I’d love to be able to do Junk Free June. I really would. But as a busy working mum of tweenagers, I’d be lying if I said I could go a whole 30 days without relying on junk food to solve at least one dinner crisis. While I’ve no doubt my body would thank me for giving up junk food, it’s my sanity I’d be worried about.
Because it’s for such a good cause, I’ve decided to invent my own way of doing Junk Free June. I’ve passed my idea by the tweens and figure the low level of eye rolling means they’re totally on board. I’ve pitched my idea to the husband, and even he didn’t seem totally opposed. So, in my world, that means we’re all systems go!
So, this June I’ll be finding as many practical ways as possible to make my household junk free. I’ll be exploring the worlds of precycling and worm farming. I’ll be giving some new products a try – like honey wraps and reusable produce bags. And I’ll be giving shampoo bars a test drive. All in an attempt to cut down the amount of plastic ‘junk’ that comes through our doors.
“Why?”, I hear you ask?
According to website recycle.co.nz, 48% of the 735 thousand tonnes of packaging we NZers consume each year ends up in the landfill, and a lot of that packaging is plastic.
Most plastic isn’t biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to break down. So that plastic bag that provides 10 minutes of convenience to get groceries from A to B, will still be lying around – or worse still floating somewhere in the Pacific Ocean – for many generations to come.
And while recycling is awesome, and the technology is improving all the time, not everything that goes into recycle bins can actually be recycled. Plastics that are contaminated with food waste – such as takeaway food and drink containers – and any plastics that have the numbers 3, 5, 6 or 7 probably won’t be recycled and will instead end up in the landfill.
So for the rest of June, I’m going to do the best I can to reduce the amount of plastic we use, by finding practical alternatives that are smart and simple enough for everyone in my house to do. And while I can’t see us getting to the point where we can keep all our household rubbish in a mason jar (but I seriously applaud those who can), I do think – with some simple changes – we can make a difference.
Because for me the question isn’t “Why?”. It’s “Why the heck not?”.
I might be doing Junk Free June my own way, but I’m still making a donation to the Cancer Society. If you’d like to make a donation too, click here: https://nz.junkfreejune.org/participants-and-groups/polly-unsaturated