Trail Marathon. There was no room at any inn, and was repeatedly told “it’s bank holiday weekend”. Easy decision – camp out – which have done before. There was a car park at the top of Clearbrook Village that had a scenic view of Dartmoor and a gorgeous full moon was floating in the clear sky, lighting up Dartmoor. It was really spectacular and reminded me of Arrowhead 135. Being in a remote location on the edge of wilderness is always magically. I was to be slapped out of Alice in Wonderland mode.

CarParkAboveVillage

With a Full Moon on a clear night, this car park has a spectacular view

There were 3 other cars in the car park. One car had moved to be closer to another car and then the other car left. I went out to survey the area for a good camping spot. The other car re-parked closer to where we were parked. Thinking it might be another runner, I went to speak to driver in the car. He was a white male in the driving seat, maybe in his early 20s, alone. From here on, I refer to him as “Perv”.

Me: “Hi – you camping here to run tomorrow?”

Perv: “Oh is there a run?”

Me:  “Yeah.”

Perv: “Are you camping”

Me: “Yeah – thought we’d camp here in this awesome place. You camping too?”

Perv: “No. Am going to be in my car. Out here for the night.”

Me: Confused – “It is a perfect night to watch the moon…”

Perv: “Yes it is”

My spidey senses were tingling and I returned to the car slightly unnerved by the tone of his voice and told Uncle (aka Mr RF) who was in the driving seat. Uncle asked me for my thoughts and I brushed them aside wanting to believe the best. I put warmer clothes on as there was a chill in the air, which made me think about nature’s call. I got out of the car again and this time so did the Perv, who walked in the same direction I was going. He was just a couple of metres ahead of me and turned round to ask “Are you camping?”

Me: “Oh yes” I responded a little confused.

Perv continued to walk towards the bushes and I u-turned to return to the car. As I began to tell Uncle my concerns, the man also returned to his car. At this point we noted that cars were coming into the car park, pausing for a moment where we were and then leaving.

As we were parked right in front of the view of the full moon, I asked Uncle to move the car to the right hand side. Perv also relocated his car next to ours.

Me to Uncle: “Nature is calling, but I need you to watch me as I head for that bush and watch that guy because I think he will get out of his car as well.”

As I headed towards the bushes, the man also got out of his car and walked this time towards my track in my direction. Uncle jumped out of the car and demanded “Where are you going?”. The man was caught off guard and fumbled over his words. Perhaps he thought we were 2 females in the car and thought I was the second female when I had put on warmer clothes. Although I was now hidden behind the bush, I could only hear Uncle’s voice. Perv seemed to mumble.

Uncle asserted again “What is in your hand?”

Perv mumbled something and then returned to his car and drove away. Uncle later on told me he went to look at the man’s licence plate, and the man quickly drove off away from the car park. Who knows what would have happened if Uncle had not intervened.

Feeling unsettled, we decided to relocate ourselves in the village parked up next to the village hall and car camped with the doors locked…..urgh…..was just like being in an airline seat. We told ourselves it was like being in the Premium option, but all the same. Somehow had to rest for the marathon the next day……

I later heard that the car park is a popular “dogging” site (new slang term for me)

Dogging Definition

Gratitude: There are nasty sex predators in this world and have encountered them whilst growing up in this world from molesters, potential rapists and stalkers. This incident reminded me of all of them from 8 years old until now…..now I needed to let those memories pass on by so that I could rest. Tomorrow was a new day.

Am thankful to my mother who made me learn a martial art when I was 11 years old. Am thankful to the police I have spoken to in the past who taught me to be observant in all surroundings. Am thankful to Uncle for confronting the man. Am thankful to God for always keeping me safe.

Next post: Plym Trail Marathon

 

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#72 – Ladybower Trail Marathon: The Gamble

Title with cards

Tyre: Freeus-Blod
Event Type:
 Multi-terrain marathon that goes along around the Ladybower reservoir with parts that can be quite exposed to the sun. This is a small friendly event with a couple of hundred doing 1/2 marathon or full marathon distances.
Sustainability: It is a cupless event in a beautiful area around a part of the peak district so BYOB.
Start Time: 09:30
Weather: @25-28 degs C by mid-day
During: Checkpoints every 5 miles stocked with fruit, jelly babies + gels + water + isotonic to refill
At the End: Medal + t-shirt + water
Website: http://www.peakrunners.co.uk/ladybower-trail-marathon.html

The Gamble

When oi was a wee lass, me mother taught us how to play card games & then as a family used to play contract bridge. I used to play with my father & at times we’d take a gamble on contracts. My father likes to recall the time when we played together in the Pesta Sukan bridge competition in Singapore against one of the top Singaporean pairs. We somehow found ourselves in a risky 7NT contract and got lucky. This event reminded me of that game. With a relatively good hand, I started the bidding conservatively with 1NT (One No Trump playing Standard American). David (RD) responded positively and helped make the cards “look nice”. So I booked the accommodation, organised how to get to the destination, the calf was feeling great…..and parked ourselves in a safe 3NT contract. But as things go, sometimes the opposition will interfere to snatch a contract away.

A key family member (affectionately known as “Pa”) passed on to his “next journey” on the Wednesday on the week of the event. His funeral was scheduled on the Tuesday after the weekend of the marthon…..in New Zealand. From the UK, this would be a 30 hour journey and Kenny Rogers has started to sing a song.

I counted my cards and contemplated my next actions. This marathon was on the Saturday, in the Peak District, about 3-4 hours away from Heathrow. A 30 hour journey plus the time travel would see me 2 days into the future. The latest I could leave would be the Saturday evening of the event, for a Monday evening arrival.

…and Kenny sings: “If you’re gonna play the game, girl
You gotta learn to play it right”….

