Holidays are times when convenience is priority — we want to travel light and keep things simple and easy so we can just enjoy ourselves. But doing a plastic free July means changing to a different kind of simple living, which is not so easy (at least to begin with).
It just so happens that our wedding anniversary, my father-in-law’s birthday, and my family holiday fell on the same week in July, which meant one thing: Road trip all over Victoria! Thankfully petrol comes without packaging so I can postpone the carbon emissions dilemma to a later date (like the rest of society.. ouch). But this road trip was different in several ways:
- No snacks from the confectionery aisle — home-baked slices and fresh fruit gave us the energy we needed
- Nappies.. so many nappies
- A clotheshorse to dry said nappies
- Homemade toothpaste
- Decanted shampoo and conditioner
- Hankies were on hand to keep noses dry in the chilly Victorian alpine air
- Loose leaf tea
- Tea strainer
- Muesli and bran flakes from the bulk food store
- Bread picked up from the bakery in re-used bags
- Honey in a re-filled jar
- Peanut butter in a re-filled jar (filled en route at Bendigo Wholefoods)
- Block of butter
- Glass-bottled milk to (almost) last the week, including cooking a delicious lasagne for my nine family members
- Part of a wax-coated wheel of cheese (essential for lasagne)
- Home-cooked frozen curry and rice
- Frozen mince meat (in a container filled at our local butcher)
Whew, what a week! And a full car load. I’ll admit it was certainly harder than usual, and added more stress than we would have liked. Indeed, it wasn’t perfectly plastic free either, for example after buying some parmesan cheese in wax paper we were disappointed to find the cheese wrapped in plastic inside!
But what I’m going to remember is getting to experience God’s amazing creatures at the zoo, an unexpected snow walk up a mountain (my daughter’s first time: “wowee!”) and spending quality time with both sides of the family. Perhaps I’ll also remember it as marking a turning point for us — our first plastic free holiday!