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Teeny Tiny Steps


Along with everyone else in the country we have been unable to avoid the news about the horrendous amounts of plastic we are chucking out willy nilly. I've known for a long time that it's something I really need to work on, but something happened recently that made Dan and I decide enough was enough. 

I wish I could remember what brought it to a head, it would probably be inspirational, but I can't. It's been coming since the Hugh's War On Waste show about coffee cups, there's the huge amount of waste that goes through the charity shop every week. Everything we receive into the shop is waste in a sense, it's something the owner doesn't want, and thankfully we can sell, recycle via the rag merchant, or pass on to a different charity a lot of it, but plenty still goes into the bin. I have absolutely no clue what happens to it after that, but we don't have a separate recycling bin. 

We have a couple of reusable coffee cups but tend to only use them when I take mylk to the shop or we take a drink out with us, I've never used mine for take out coffee, but neither have I had take out coffee so that's not too bad. Today we went to Windermere as there was a festive market on, I used my cup at the fantastic Earthworm Kitchen for a delicious almond mylk hot chocolate orange (it was amazing) you can see me enjoying it in the above picture. They didn't bat an eyelid. Later, Dan fancied a coffee so we used the same cup at a different place, even though the cup had been used the cafe owner wasn't bothered at all. Success! I know people in larger towns and cities will be surprised at my happiness, but this is a place where I once saw someone ordered their coffee in a reusable cup and the cafe owner made it in a paper cup, decanted the coffee and threw the paper cup away.


We did get some food too, but we had forks in the car and the container is suitable to go into the compost so that will happen tomorrow. The squidged item was The Buble Burger!


Yum! 

I had been thinking of buying a tiffin box or something for those times we treat ourselves to cake, but then I saw how much they cost and decided that I really could make do with the plastic tub with a domed clip on lid that we already own. 


Oh, another minor win was when we bought some onions, we don't have a market here so we buy almost everything from a supermarket. On Saturday we bought a bag of onions in a paper bag, there's a little bit of plastic on the front of the bag but it's a start.

Comments

  1. I had to keep a picture of the burger menu to send to my dughter-delicious sounding. i have to always ask for a real cup-automtically will put in to go even when I'm clearly staying for a meeting.

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    1. Their food is so delicious!

      I know what you mean about being given a paper cup, one local coffee shop is a popular place for people to hold meetings, and even though everyone drinks in all the drinks are in to-go cups.

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  2. I think it's something we all need to think a bit more about. I should really buy more food without packaging. I've fallen back into bad habits there.

    At my current CS we throw out far less than was thrown out at the previous shop which was 3x smaller, because more is either sold in the shop, recycled or sent to companies that recycle it for us. I'm not sure how much of it ends up in landfill at the end of the day, but it doesn't seem as bad as putting it in the waste sacks ourselves.

    I do enjoy the recycling of unwanted stuff part of the job though. It does feel worthwhile. I think I'd struggle to work in a retail environment that pumps out lots of new stuff all the time.

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    1. I have fallen into some bad habits there too, for the past few weeks we've been buying houmous, not necessary at all.

      At the charity shop we rotate stock around the shops in our area, sell textiles, shoes, bags, belts, and books to a recycling firm, and we pass on things like duvets that we can't sell to someone who works with the homeless. We don't, however, have separate recycling for things like paper, plastic bottles, batteries and things like that, the stuff of everyday work life. Everything just goes into one bin, I have no idea what happens to it after that.

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  3. I am so glad you wrote about this! I have felt overwhelmed about plastic usage for the last few months! I know EXACTLY what you mean about the joy over them letting you use your plastic mug! I went into Waitrose in Wallingford, Oxfordshire when I was waiting for a bus home from my friend's. I had my own cup (admittedly a bit grubby inside) and I went to get my free cup of tea with my Waitrose card. I asked for him to put it in my insulated cup and he said that they had to wash it up before they could serve in it (no matter how clean) - I said I didn't mind but he said it was policy. I thought he'd run it under a tap but he PUT IT IN THEIR DISHWASHER for a 5 minute spin! In the meantime, he FORGOT about my cup and served it to me in a Disposable. I asked him to put it into my mug and he said, "No, I'll give you another cup full" and then handed me both cups! I wanted to scream! Luckily, our local Greggs who I sometimes get a tea from when I am running late for work will put it in my insulated mug, no matter how grubby!

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    1. Thanks Kezzie.

      Good to hear that a massive chain like Greggs are fine with you using your own cup, that's great. At our closest shops that offer free coffee for card holders drinks come via a machine so hopefully people can use their own cup without too much trouble. Very frustrating for you though.

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  4. It is really hard to rid ourselves of all plastic use. I am still working on this one. Lots bring their "to go" mugs with them into the cafes and such here. I know at school we all had our water bottles with us during the hot presummer days. You are doing very well.

    God bless.

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    1. Thanks Jackie. The town here is so interesting, there are lots of very active people around and they tend to have a flask or reusable bottle if they're walking, running, going to the gym or are on their bike. But I don't see many people using a to-go mug just for a coffee. Hopefully it will become more popular here as it is in other places - people only need to look at the beach to see the plastic problem!

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  5. I share your concern about plastics and I am determined to reduce our usage of them too. For the past few years we have bought a large sack of potatoes for the winter, it works out cheaper and comes in a paper sack. Sarah x

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Sarah. Sacks of potatoes are a great idea, we tend to buy them more in the winter as it's the only time we'd really get through the whole thing, I'll keep an eye out for other things too.

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  6. Yey for small steps, and for onions in paper bags! I really have to work on my plastic consumption, it's mostly plastic food packaging, lots of convenience food has crept in, which I hope will creep out again when we have our kitchen sorted and I can make more things from scratch!

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    1. We rely on the supermarket for out food, we don't have a local market, and that means a lot of plastic packaging. Hopefully next year we'll organise our shopping a little more and make use of a nearby city where we can get refills, buy more in paper packaging (e.g herb and spices), and use the market where everything is sold loose and can go straight into my bag.

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  7. I once was refused by the assistant in a *bucks to put my drink in a thermos cup. THe kicker? Someone had bought me the cup for christmas from that EXACT shop! I try and drink mostly water at the moment, but sometimes you just really need a hot drink and if you have your reusable cup I think they should be duty bound to fill it.

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    1. Wow, that's amazing! Sounds like some more staff training was required there.

      I think now the chains in town would be used to people bringing in their own mug, and the two places we used ours were veg*n, and they are used to walkers and cyclists so probably really used to it. I wonder how I'd get on with some of the more traditional cafes in the town, it would be interesting to know.

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  8. Yum ,those burgers sound delicious. I don't tend to buy takeaway coffees as we have a free machine at work but I did take my Keep Cup to a festival this summer and was delighted to either get a discount or free refill from the vendors there. Things are changing slowly but surely.

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    1. They were delicious, they were from Earthworm Kitchen, I think they're based in Ulverston but we have seen them at a number of events around Lancashire this year, which is great.

      I tend to use my cup more for taking oat milk to work, or when I'm visiting someone so I don't have to take a full carton with me. It's useful for the occasional treat though. Great idea for using one at a festival.

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  9. I need to follow your example. Little steps all build up, so it's all worth doing. x

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    1. It is worth it, the picture of that seahorse clinging to the cotton bud is never going to leave me!

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