Ahh the choices:

A. Let the opposition steal the contract: that is let the organiser know that I cannot attend and focus on organising myself to leave with plenty of time or,

B. Check for Aces: that is see if the RD would allow an early marathon start, book an evening flight  for the Saturday evening and then the rest would be up to me + a bit of luck.

Organiser checked, flight checked…..though a top card was questionable, the calculation was possible if everything aligned correctly. I put myself in 7NT (the best contract possible with the highest amount of points to collect).

Yes a flight was booked for 9:30pm on Saturday evening, RD kindly gave me the green light to start the event two hours early at 07:30am. It would be down to me to play the cards well.

Here’s the algorithm:

Completion times at the last 2 events were Sundown 7 hours 58 minutes one month ago and Glorious Gargrave 8 hours 7 minutes one week ago. David was allowing me a special 07:30am start.

Airport at 7:30pm latest = 4 hour journey time to airport + 30 minutes shower/change + 20 minutes faff after the marathon + x unknown time to complete marathon.

Thus x = 7 hours 30 minutes worst case roughly knocking off at least half an hour from the last 2 events.

Of course Freeus-Blod would be coming along – am still trying to complete 100 marathons / ultras with a tyre! Just needed to focus on the event instead of stopping to yabber to passer-bys, and reach 13.5 miles at least by 11:00am.

And Kenny sings…..”You gotta know when to hold them, know when to fold them”…

The course is in the Peak District….nice undulations and somewhere along, there is a steep hill to climb to admire the views.

Route

Route is undulating with a hill to climb at about mile 14-15

At 07:30am RD flagged me off.

At about 10:00am the cards were unfolding nicely and the 10 mile check point had been reached. The volunteers were lovely and encouraging. By 10:30am a tall runner loped along, his t-shirt thoroughly soaked. He was the lead runner and had overtaken me at what I thought was about 11.5 miles.

…and the song continues – “Know when to walk away, know when to run”

I needed to push on… that’s what Salt N Pepa tell me…

Coming round at the bottom of the lake, a couple of cyclists held a gate open for me to pass through, and stopped me to ask what Freeus-Blod was doing. We chatted for a couple of minutes, they gave me some money for EarthWatch, we talked some more, took some photos and then I hurried on (thank you to the man and woman cyclist) towards a road, which was a 2 mile entrance towards the Lady Bower car park where I had registered earlier on.

Another lady stopped me to have a chat. Had a quick conversation to find out she was walking to a pub to meet her daughter to later cheer her son who was in the event. Of course she asked for a ride….Freeus was in no mood to entertain the thought. Time was ticking on and the tricks were being taken, but it didn’t seem enough. Arrowhead 135 had shown me how the mind can distort time and distance, so the confidence was a little low.

Back to Kenny…
“You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done”

Mind Torture

Having not reviewed the route prior to the event, had thought this was a double loop, hence the mid-point (13 miles) should be from whence we started. The clock struck 11am, the sun was beating down and the mind told me “how about adding another 15 minutes more?”. 15 minutes went by and the mind told me “it would be sensible to quit when you get to the next check point to ensure time to get to the airport”.

Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away
And knowin’ what to keep
‘Cause every hand’s a winner
And every hand’s a loser

By 11:35am a check point appeared diverting us away from heading onwards to the “Start” point. Am ready to throw in the towel except the marshal tells me “It is mile 14 and you’re doing really well”. Am confused but a voice in my head dares me to continue reminding me the RD had earlier told me that at mile 15 there is a steep hill to the edge….and at this check point there is a steep hill! A triple check with everyone and the head said “get on that hill”.

Freeus jumped on me shoulder, for a ride. In fact she stayed on for most of that section as she clung on to so many rocks and roots sticking out of the ground. There are some glorious panoramic views of the Peaks at the top but there is no time to take pretty pictures.

As we leave that section and returned to a couple of miles into the route of the first lap, another group of runners stopped to have a chat, estimating that we are at mile 17 at 12:15pm

I wanted to believe the possibility, but didn’t want to disappoint myself, so the demon voice told me “you’re a foolish idiot, Uncle will be mad at you and it’s probably only mile 16 you need to quit”.

Ahh yes Queen…..

Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you no man ask for
Under pressure that brings a building down
Splits a family in two

…and then Pa popped into my head cheerily smiling, telling me “You nutter but you’ll do good. Go for it.”

The point about a bridge contract is you create a plan of play at the start and adapt as the cards unveil themselves.

Another cyclist stopped to have a chat. He and family were heading to the lakes for a swim. With the clear blue sky and strong sun, that sounded a dream. But “allons-y”, I had to go and the cyclist pressed a 5 pound note in my hand for my cause (EarthWatch).  A feeling of guilt rushed over me for moving on so quickly but I couldn’t let Pa down.

Some distance on, a runner is limping and stretching at the side of the road. I stopped to check he is okay and if he needed any water. This is his first marathon and he is now at the furthest distance, thinking it is mile 18-19. I get him going for a short while, but the ticking clock in my head urged me to keep moving. We get to the next check point at mile 20. Yummy melon and oranges were being served up – perfect for the hot day but no time to chat.

I assumed the next check point would be at mile 23. Again the demon brain told me “You’re so selfish jeopardising family for your own selfish ego….”. Yes I am imperfect and embrace my imperfections.

There aren’t many cards left and with the heat bearing down, am starting to believe have played the wrong card. My mind reflects on Arrowhead135 when the space, time and distance were all out of sync…. my demon brain tells me “You’ll never make it. You probably have 3 more miles and you won’t make it to the airport”. It is nearly 14:30 and having to cover 3 more miles would mean about another hour.

As another runner passes, I panickingly ask “Do you know how many more miles it is to the end?”

Runner: “About one!”

