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A Few Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference

Posted 23/2/2016

From my Living Lightly Blog no longer updated - View with this entry with original pictures here.

I am still determined to reduce the amount of plastic we use so I have been experimenting with a few options. If you have any interesting ideas please let me know - I'd love to know what you have tried and tested.

Being a crafty sort of gal I like to make and do a lot of stuff myself. I have recently discovered this amazing alternative to plastic bags or cling wrap in the kitchen - waxed fabric! Love it. I made my own after reading up on the internet see here how to do it (where would we be without google!). It’s so simple, melt some wax on cotton fabric and viola! It moulds and folds and keeps things airtight enough. I used bite block wax instead of beeswax - what? You don’t have a pile of bite block wax laying around at home? No? Ok I’ll explain, it’s the wax used in the art of denture making.

My Dad is a dental technician and I couldn’t let those wax off cuts go to waste! The wax has a percentage of beeswax in its make up but melts at a slightly higher temp which is great for the weather over here just now. Glad I found a use for those off cuts - they have been piling up…

Or - if you’re a more normal person you might like to look at getting some professionally made waxed fabric by Abeego. The lovely Colleen Black over at Life Lived Simply is starting to import this lovely product into South Africa, along with a few other waste saving items you might find useful. Do pop over to Colleen’s blog anyway, it is a South African blog and is therefore so much easier to relate to her advice.

I’ve also started to freeze my homemade stock and soup in glass bottles. No, it’s not madness, it works! You just have to leave the lid a little loose and don’t fill the bottle to the top, leave some room for the liquid to grow as it freezes. And let it defrost naturally so the glass has time to adjust to the outside temperature. So far so good, no broken bottles yet.

And what we cant avoid we try to recycle. I use most of our snack wrappers etc in my Upcycling work. I have also started using the thicker plastic packaging from cat food or washing powder bags. We have limited recycling options in Grahamstown but we do what we can, we are about to sign up with a new, all local, company called Eco Bins Solutions and they should be able to take care of almost all our recycling needs.

Every little thing counts and it’s better to slowly change everyday habits that make huge temporary gestures. What little changes have you made to reduce the amount of plastic you use?