One plastic fantastic free year: Gina Prendergast wraps up her year with a vow to keep living without plastic.
We welcomed our baby Willow into the world in late August, just the way we planned–delivered at home in a calm atmosphere, drug free and almost plastic free.The only plastic used was a syringe for two injections we needed to have. As tempting as using a birthing pool was, I rejected the option. It had to be lined with a disposable plastic lining for hygiene reasons and I just couldn’t bear the thought of birthing my baby in a plastic pool after all the effort we have gone to this year.
I used plastic free Nature Care mother pads (sanitary pads) and washable breast pads. A friend of a friend was happy to on-sell her cot and 23 Baby Beehind cloth nappies for a bargain at $200. The cloth nappies are easy to use, and Willow has only worn disposables for one day when an airline we travelled to NZ on in December lost our luggage.
Most of our friends and family made a real effort to gift Willow plastic free items but, as the saying goes ‘there’s one in every family.’ I actually think there have been at least two!
I use a second hand breast pump and store expressed milk in glass feeding bottles when needed. We use 100 per cent rubber dummy, wooden rattles, wool and fabric dolls, and even have a recycled (safe) cardboard high chair.
There is a small amount of virgin plastic in our car seat and pram. I tried for two months to buy these second hand from eBay or Gumtree, but someone else always beat me to it or was willing to pay more than I was. In the end we bought new ones.
We recently headed out for a fun family day of strawberry picking. We took a whole freezer draw to fill up and we now have a supply to last us a few months. The strawberry smoothies have been delish and not a plastic container in sight!
My 2011 New Year’s resolution to live plastic free for a year has concluded, but why end a good thing? We have managed to live a happy modern lifestyle with less than three per cent virgin plastic. We are going to continue reducing plastic pollution by choosing not to use it. The plastic that we did accumulate during 2011 will be turned into an art piece so that none of it enters the waste stream. Look out for it in a gallery near you!