We turned a corner to a downhill slope all the way to the end.

The finish line is crossed in 7:07. Made it back home to have a shower and caught flight. Contract completed.

Many thank yous to Dave and Amanda (RDs) for your very kind generosity. Always to the volunteers to where very encouraging all the way and to the various cyclists who kindly pressed money into my hand £14.30 to EarthWatch.

Well stocked check points, loved the reusing of bottles to make up isotonic and appreciated the fruit offerings. Way better than jelly babies.

Would definitely recommend this marathon event.

Next write up: Plym Trail Marathon

 

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Plastic Free July: Day 31

Who Really is Processing the Recyclables?

I frequently hear the words “we are good at recycling, it’s the other countries that are screwing it for the rest of the world!!!” …so there are no holes in my end of the boat!

My initial post on the broken recycling system  will be expanded here.

The EU and UK have a plan to make recycling a bigger part of their commitment to reduce landfill waste.

https://www.mrw.co.uk/latest/government-waste-strategy-to-make-the-uk-a-world-leader/10024329.article

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/circular-economy/index_en.htm

There are also pockets of cities in the US and Canada that are going zero waste by increasing recycling. Sadly it would appear none have the ability to completely process the “recyclables” in their own land and have to ship an increasing amount of disposable / single-use rubbish outside of their land. China wants better quality recyclables from countries hence countries reporting a “ban”. Thus countries have been shipping  their poor quality recyclables to other countries (like Vietnam, Indonesia, etc) who also have being found to be dumping the stuff: https://news.sky.com/story/thousands-of-tons-of-uk-plastic-dumped-across-world-11218595

Here is what Recology, the waste recovery company from San Francisco (San Francisco boasts an 80% recycle rate) says

Recycling San Fran

Source: Recology

On average in the EU, 31kg of plastic packaging waste is produced per person per year. This adds up to 15.8 million tonnes of plastic packaging waste generated in the EU in one year. Ref: EU Stats

US Stats are here  Note: approx 32 million tonnes of plastic waste generated in 2017, estimated 9.5% is recycled, 15% burned and the rest to landfill.  Of the 9.5% that was recycled a high percentage was being exported to China until the China ban earlier on this year: https://phys.org/news/2018-01-china-import-upends-global-recycling.html)

UK Stats are here Note: of the plastic recovered from recycling, 95% of this plastic waste was exported.

Singapore exports 100% of the 7% of plastic recovered and burns any plastic that has not been recovered (+ other items designated for landfill). Source: here

One day we will voyage into the stars into the unknown and leave all our rubbish on planet Earth….

The Sad Truth About Plastic Recycling

Zero Waste concepts needs to place a greater emphasis to improve household reduction of single-use/disposables + improve the reuse of more sustainable options (see post on BYOR) as they are already struggling to educate householders how to recycle.

However it would appear the easiest option would be to allow societies to continue to discard “stuff” and use developing countries to actually recycle the “stuff” into new products (as seen in the government stats above). The EU have stated they want to ensure all plastic is recyclable. Here’s what plastic recycling currently looks like:

Bottle Lifecycle

Source: Studylib

For those thinking burning disposable plastic is the best method for energy recovery like Sweden and Singapore, here’s what the BBC reports regarding burning or burying plastic waste: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43120041

So we now understand recycling plastic is a poor option and the picture is no prettier with regards to waste from electrical, clothes or food.

Supporting a Circular Economy

If we are to continue our consumerism and our disposable lifestyle is to be supported, perhaps the sustainable model would be for companies to use 100% recycled materials in their packaging + if made well enough, customers can return that packaging and be rewarded with some type of credit towards their next purchase to increase the return rate…… Win for the customer who gets to keep their convenience, win for the environment, win for the supermarket because they maintain a customer relationship and potentially win for the supplier with lower packaging production costs.  Here is my crude drawing for what supermarkets can do with regards to reducing packaging:

Circular Economy Supermarket Suggest

To show a simple proof of concept, Norway have had a bottle/can return scheme since 1999 and in 2006 the return rate for beverage containers was:

  • Metal cans:  92%
  • PET bottles: 82%

Ref: http://anker-andersen.dk/deposit-laws/norway.aspx

Of course the best would be for the customer/shopper to BYOR – bring their own containers / bags to pick up goods and zero waste shops will become more prevalent in all areas.

Too much effort? London is implementing a refill scheme across the capital, assuming BYOR of certain items (bottle/cup) will be a habit, like taking your keys & wallet before you leave the house. Here’s a link to the refill app.

Finally, here’s a 2015 BBC article on the consumption rate if we lived like…

Ecological Footprint

UK is 32nd on the list with 2.4 earths.

*GFN = Global Footprint Network: https://www.footprintnetwork.org/resources/footprint-calculator/

Day 31: Do Something About Reducing Rubbish

We may not completely understand Global Warming but we can at least reduce the rubbish we generate which will in turn reduce resources used and thus green house gases (my simple head says).   This calls for some ocean music whilst you read….

If you are motivated to do something in your own environment, town, organisation then let’s go to….

Level 4: Create Plastic Free / Zero Waste in your Own Organisation / Environment

Now that you’ve been on your plastic free diet, how about asking your organisation or your local shops to remove single-use / disposable plastic and maybe you can redirect them further to think zero waste. Hope the previous posts have provided enough alternatives. Here are some more:

  • Have donated my excess mugs & cutlery to companies to use in their kitchen where disposable cups were readily available.
  • Have got a couple of shops to accept my excess reusable bags so they can use it with customers
  • Have asked some take aways to accept my own containers (plus they are providing a token discount)
  • Have asked my local council to be a zero waste town and lead the nation. My local council have said “It’s not in the Local Planning Policy Framework”!….am still knocking.

