It was daunting to even think about reducing his family's use of plastic but now, David Grant says even his kids are committed to making a change.
Cr Grant was one of the participants in Plastic Free July. The challenge encourages members of the public to cut back on single-use plastic as a way to reduce landfill and better the environment.
Rather than try and cut out plastic altogether, the Grants decided to focus on smaller, achievable goals like using less single-use plastic in the kids' lunchboxes.
Cr Grant said his daughters were happy to embrace the changes.
"The kids have enjoyed it. They got right into it. They would grab something off the shelves at the shops and say 'Dad, can we buy this it's got plastic on it?' and then we'd go and look if there was another option that we could look at," he said.
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"It does take more time, putting things into the reusable plastic containers and cutting up the fruit and veggies, but the kids were probably eating a bit healthier. Instead of buying the packaged, processed food the were eating peanut butter with carrots and cut up capsicum."
At the end of it, Cr Grant said his daughters asked if they could keep having the same things in their lunchboxes.
And the family saw results.
"We weren't throwing as much away which was shown in the amount of rubbish we were putting out each week. Our little red lid bin is normally pretty full but it wasn't overflowing, it was certainly down," Cr Grant said.
The chopping and repacking the food into reusable containers were done every Sunday, to limit the hassle during the week when there was less time.
"It was difficult at the start because of the amount of time you had to put into being prepared, but towards the end of the month it really wasn't seen as a chore, it was part of our routine of getting ourselves organised to be ready for the week ahead," Cr Grant said.
Even though Plastic Free July is now officially over, the Grant family plans to stick with some of the changes they've made.
"We'll keep going on and doing the little bit that we can to try and reduce the amount of plastic that we're using. It is very hard. Anything you look at is wrapped in plastic. It's about just trying to find those things that have a smaller amount or buying those bigger bulk items," Cr Grant said.
"It was certainly worth doing. I encourage anyone else if they're wanting to do something to take up the challenge and have a go at it. You'll be surprised."
More information is available on the Plastic Free July website.
Hi, I'm the deputy editor at Dubbo's Daily Liberal. I've worked as a journalist at the Daily Liberal for a number of years, covering all that's happening at council, as well as politics, human interest stories, community news and everything in between.
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