Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Another Stab at Reducing Plastic Use

I read somewhere that most of our plastic use is for food.  It seems true at our house, especially in the old days before I finally trained myself to remember the cloth, shopping bags when I went to the store.  One would think the plastic, grocery bags bulging from every crevice of the house would have put me in the mind to remember, but change is hard!  On that point, I score, because I don't bring home plastic grocery bags at all anymore.  If I'm out and think about swinging by the store on my way home, I won't do it unless I have a bag to take in with me.  Al will still stop sometimes, but he has learned, at least, to ask for paper.  It's not ideal, but he knows better than to drag in those horrendous, plastic ones!

I made a declutter drop-off to Goodwill this morning, bundling it with a trip to Greenacres for that must-have item, almond milk.  Another chance to practice plastic reduction!  I remembered my cloth bags, of course.  *pat on the back*  Overall, I did a little better than usual so I'm glowing.  I bought several items in bulk, reusing bags for that.  I don't know how acceptable that is, so I do it rather quietly, though it's not hard to justify myself considering how outrageous it is that Greenacres only has plastic bags for this purpose!  I simply refuse to place my lemons in a new bag every single time.

Besides the lemons, which were $1 each (!), I got a piece of ginger root, bananas, walnuts, raisins, coconut flakes, quick oats, and chia seeds.  I also finally found the bulk teas!  I only found them because I had to go back for something and saw them at the end of the bulk aisle that I don't usually enter.  They even had gunpowder green, my favorite.  Free trade and organic!  So far no new plastics.  Then I had to get the almond milk, and it has a small, plastic screw cap on a paper carton.  I also got my ancient grain wraps, which come in a plastic package.  I need to investigate an alternative for my wraps.  Perhaps making them myself?

Ohhh, I looked a long time at all the yummy dairy products in the cooler section, the yogurt and cottage cheese, but I didn't get any of it.  Just too many tubs.

My other major plastic purchase was a tub of coconut oil.  Sadly, this tub is the only packaging I've seen at Greenacres.  They have a liquid coconut oil in a glass bottle, but this product is fractionated, meaning they actually remove the particular lauric acid I want the oil for in the first place!

The last item I purchased, my elderberry concentrate, comes in a glass bottle with a metal screw cap, leaving my final plastic total at 1 plastic bag, 1 plastic screw cap, and 1 plastic tub.  The bill was around $108, so I feel pretty good that the greater percentage of our money went toward food and not into plastic packaging that would eventually go in the trash.  No reason to be throwing cash in the garbage when, with some thought and a little restraint, I can invest in better nutrition instead.

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