Bake your own race snacks

And to end the day, bake your own race snacks. I create protein dough balls using a protein flour (anyone tried cricket flour?), coconut oil + seeds + cacao bits.

With that happy food thought – the 31 day challenge for Plastic Free July has now been completed….Back to pulling tyres in marathons and to encourage organisations to aim towards a zero waste event.

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Plastic Free July: Day 30 – Laundry

The other day I helped someone put out their laundry, was over powered by the heavy fragrance, and broke out in rashes during the handling of their phthalate / plasticiser infested clothing….(yeah I am sensitive).

Further notes: Phthalate exposure has been linked to an increased occurrence of atopic diseases including allergic rhinitis, wheezing, and eczema

FYI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4626318/

Day 30: Laundry

Music for your laundry…

So alternatives to liquid detergents that come in plastic bottles are normal soap bars or laundry soap bars for hand washing and powder in a box for washing machines.

Do your clothes really need to be washed?

Am the lady that drag tyres and also am the lady that washes her clothes only when they fail the sniff test. Many will have seen this dress whilst out speaking / campaigning and it has not been washed for a good while. No one complained & the smell check with everyone seemed to pass! (or Ngee Anne and the British Embassy were just being too polite)

At some point my clothes will be washed in a non-biological powder that comes in a cardboard box (there are a number of brands available). Am currently trying to create my own eco-enzyme solution to clean my clothes & to make it easier for others in my household to do the dishes. (Sometimes folk just want to be normal!!!).

Eco-Enzyme: Am making mine from oranges, lemons and some apple that were nearly dehydrated in the fruit basket (1 part brown sugar; 3 parts fruit peels; 9 parts water). Needs a plastic bottle (secured one dumped in a bin) as the bottle needs to expand with the fermentation process and it takes 3 months to complete – that’s what the web searches say Ref: Instructable Guide to Using Eco-Enzyme (across the pond they call it “Garbage Enzyme”)

So yah for the reduction in chemicals, reusing dead fruit and the delay in sending a plastic bottle to a landfill somewhere….here is my eco-enyzme…

eco-enzyme

Nearly 2 months….one more month to go and yeast has formed! The smaller bottle is my experiment with a one way valve that will automatically release the gas. The larger bottle keep lid on loosely. Needs to be kept in a darkened environment

Will let you know how this is in a month’s time. If you are concerned about pouring this down the toilet as a sanitiser or using it in the washing machine, here’s an academic study on eco-enzyme in waste water treatment and appears positive depending on the dilution: https://waset.org/publications/6989/a-study-of-the-garbage-enzyme-s-effects-in-domestic-wastewater

At this point, some of you are thinking this is too much faff. Here are some alternatives. I’ve not yet tried any of these.

Stain Remover

Have rubbed stains down with a normal soap bar and left overnight before putting in the laundry, as well as my favourite baking soda + vinegar. This has removed blood, tumeric stains and others.

Fabric Softener

A cap full of White Vinegar in my wash. Have found this pretty good and my clothes have not smelt of vinegar at the end of a wash cycle…… well so far no one has complained I smell like vinegar except after a sweaty run!

One more day to complete for 31 days of tips for reducing disposable / single-use plastic in Plastic Free July…..then back to tyre dragging marathons….

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Plastic Free July: Days 28 to 29 – Clean Up

Yes thought about the Barney Clean Up song but it annoys me….

…at this point want to thank all the Fetchies for their suggestions on how to go plastic free and hopefully have now compiled all tips during this Plastic Free July series.

Fetcheveryone is an excellent site that can be used to find swimming, cycling and running events + log events you’ve completed + log training + a whole lot more to do with activities. Its a great site to learn about many things from improving your swimming/running/cycling technique to growing sunflowers to solving Excel problems and more….and forumers are friendly 😀

Day 28: Cleaning Detergents

To find a cleaning product in anything but plastic is hard as plastic is such a good container for containing the harsh chemicals which can be highly toxic in the air, water and to us, so much so that Breast Cancer UK recommends using more natural methods (ref end of this post).

When I was a kid, we used VIM to scrub everything (chemical powder in a cardboard/metal packaging). One of my other chores was cleaning the metal ornaments with Brasso (which still comes in a tin). Now a days you’d be hard pressed to find any household cleaning detergent in a non-plastic container.

Being an eczema sufferer am sensitive to fumes and fake smells, so here are my “woman’s weekly” natural cleaning tips…

  • Wipe down stove immediately after use with a damp cloth – so food doesn’t become baked onto surfaces (I even wipe down my tyre after use)
  • To scrub a surface like glass doors or my metal sink from food splatters or hard water – use a metal scrubber with water. If it is baked on then see next bullet.
    stainless steel scrubber
  • My favourite is baking soda (in a box) + vinegar (in a glass bottle) – which have used to degrease stuff (like to see the fizz), remove mould, clean burned pans; remove stains (has done a great job of removing tumeric stains) and use in a solution to clean my floors. For tea stains, add salt to the mixture and leave.
  • White vinegar (as its an acid) is great for degreasing glass, dishes and cleaning out the limescale from kettles (limescale is an issue in hard water areas).My mother recommends diluting washing up liquid with white vinegar.

What About the Bath Tub? Scrubber

Am using an old green scrubber that have had for over 10 years!!! Well its plastic so really has not degraded at all. It removes the suds + hard water marks with a bit of water. If you do this after every bath, it is fast to clean. Same with the shower.
green scrubber

Tip: To keep mould at bay in your bathroom if air circulation is poor, use a squeegee to remove excess water off the walls and push the tray / bath water down the plug hole.

As this is a plastic free series  – plastic free alternatives:

  • Natural Coconut Coir (credit to Carpathius)
  • Or crochet your own with any natural fabric you want (Fetchies do)

Have found making cleaning as part of completing cooking, bathing, etc, means the habit has formed and not a lot of deep cleaning has to be undertaken.

