My challenge

Hi, my name is Eva-Melina and I’m an average consumer from Düsseldorf, Germany. Every year I ditch a bad habit for the time of Lent and try to live without it until Easter. This year I want to spend six weeks without buying anything made of plastic or wrapped into plastic – That means no plastic bags, bottles, containers, plastic foil etc. you name it. I got inspired by the movie Plastic Planet and an Austrian family that has been living an almost plastic free life since they watched it.

I am concerned about the tremendous effects plastic has on the environment, our health and the health of animals, so I thought that would be a good enough reason to set myself this little challenge. Most plastics we use are made of non-renewable resources that will more than outlive us. In the meantime huge amounts of waste get eaten by animals that might even end up on your plate again. Aside from the effects the production of plastic products have, there is another big problem about plastic: Most of our food and drinks are sealed, wrapped or filled in plastic that contains hormone disrupters. The alleged bad effects of that are numerous and can be looked up everywhere.

So there seem to be many good reasons for me to quit my nasty habit. But don’t get me wrong – As many of you, I would not want to miss important, long-lasting items made out of plastic like my laptop (which I actually need for my work), my phone etc., however I do think it is unneccessary to buy something sealed, wrapped or filled in a material that only serves one main purpose: To get thrown out right after opening it.

For a long time I tried to ignore the mass of plastic I threw into my bin, but I have noticed over the years that it has steadily become more and more – although I did almost always take my cotton bag for shopping and tried to avoid free plastic bags. It’s just that whatever you buy in the supermarket comes in two, three, sometimes even four or more layers of useless plastic. This goes from bananas sealed in plastic to flower pots sealed in plastic (Why? I can’t even think of hygienic reasons here?), individually wrapped lollies in plastic bags, plastic-bottled water and soft cheese in plastic containers that come with an extra plastic seal inside for – I don’t know – hygienic reasons?

I want to use this blog to share my experience with you, show you the obstacles I was confronted with and discuss your ideas on my project. I have come across certain dilemmas like plastic bottles leaving a smaller carbon footprint than glass bottles due to their reduced weight at transport, so it would be extremely interesting to hear your opinion on that. As I want all of my friends to follow my blog (not only my German speaking ones), I decided to write it in English. So follow my journey and feel free to share my blog with your family, friends or workmates!

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6 comments

  1. Hej Eva!

    Sounds quite challenging! I just watched a short docu with this austrian family some weeks before. I think its very difficult to live this way. Thinking on Toothpaste, Shampoo and stuff like this.

    But i think the carbon foodprint of glasbottles is not that big problem, because of recycling and if you buy your water from a local, lets say “source”, there wont be that long transportation ways.

    Good luck to you (and your husband for sure)! I think thats a good thing you’ll do! I’ll stay tuned!

    All the best from Sweden!
    Gwen

    1. Danke! And thanks for the info about glassbottles! As for cosmetics and toiletries: Fortunately there is a big cosmetic chain that sells all kinds of soap bars like shampoo soap, bodylotion soap and even toothpaste soap. I spent a fortune there last week, but I was happy to see that it is still possible to buy that sort of stuff relatively easily. The only thing I’m really afraid of now is running out of toilet paper!

  2. Sounds good. Wich chain is it? And isnt it wraped in plastic as well?
    Maybe you can find a shop, which sells single toilet paper rolls! 😉 But i dont know, if this would be cheating already …

    1. Lush sells all kinds of soap bars and they’re not even wrapped in plastic! Maybe I will do it like my relatives in the East used to do – use old newspapers 🙂

  3. I think it also a nice idea to mix your own cosmetics from time to time. But thank you for the experiment, it has already made me more aware of what I am buying and how I can recycle the plastic I already have at home. 🙂

    1. I’m happy to hear that! I even found recycling tissues at dm that come in a paper box completely without plastic (not even in the gap where you take out the tissue). This will replace my toilet paper and my make up remover pads.

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