Throwaway Packaging

I'm a slow learner with a bad memory. I have no idea how long it took to realize that eating local food meant primarily eating food without throwaway packaging. That should have been the first thing I noticed.

There's still packaging in that I carry reused bags in my purse for spontaneous markets. And I have a canvas bag especially for reused bags and a collection of smaller and mesh cotton bags. (All of which makes a nice nest when buying peaches.)

I bring home yogurt in mason jars that I keep or return for the deposit depending on my mood. We reuse the zip lock bags the rice comes in, return the green berry baskets, the almond butter and jam jars. The dried beans do come in a cellophane bag but are so good I can't give them up.

I don't refuse eggs cartons but borrow them for a week at a time. Our cheese has a bit of saran wrap around it and local meat is wrapped in plastic too. It's impossible to break away completely.

At the grocery store I buy milk in returnable bottles although our butter still comes in a box wrapped one cube at a time. I buy flour in bulk, yeast in a jar, baking powder in a crisp plastic bag. And then I leave the store. Okay, sometimes with a bag of tortilla chips too.

There have been several times I've come home from the farmers' market and pulled a purveyors plastic tub of goods from the bag. "What was I thinking?" I always ask. Not that I mind an occasional plastic tub, I reuse it, but generally speaking what's in the tub isn't as good as the logo its branded with.

I'm learning. Packaging that isn't returnable or reusable often means I'm being impulsive. I may want to walk away, reevaluate.

Although being impulsive has it's joys too. Like the day I accepted a taste of dark chocolate covered organic almonds. I'm still using that container.


Theresa said...

Ah, what a good tip. If something is in disposable packaging it could be an impulse buy - thanks for making that connection for me!

kale for sale said...

theresa - Unless of course it's dark chocolate covered almonds. Then it's a necessity.

Theresa said...

Oh, well yes. That goes without saying ;)

Green Bean said...

I'm alot like you in terms of the packaging I take home. Most of it can be returned. Some of it can be reused. I try to avoid stuff that falls into neither category. Some weeks, I have a lot of energy and can do a great job at it. I'll just make my own, I scoff. And do. And it's 20 times better than it would be store bought.

Other times, I will end up picking up a packaged item. Those times don't come along very often and, for me, it's not usually being impulsive but exhausted. In those cases, I make the best choice I can (local, organic, packaging that is at least recyclable) and hope to regain some energy for next time. ;-)

kale for sale said...

green bean - Good point. Thank you. There are definately times to appreciate packaging.