Day 29: Cleaning Dishes

Found this crazy song about washing dishes. Strange thoughts in the 50s.

When we go camping we use nothing but sand and the river water to clean our cooking and eating stuff. Still alive and the groups that have come out with me have all been healthy and well 😀

If you have a dishwasher, there are a number of eco-friendly tablets that come in a cardboard box. As I don’t have a dishwasher, I use vinegar + some other natural alternatives:

  • Tea seed powder is a great natural option and can be used to create a detergent but can’t find a plastic free packaging option as there are no zero waste shops where I live https://monoandco.com/tag/tea-seed-powder-usage/
  • Make an eco-enzyme (see next post)
  • If you are an egg eater – consider using egg shells (See below) to clean cast iron.
Egg Shell hack

Source: Robin is a zero waster & has various hacks for completing tasks https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155375044860752&set=gm.403318123389171&type=3&theater&ifg=1

Info About Breast Cancer and Cleaning Products

This is not meant as scare-mongering and all this information is freely available on the web. After all our bodies are different and genetics can play a role in substances that can affect disorders.

AS well as Phthalates and Parabens, there have been concerns raised about a possible link between Breast Cancer and man-made Cleaning Products from a single study.

Here’s the NHS view on that study. It notes that the study does highlight there could have been a bias that may have skewed the results: https://www.nhs.uk/news/cancer/household-cleaners-and-cancer-risk/

Follow up studies do need to be made and maybe one day one of the Cancer Charities might divert some funds to do so. In the meantime, the Breast Cancer organisation have suggested to play safe:
https://www.breastcanceruk.org.uk/reduce-your-risk/safer-cleaning-products/

Two more days to go and writing my next post on laundry…..

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Plastic Free July: Days 26 to 27 – Getting Soapy

Dunno about you all but my butt hurts and my eyes are blurring from writing all these posts…..so let’s get into the shops for some madness…

As one who aspires to be a zero waster, it would be fantastic if every supermarket would consider having one of these where you can BYOR.

Refill station

There are zero waste shops around the world that are popping up offering this service such as UnPackt, Singapore or direct from the manufacturer such as SynTech Chemicals, Singapore. And when you BYOR, the cost of product is way cheaper than the supermarket.

None of these are convenient for me so let’s tackle soap & cleaning products.

As we discussed in a previous post, cosmetics (like toothpaste) have man-made chemicals that have an insidious side to them:

Ref: US National Library of Medicine
The FDA’s think it’s safe https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/productsingredients/potentialcontaminants/ucm128250.htm

However the EU thinks differently on this and will be restricting the use of 4 types of phthalates: https://www.env-health.org/resources/press-releases/article/europe-finally-recognises-four

Day 26: Shampoo & Conditioner

Just hope she’s was using a natural soap ‘cos that fresh water she is enjoying will be going straight back into our water…

Once upon a time I used to spend soooo much time in the bathroom shampooing and conditioning my long hair. October 2014, on my 3rd attempt after many years, managed to successfully stop using either and now only wash with water. My showers are so fast which gives me more time to write long blog posts!

If you want to try going “poo” free I found going cold turkey the worst experience. My hair was greasy and terribly itchy for weeks. Found it easier to slowly come off the shampoo addiction by every 3-4 weeks lengthening the number of days I shampoo-ed my hair. So week 1 would be every other day; 3 weeks later spaced out to every 3rd day etc.

Since I stopped using both shampoo and conditioner, the dandruff / eczema in my scalp has disappeared. Also found my hair is falling out less. Have recommended this to two guys whose hair was falling out and they have had a similar result. More people need to test this method to see if it is true.

Not ready to go poo-less, here are some alternatives to plastic bottled shampoos:

  • Shampoo bars – a number of brands are available wrapped in a cardboard label.
  • Shampoo powder in a tin
  • Shampoo liquid in glass bottles!

Simply do a search on “Shampoo – no plastic” and remember to check the ingredients (see above). Seems more products are going plastic free every time I do a search.

Conditioner

I rub olive oil on my hair as it is easy for me to purchase a bottle of Olive Oil in a tin or glass bottle. I hear apple cider vinegar is great to make it shine though yet to try it.

If you want to purchase something, like shampoos these come in:

  • Glass bottles – liquid
  • Tins – powder
  • Conditioner bars (like shampoo bars).Will leave you to do a web search to locate something in your respective countries.

Alternative here’s a lass who can provide better brand recommendations on shampoos and conditioners than myself: https://treadingmyownpath.com/2017/07/27/plastic-free-shampoo-conditioner/

Day 27: Hand / Body Soap

So what kind of soap are you washing the kids with? Do check what chemicals those kids are having fun with.

Triclosan is used in many anti-bacterial liquid hand soaps (see previous posts for concerns about Triclosan creating antibiotic resistant bacteria)

Here is an interesting video on the evolution of bacteria becoming antibiotic resistant.

It would seem ordinary soap is just as good as anti-bacterial soap for our domestic users. How Stuff Works can tell you about this: https://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/cleansing/myths/question692.htm

Alternatives to liquid soap:

  • I grew up with a soap bar wrapped in paper. Have noticed the soap bar appears to last longer than the liquid soap. A web search will show you plenty of soap bars. Are there kids safe soap bars? I can only tell ya I found loads doing a web search.My soap bar lasts me for ages (been 6 months & still got a good bar)…my mother would have told me if I smelt rank!
  • Make your own liquid soap and there are YouTube videos to show you how. If I deep dried my food and had residual oil, I would probably try to turn this into soap.

Have fun washing. Next post will be on Cleaning Detergents….

