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Living Lightly column

Bringing thrifty back

By Melissa Kane

I’m bringing thrifty back, which might sound quite presumptuous, but I’ve been using the time during COVID and on the back of Plastic Free July to pause, reflect and examine what going plastic free means for me.

Everyone is on their own plastic free journey and I respect that your house means your rules.

You may have had some extra time at home lately, which is the perfect time to take stock of what you really have on hand at home. And for an added bonus, using up what you have reduces consumption and saves you money, the definition of thrifty.

I’m the first to admit I’m guilty, here I was happily buying no-pong D.O. and feeling good about myself, however when cataloguing my bathroom cupboard, I discovered two and half roll-on deodorants that I had decided against using (probably a choice made in the height of summer!) however, I now have the opportunity to use them up, before replacing them with a plastic-free option.

Don’t even get me started on how much conditioner I found, no shampoo. (Does anyone use shampoo and conditioner in equal ratios?)

We are fortunate to have a variety of local stores either online like The Replenish Store, which delivers locally or shopfronts like Border Just Foods, which sells bulk liquids like handwash, shampoo, conditioner, dishwashing liquid, laundry liquid, bodywash. Bring your own container and refill it.

The existing plastic in your home is not necessarily evil and to be recycled immediately, just refill your perfectly good plastic containers repeatedly until they wear out, then replace them with a non-plastic substitute.

The idea of going plastic free is marketed as having to buy glass, ceramic or bamboo type products to replace all your existing plastic. I disagree with immediately buying new products. Use your existing plastic containers with lids to store food until they wear out.

Before you buy beeswax wraps, consider if you have used up all your cling wrap, it’s much easier to keep good habits if you can’t revert to old staples.

Here’s to you, wherever you are on your plastic free journey! It doesn’t have to be a costly exercise if you can be thrifty. And your planet will thank you for your efforts.