Friday, 26 April 2013


Well I have spent the last 10 days in Indonesia. It has been a mighty effort to maintain my plastic free goal. I have had....some success. 

Water: Hurrh, water was not an issue!! I was actually able to find filtered water to fill up my water bottle in the mornings so there was no need to buy any water. I also have set up my Lifesaver bottle and can have water any time. Awhhhhh yah.

Alone time: When I have been responsible for my own meals I have managed to keep plastic free!

Conference time: This was a big fail. I had no control over the food or the ability to source out any other options. Not only did the food come delivered in Styrofoam containers but each individual item was in its own plastic bag. I felt very sad at meal times. The water was also served in a plastic disposable cup and thick cling wrap lid. I was able to avoid this by using my water bottle. I also did not purchase any snacks. These two things were in my control. So my impact was less than everyone else’s at the conference but by no means was it sustainable. 

Cutlery: Most places I have been to have served food on reusable plates with metal cutlery (yay) however, sometimes the cutlery comes wrapped in plastic :S. I use my own camping cutlery when that happens, however I was informed yesterday that the restaurant will still open the plastic, wash the cutlery and rewrap it. What a complete waste of their time and my efforts and the plastic. Boo.

Trains: I was not able to eat anything on the trains as they came wrapped in cling wrap. Luckily I planned ahead and had my lunches packed in my camping container. Win!

Street Food: The street food places that I went to encouraged you to sit down and had reusable everything. I was pretty impressed with that. Course, if you were worried about food safe stuff rather than plastic you might had had a different opinion :P I haven’t had any problems though.

Straws: Gah, straws. The Bain of my plastic free existence in Indonesia. No matter how many times I say no straw (in English, in Indonesian, and with my Indonesian friends repeating it for me) they still manage to give me a straw L. One time I saw the waiter put the straw in, then remember I specifically asked for no straw and take it out to put in the garbage L. Not to mention the incredulous looks I receive when I say (and pantomime) “no straw.” So, I decided to change my approach and only have hot drinks :P. The only thing to be careful there is to make sure coffee and tea come “for here.”

Gifts: Buying any type of merchandise without plastic packaging is very very difficult here. I was really excited when I bought my scarf, because the price tag was attached with the security device. Or so I thought... As soon as the removed the tag I saw that it was also attached with a plastic tag L. Too late.

So, I’d say I have had some successes, some complete failures that I couldn’t seem to change, and had to sacrifice some desires because of no alternative. All in all I am pretty happy with my experience. My eyes have certainly been opened to how pervasive plastic is though. I thought it was everywhere in Canada / Australia. HAH! No. Not even close. I wonder what kind will take for a change in consumer behaviour here in Asia. Well, Indonesia anyway. Let’s see what happens in Malaysia!!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Follow up to WOW!

Well I didn't actually go out and look for more research but another article caught my intention. It is a follow up to the giant plastic clean-up array. It turns out, that's just a pipe dream....

Here is an article in response to the idea.

Video fail :(

Well I got some really exciting mail (!!) and took a video showing it, but once again I have been foiled by internet quality.

Well good news, just in time, I received my Lifesaver Bottle. AND I opened up the package and there was no plastic wrapping! Hurrah :). Huge win. However, there were also no instructions so I have yet to set the thing up. Hahaha. I think it should be very straightforward, I just have to prime the filter. Once it is up and going I will be able to take water from any source and be able to drink it! No one plastic bottles for me. 

Just in time to because I arrived in Jakarta, Indonesia last night. There is purchased bottled drinking water in my hostel (Six Degrees) which is very nice but (from today) it looks like purchasing water is the only way to go. Good thing I can thwart that. 

I have eaten street food once, and it was a sit down place with reusable plastic dishes. The other place I have seen used card stalk paper to serve their dish. I have yet to try bringing my own take away container but I think that will be doable. The only foreseeable issue is the language barrier as food safe is of a different standard than I was taught :P. I am not too worried.

Well I will set up my bottle tomorrow and try it out, then give another update!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Shampoo review

Well I have used the shampoo and conditioner from Lush twice now. Before I used it the first time it occurred to me that I might need a more sophisticated way of carrying it than loose. After all, I would have to get it wet...then what? Well I tried just shaving a small amount off first to use. That worked okay... but didn't really lather and I ended up using quite a bit. So, it would keep it dry but I think I would run out fairly fast.

So then the next time I tried using it more like a bar of soap. That worked a lot better, it lathered and seemed to work well. The past couple of times my hair has seemed to get greasy a bit earlier. I will have to monitor that a bit. But then I have this issue of letting it dry or packing it wet...? No good.

So the new plan is to make to carrying cases (which will drain :) ) out of pop cans! Haha cool! We got the idea after watching some youtube videos on how to make a backpacking stove. How hard could it be? 

So that is tomorrows project, to construct this container. Only one more week of this super lame internet. Hopefully the next country will allow me to upload pictures. It is Indonesia, so we will see.

I have something really exciting in the mail. I am reeeeeally hoping it will arrive tomorrow. Oh man! I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

New Product!!

Well the time has come... new deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, all with no plastic packaging! Hurrah. Thanks Lush. Of course, who knows if I will like them all.

I have a picture but as usual I cannot upload it. Gah this internet is terrible :(. 

I have been using the deodorant for about a week now (it is a solid white, smells weird :P) and I gotta say, I am reeeeally happy with it. Actually, it is the best I have ever tried (including the clinical strength stuff). It has minimal ingredients but it blocks all smell and keeps my shirts really nice. I am really hoping that I am as happy with the shampoo as I am with the deodorant. 

Of course, they are quite expensive. ($11, $15, and $10 / kg respectively). I have pretty high expectations that it will last a long time though. At least until I am back in Canada would be nice :).

The next adventure will be to figure out a carrying case...