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Plastic Free July: Day 25 – Packaging

News 1: Recently a enterprise launched a Plastic Free label to help shoppers discern products that have plastic packaging. Iceland in the UK has taken this on, who are also working towards being the first major supermarket to have zero plastic packaging usage for their own brand by 2022.

News 2: Raglan, New Zealand is already on their journey to creating a landfill free town: http://greenribbonawards.org.nz/?q=raglan-zero-waste (Helegant – what if your council could do the same to reduce the waste and thus reduce the need for an incinerator to burn landfill waste?)

Waiuku, New Zealand is following behind and is in the early stages of idea generation to normalise people defining the rubbish they generate with the key emphasis on the words REDUCE & REUSE and any rubbish generated to be recycled within the country. Most likely there will still be some landfill items.

I was given the opportunity to provide some feedback in Waiuku’s initial idea generation. Want to share one of the solutions provided as shops need to ensure their fragile goods are protected without having to use expanded polystyrene or bubble wrap. So here is…..

Day 25: Packaging for Goods and Food

Fragile goods & electronic goods are packaged in polystyrene or bubble wrap as both are light weight and can absorb an amount of energy that comes from rough handling to circumvent damages. Food packaging comes in copious amounts of plastic packaging because apparently this gives the consumers a sense of safety and hygiene and keeps soft items intact.

So what can be used instead?

For an alternative to loose polystyrene peanuts / beads:

For an alternative to expanded polystyrene:

  • Seaweed Packaging has recently been announced and like mushrooms also has a lot of versatility and reduced carbon emissions in production.

Seaweed packaging 2

See Evoware

  • Hey – what about Pressed Hay?

What About The Tape?

Tape is typically made from polyurethane, acrylic or acetate. So what are the alternatives:

 

Packaging? What We Need is a Replicator

Out of all the packaging materials, think we all agree that plastic has the worst environmental impact due to the poor management of this material worldwide. However shifting from disposing of one material to another material is denying that we have a waste generation issue that is on a growing scale. The better solution would be to go Zero Waste and redefine our economies to support a circular economy which would reduce carbon emissions. Wonder what the energy requirements for the Replicator would be? (come on Manchester University – the world is waiting)…..No more packaging would be required!

 

 

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Plastic Free July: Days 19 to 24

On 28 May 2018, the EU announced there will be a ban on certain single-use plastic items where there are alternative packaging. Below is a screenshot of their page. Full report here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-3927_en.htm

Eu plastic ban

I do hope in a future legislation they will include polystyrene (here’s what my brother found on a beach in Phuket, Thailand: https://www.instagram.com/p/BlTdUhOFT3D/ and biros / disposable pens.

Day 19: Writing Tools

Biros

Common rubbish that you find on a beach are plastic cups, plastic bottles, plastic lids, plastic packaging, polystyrene and disposable plastic biros. Every conference, class that I’ve been to seems to give these things out as standard.

Ink pen.JPG

A reusable fountain ink pen can be used but the downside is:

  • You have to allow the ink to dry
  • The ink can smudge if you accidentally rub on it before it has dried
  • Some fountain pens can require plastic ink cartridges

Personally the pencil is my mighty sword! It is so versatile -writes on most surfaces and upside down. Most builders use it to mark their materials for stuff like cutting. If I want a bit of colour….then I get to play with colouring pencils 🙂

Note in the UK and US, Terracycle will recycle your disposble pens, Singapore has a social enterprise called SaveThatPen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Eg6GMvQMYM

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CHALLENGE WITHIN THE CHALLENGE

If you’ve been following this post and you are already doing all parts so far here are two different challenges:

Day 20: Plastic-Free Packaged Snacks

Challenge 1: See if you can purchase different plastic wrapped free snacks a day for the next 7 days from a regular shop / supermarket. Here’s what I bought.

  • Fruit bought loose
  • Chickpeas that came in a can (nice with pepper)
  • Olives in a glass bottle. There was a plastic label
  • Chocolate bar wrapped in paper and silver foil
  • Cake from the bakery
  • Quiche in a plain cardboard box – there was no plastic window and was in the “Basics” range – so was also the cheapest. Tasted fine.
  • Ice Cream bars – these came wrapped in waxed paper in a cardboard box. Had to purchase a set of 8 (oh well) and shared with the office. This was also the cheapest product in the ice cream range (bonus) and tastes just as good as any other have eaten.

Add a comment and let me know what other food stuff you found that could be a snack.

Day 21: Find Shops that are supporting Plastic Free July

Having stocked up on plastic free items, then onwards to….

Challenge 2: Find and photograph at least three shops that are participating in Plastic Free July and tag with #PlasticFreeJuly #ReducePlasticUsage here are mine:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BlLFC8OFut9/?taken-by=tyrelady2016 and https://www.instagram.com/p/BlCVUAxFNvH/?taken-by=tyrelady2016

And if you can’t find any ask shops if they would give up a disposable plastic item and give them an alternative. Please do put them in the comments below. Here’s mine so far:

  • Got 2 take away shops in my local neighbourhood (ILoveSalads and Cups) to accept a customers’ container and to provide a small discount for the cost of the packaging.
  • Butcher’s to accept a container from customers for Plastic Free July

Level 3: Make Your Own

Sometimes it is difficult to purchase items that are plastic free. Have you thought about making your own?

Day 22: Life without Balloons

BalloonsThe frivolous fun of a balloon and watching it float in the sky, dropping into a lake, river or sea. The plastic attachment to balloons will be banned in the EU as this has caused problems. Balloons can be made from rubber, latex, polychloroprene, or a nylon fabric.

