Like most concerned citizens of this earth, the last few years has seen me looking for more ways to reduce the amount of plastic which we use on our house. Swapping handwash and shower gel for soap, ditching straws and buying products in glass over those in plastic are just some of the changes we have made so far. Recycling has been high on our agenda for a long time with me earning the moniker of ‘eco warrior’ for how I can sense from the other side of the house if a can or piece of paper is making its way into the bin instead of the appointed recycling container! OK, I can be a little harsh about it at times, but its all for a good cause right?!…
The thing that has stumped me for a long time have been those awful crinkly plastic bags that pretty much everything seems to come in these days. When will supermarkets actually listen up and take fruit and veg out of plastic bags? Let the apples roam free and let us take our own bags. Most people I know are up for this change. And such a small change on the part of the supermarkets that will result in much less grim plastic making its way to landfill. What is so difficult about this?
But for all my eco-warrior tendencies I am certainly not one to opt for the hair-shirt approach to life. I moderate my lifestyle to be ‘better’ and consume less of everything (not just plastic), I repurpose and reuse A LOT (that’s just in my nature).
As a cake maker I create a lot more food related waste than most households and the biggest issue being chocolate wrappers. And no, not the wrappers from all the chocolate I eat! Some of my most popular products are chocolate loaded cupcakes and more recently, chocolate loaded cakes. A chocolate loaded cake is a beauty to behold, you can almost hear it groaning under the weight of all the chocolates I fit on but when it is finished the pile of wrappers it creates is astounding.
With this in mind I searched for a long time to find a solution for something I could do with the plastic waste created by not only my cake business but also my family and ECO BRICKS were the best version of an answer I could find. The only issue was that it required plastic bottles to house all the plastic wrappers. We are not a fizzy-pop house; no snobbery, just the kids have never taken to fizzy drinks at all so we never have plastic bottles in the house but a kind friend (that’s you Jenny) came to the rescue and gave me a bag of bottles which she had saved up for me.
So started eco-warrior 2.0; saving all plastic wrappers, carefully wiping them down and drying them before stuffing them with all my might into bottles and whacking them in nice and tight using an unnecessarily large wooden spoon which I bought at Crate and Barrel many moons ago while holidaying in the US of A.
I started making these bricks at the beginning of the year and have just finished my 6th 2 litre brick. There is nothing like hoarding your rubbish to make you realise where the changes need to be made.
As the bricks have gone on I have found less plastic going in to the plastic bin as the family can actually see what impact their consumption is having and changes have been made. But it is nice to know that we have a place for all that pesky un-recycleable plastic until packaging manufacturers get their act together.
My eco-warrior-ing is by no means complete, I just need to find the next project to help us reduce our waste. I always try to remember that I do not need to be perfect, I just need to try.
I found this site to be quite useful when starting to build eco bricks: https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/news/news-archive/2019/what-is-an-ecobrick