So we have moved home. My calling as a minister in the Moravian Church means that my hubby and I every few years have to move. This is the first of many as right now I am a student in training. Once I have finished my two more years at college I will move once more. Moving is exciting and nerve wracking. It is a great opportunity to embrace change and all its uncertainty. A chance to make and meet new friends. Find new places and discover new things about yourself. We both love change for all of these reasons.
Moving whilst trying to be plastic free is a challenge and I think it is safe to say we have done our best balancing everything alongside the main goal – longevity and plastic reduction.
For the main move we were moved by a removal firm. Everything was wrapped in paper and was transported in cardboard boxes which are due to be picked up in the next few days and be reused by the firm. So no plastic was used/ wasted in the actual move which is great.
However, we had to buy furniture. And this is where it falls down slightly as you can see:
Fridge Freezer. We had to buy a fridge freezer. And it has plastic on it.We went for a quality and chose Swan because they are British based (reducing air miles) and have a tag line of ‘designed for life’. We hope we are able to make this product last as long as possible, getting it fixed as and when we can – we literally are hoping it might be designed for life. It is plastic though and had a plastic wrapping in its delivery.
Table and Bench. We chose a table and bench set (chairs were family gifted) that were made from reclaimed wood. This came in a lorry and came from within Britain again. No plastic packaging as it came straight off the lorry (which is a win).
No Plastic – I think
Sofas. We got our two small sofas from a fantastic company I cannot recommend highly enough – https://www.sofasofa.co.uk – Based in Wales – really good quality and were hand delivered. I was not at home to take the delivery so can’t guarantee they weren’t wrapped in plastic in the lorry (but then we think if this was the case it would be re-used) – but we were left with no plastic packaging to deal with.
Bedroom Furniture – We have inherited a beautiful bedroom furniture set that my great-grandma once owned. Since then my grandparents have owned it and now us – we love it. And no plastic was wasted in the owning of this – though we did have to take the wardrobe apart and put it back together (thanks mum and dad for the help with this).
Desk We got a small desk from our friends Mim and Eddie in exchange for wine (who doesn’t love deals like that). This again involved no plastic.
Spare Room We got for our spare bedroom a set of Argos Shelves and Ikea Bed and the screws came in plastic for each of these (although the larger containers were cardboard).
Internet We had to get the internet and switched our supplier which meant a new box and with the deal a t.v. box. The only plus was that they did supply a recycle your old hub which we plan to do/ send it back to the previous supplier.
Garden Based Bits We have been gifted (so not technically bought but in the pursuit of all honesty) Gardening stuff which includes plastic (so watering can, pots). We are incredibly grateful as we are starting to grow our own vegetables as we want to really reduce the amount of miles we are travelling to get plastic free food which is considerably upping due to our now more rural location. However, we foresee the need for more things that have plastic in them when it comes to the garden (we have a lawn, for instance, and are after a cheap mower). This is one challenging area.
Plastic and now back to non plastic
We bought one large plastic milk and then managed to organise a milkman pretty quickly so avoided having to buy another. This is a classic example though of how different you end up thinking when you try and live without plastic. My first thought on arrival was ask about a milkman and we did. On the first day. We had organised one by the end of the first week.
Moving whilst trying to plastic free is a challenge. We still have yet to find rice that is without plastic successfully. We have though already sourced vegetables (locally and a bus ride away). We have not yet found things like lentils or cous cous, yet. It is going to be harder because we no longer live in a city switched onto these issues, however we will keep going.
Overall we have done O.K. just not completely plastic free and arguably big purchases like Fridge Freezers’ push our plastic consumption a lot higher than we would like. However, we aren’t living an incredibly alternate life. If you came to our home it probably looks very much like your own. We are limited to the calling we each have on our lives to live and work alongside people – our lifestyle ask us to live in standard housing we need to get things like Fridge Freezers. However it isn’t helping in our aim to live 100% plastic free and probably just knocked us down slightly to around 70% successful so far.