PLASTIC FREE JANUARY – TIP #1
As part of Plastic Free January this month EORTH have put together a 31 day list of ways to eliminate single use plastic in your home. To start things off we’re tackling store bought juice. Forget buying juice in plastic containers, instead juice your own. Nothing beats a freshly squeezed glass of juice.
Grab a box of oranges, or bag a dozen or two when you’re at the markets or grocery store. If you’re not able to grab a box make sure to take your reusable fruit and veggie bags with you, to place the loose oranges in.
We recommend Cotton Net Produce Bags rather than the recycled plastic variety, as the bags start to break down (after many years of use) they can be safely placed in your compost to return to Mother Nature.
Fresh juice, particularly orange juice can be juiced by a variety of methods, but if you want to get the most juice out of your bounty, an electric juicer is a must. A juicer is a great investment for the home. They are available at a variety of price ranges. You don’t however need to run out and buy the latest greatest model to achieve delicious fresh juice. Take a look online on Facebook shopping pages, at your local Vinnies or Second Hand shop, or seek out a deal on eBay.
The juicer shown in the post was gifted by our neighbours when they were reducing household items in preparation for their move interstate.
Fresh squeezed juice can be stored in the fridge in used plastic juice containers. This continues to give them, life rather than tossing them into the recycling bin (remember the key to eliminating household plastic is to reduce and reuse before recycling). Juicing a few dozen oranges should yield you around 3 litres of juice. If you don’t get enough juice to fill your juice containers add water to juice. Be sure to give it a bit of a shake before drinking so the liquid is combined.
Fresh squeezed juice will last a few days in the fridge — that is if you don’t drink it all before the “use by date”.
Do you or your kids like to enjoy your juice with a straw? Go reusable at home. The most stylish straw you can get is the Rose Gold Stainless Steel variety. If you don’t like the feel of stainless steel straws you may like to try a Bamboo Straw. Of course for most it’s easy enough to skip the straw altogether and drink your juice straight from the glass. Either way you prefer, you’ll love your fresh plastic free juice even more when you take the time to juice it yourself!
Discarding the pulp and orange rinds
If you want to go full zero waste, you may want to use up your pulp in cooking. You’ll be baking a lot of muffins if you want to use up all the orange pulp as part of the muffin ingredients. You can also add pulp to soup for some additional flavour and texture.
Citrus peels can be soaked in vinegar for a few weeks. After soaking remove the peels from the vinegar mixture. To get the most liquid and scent, give them a good squeeze first. Store the orange vinegar in a used spray bottle. The liquid can now be used as wonderful orange scented, natural, all purpose cleaner.
Although some say you should not add citrus peels to your compost, my understanding is that they don’t break down fast enough — or disrupt the pH balance. If you’re not a hard core gardener, and are simply composting to reduce waste, then you can always try the Bokashi technique (this works perfectly for me). Place the pulp and rinds at the very bottom of the hole that’s been dug for your Bokashi composting. Place the contents of the Bokashi on top and bury with soil.
Not interested/don’t have time for at home juicing — source out some Noah’s Juice. It’s packaged in a glass jar with a foil lid.
Are you a pro juicer? Have any tips you’d like to share on juicing or composting? Share your thoughts and expertise below.
Happy Juicing, and Happy Plastic Free January.