You could light a candle for a paper sky lantern, but have heard of it causing fires…..certainly wouldn’t light one in California and again these can cause a litter.

paper lantern

So how about using eco-friendly bunting for those big events? Here is a blog site that shows you how to create bunting from by reusing something you’re going to throw away:

Whilst we’re in decoration mode, most Christmas decorations (thought I’d get in there before anyone else) are plastic based. So if you’re still to get some, look up craft sites on the web to make your own decorations using paper and/or plants and remember you can use compostable glitter.

Day 23: Toothpaste

Toothpaste comes in a plastic tube that cannot be recycled. Once upon a time you could swallow toothpaste, and then suddenly it became bad to do so. Toothpaste contains some surprisingly potential irritants and carcinogens

Dangers of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. … According to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, SLS is a “moderate hazard” that has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation and endocrine disruption.3 Oct 2017

Ref: https://www.livestrong.com/article/174367-dangers-of-sodium-lauryl-sulfate/

Most toothpastes contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which is a chemical used intoothpaste to create the foaming action. SLS can cause or irritate existing allergies, canker sores and bad breath, which is why an SLS Free alternative is worth considering.

  • Diethanolamine (DEA): Potential carcinogen in humans: https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+924
  • Microbeads: Well some countries have already banned the use of this, but not all countries are the same. In toothpaste the microbeads are plastic beads to help remove plaque apparently. They are also polluting the ocean and is another reason why you should not swallow your toothpaste.

Anyhoo not meaning to do any scare mongering…..corporates are just trying to help you!!! Now I could give you an alternative to purchasing another type of toothpaste that doesn’t contain any of that potentially evil stuff and comes in a tin, but it is soooo easy to make your own toothpaste.  Some people use activated charcoal to brush with (it’s what you have in a water filter).

I made my own toothpaste, used it for 3 months before checking in with the dentist. Now my dentist normally tells me about gum disease on part of mouth, so I half expected him to tell me about how bad my entire gums were or that I had some holes that needed filling. Nada! To my delightful surprise, he praised my mouth hygiene!! So that’s sealed it for me.

Basic ingredients

Spoonful of sodium bicarbonate + 1/2 teaspoon of table salt + 1/2 a spoon of coconut oil. Mix together and that is it. Some folk want a sweet taste (as toothpastes contain sweetners), so could add stevia.

Note: Table salt was in a cardboard box and again just so happened to be the cheapest! Tried sea salt but it was too big and to dissolve it into a solution was too much work.

  • Sodium Bicarbonate: is good for cleaning (see day 6 of previous post)
  • Salt: anti-bacterial properties. I used salt water to wash my frostbitten finger to help avoid infection. Worked a treat. My mother also gargles with salt when she has a sore throat. She swears by it.
  • Coconut oil: This is optional. I used it to make my mix but you could equally have used a bit of water. I put it in to use as my mouthwash see Day 24.

Additionally I add a teaspoon of tumeric and a teaspoon of cinnamon for more anti-properties to fight what ever needs fighting in my mouth.

Those who want a “sweetened” version (as toothpaste contains sweetners), add stevia. For those who want a minty flavour, add a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil which can be found online or in small bottles at the health food shop (last time I looked in the US and UK).

Here’s a dentist who makes his own toothpaste and will tell you more about further disruptive ingredients in toothpaste: https://askthedentist.com/homemade-toothpaste/

Day 24: Mouthwash

Well yes it comes in a plastic bottle and anti-plaque versions contain Triclosan

It inhibits plaque accumulation, thus reducing the chance of getting gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). The active ingredients include Chlorhexidine Gluconate,Triclosan, Thymol, Cetylpyridinium Chloride (CPC), etc. However, long term use of mouthwash may stain the teeth and alter taste sensation.

Ref from Hong Kong government site: http://www.toothclub.gov.hk/en/en_adu_01_03_04.html

Try oil pulling. I put a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil that is sold in a glass bottle in my mouth and “pull” it through my teeth for about 15 minutes. Or otherwise I just add to my toothpaste (see Day 23). Note you can do oil pulling with other types of virgin oils. I prefer the taste of coconut oil to say Virgin Olive Oil.

The oral health practices of Ayurveda include crewing on sticks and eating herbs, as well as oil pulling. Original practitioners of oil pullingused sunflower and sesame oils as a way to prevent bleeding gums, decay, dryness of throat, oral malodor, cracked lips and for strengthening teeth, gums and the jaw.

Ref: https://www.livescience.com/50896-oil-pulling-facts.html

Note from my dentist for mouth hygiene: It is still important to floss / use toothpicks and scrap your tongue

FYI for more differences between European products and US products see below for the list banned of chemicals banned in the US and Europe.

Starting with the FDA, USA as it is a short read with 11 banned chemicals: https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/guidanceregulation/lawsregulations/ucm127406.htm

In Europe there are over 1300 prohibited chemicals + several more restrictions on other chemicals (151 page document): https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:342:0059:0209:EN:PDF

Next post to look at more common products we purchase in plastic that we can make

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Plastic Free July: Days 9 to 18

Hope you all have been successful in your first 8 days. Following on from the previous blog and tips pointed out to me:

  • Glitter: This is made out of plastic! There are biodegradable compostable versions. Just look up eco or bio glitter (thanks Silver Shadow)
  • Zero Waste Shop: These have popped up around Europe, Singapore, USA and probably other countries and require you to BYOR

Day 9: Milk

Milk tends to either come in a plastic bottle or in a cardboard carton that has a plastic liner.

Personally I don’t drink or eat diary but find I have to purchase the stuff for my visitors. In the UK, the milk man is making a come back as more people want milk in a glass bottle.

For those without milk in a glass bottle or need it infrequently, consider:

  • Making milk from powdered milk that comes in a tin or cardboard.
  • Making milk from evaporated milk (this is unsweetened compared to condensed milk)

Day 10: Cling Film / Saran Wrap / Plastic Wrap / Food Wrap

This is the stuff that you liberally throw over your left overs, or wrap a sandwich in…. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_wrap

Am uncertain why we need this except to generate more plastic waste.

Plate On top of bowl

A plate on top of a bowl is easy to stack

For left over food

  • Put a plate over a bowl. It makes it easy to stack
  • Use a glass or metal or plastic reusable container with a lid
  • A glass bottle works well. Have a collection from jams and sauces.

The NZ Ecochick has a great write up about plastic free food storage: http://www.nzecochick.com/plastic-free-food-storage/

Level 2 Challenge: BYOR (Bring Your Own Reusable)

My bag is loaded with stuff for my day. So here are the contents:

Day 11: BYO Bag for Shopping.

My reusable bag is my backpack. For a small shop – a medium sized back pack. For a big shop (if doing a dinner party) it is my large trekking back pack

Going Shopping

Just going shopping

Tip: Additionally keep a handy spare foldable cloth bag in your bag in case you need to purchase more items. Have also put foldable bags in the car + a freezer bag.

Day 12: BYO Bag for fruits and veg + Refuse to purchase bagged items

If you’re like me – I normally throw mine loose into the basket, weigh it at the counter and then put them straight into my bag. Have also been known to bring packaging (from the cereal box, rice, pasta) to help me carry the fruit or plastic items.

However if you want to be more organised, you can purchase reusable netting bags or make your own (some of the Fetchies from a brilliant online running community have been making their own).  I remember seeing produce bags being sold in the US – San Francisco and Hudson, Wisconsin – in organic / health food type shops.

Produce Bags

Alternatively

  • Reuse the netting bags that items like oranges and brussels sprouts are often packaged.
  • Use a laundry netting bag that is typically used for smalls for your produce bag
  • See if you have any local produce markets in your area as they often sell produce loose.
  • Some companies in the UK deliver fruit and veg boxes. That is they deliver fruit and veg in cardboard or wooden boxes.
  • Grow your own. The fruit and veg tastes so much better and probably have more nutritional value than the mass produced supermarket produce.

Did you know a plastic bag in the water looks like a jellyfish to marine life. Plastic is being consumed by our marine life = junk food = zero nutritional value

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Day 13: BYO Containers for meat / fish / deli produce

You can avoid unnecessary packaging by using the meat/fish/deli counters. (Check with your local butchers or supermarket that they will accept your container).

Tescos in the UK has accepted my containers when purchasing food items from their deli counter. Recently Morrisons said they will be doing the same. Assume others will be following shortly.

NB: Tesco does not allow you to use your own containers at their salad bar.

Alternatively find a butcher, and / or fish monger or wet market (common in Asia)

Day 14: BYO Cup

I bring a metal thermal cup around with me everywhere. Every time anyone offers me a drink I hand them my cup. It has a nice lid so spills are minimised and keeps my drink hot when hot, cold when cold.

Many flight attendants accept them in Europe and Asia. The US flight attendants can be weird about the cross contamination even though you are happy to hold the cup whilst they pour the beverage in. They will provide a plastic cup of the beverage you want to pour into your cup!

I also bring my thermal cup to restaurants. Gordan Ramsey’s London restaurant did accept it when I requested hot water in my own cup 😉

Noted that the large chains, like Starbucks and Costa, offer some money back for bringing your own cup to be filled with coffee.

Day 15: BYO Take Away containers

Polystyrene is all over our beaches and along with the plastic packaging, become junk food for our marine life.

I do carry a reusable plastic container as a take away container. Alternatively if am going to order take away in a restaurant, have a 3 tier Tingkat.

Tingkat

Recently I went requested from my local restaurants if they would accept my containers and if they would provide a discount if folk brought their own containers. 2 out of 7 said they would discount the meal.

In Singapore, some stall holders in the hawker centres charge if they have to provide a container for you to take away.

A study in Winchester University found that charging for something was a better incentive for customers to BYOR rather than providing a discount!

Day 16: BYO Cutlery & Plate

I bring my own metal cutlery / chopsticks + reusable tin plate every where. In the past at the pre-pasta events, the volunteers have been a little bewildered about me handing them a plate to fill up with pasta.

Have to tell them am on a plastic free diet.

Day 17: BYO Hydration Device

BYOB

Metal Bottles

My metal bottles

On ultras I have:

  • A water bladder in a back pack
  • A bottle for energy drinks
  • A cup for a hot drink or soup that might be offered. If you’re worried about weight there are collapsible racing cups as well as titanium cups.

On road trips I do have a lovely metal bottle that was a gift as well as one I had bought for about 3GBP

I use my lighter water bottle for general use when am out and about.

Day 18: BYO Towel

Wet wipes are a mixture of fibres that includes plastic (polyester or polypropylene). So they are slow to break down and will obviously release micro-plastic into the environment. They have been in the news as part of the problem to creating fatbergs and thus blocking sewage pipes.

Images and article can be found from ABC news

This is a world issue, yet the governments continue to allow flushable wet wipes! If they can ban climbing frames and monkey bars due to health and safety, surely wet wipes should be banned as well! A fatberg stinks because it is rotting stuff that people have flushed down the toilet or down the kitchen sink! 😦

Wet wipes are also traditionally used to wipe your hands & face. I bring a small hand towel around where ever I go, that I can wet, as well as use to dry my hands after washing them in the sink! The zero waster in me prefers a reusable towel rather than a single-use disposable paper towel…….think they used to call this a handkerchief 😉

….and so there you have the contents of my bag.

For those who like wet wipes for children, make up, etc you might try Cheeky Wipes (credit to Wine Legs). The fabric is natural and is reusable.

Cheeky Wipes.JPG

The Next Post will include making your own to further avoid plastic packaging.