Plastic Free Chicken

Yeah, that was me walking up the boulevard the other night with the big red bowl. It's my favorite bowl but I never thought I'd be flaunting it on the sidewalk in rush hour traffic. I tried to act casual. Like I was walking a dog or carrying home an over sized library book. But the bowl was too heavy to carry with one hand or carry in the same position for more than a quarter of a block.

Did I say the lid kept popping off? That there was a roasted, local organic chicken inside? That it was windy, I was hungry and also carrying my purse that held an actual hard cover library book, a camera and an inordinate amount of change.

It was ridiculous and all I could do was laugh. Even more ridiculous though are the single use, heavy plastic, chicken shaped containers the roasted chickens are sold in. I wrote the store a letter six months ago requesting an alternative. They sent a nice reply. I continued to not buy roasted chickens and waited for change. Nothing happened except we didn't eat chicken.

I decided to take matters into my own hands. Be the change you want to see, as they say.

I walked in the store with my big red bowl and asked for a roasted chicken. There was initial hesitancy on every one's part. "No one's ever asked for this," the counter person said. Surely there were rules or codes being broken. I smiled, spoke calmly. He looked like he was going to call for help but we talked it through. He put a plastic free chicken in the bowl and I made it through the check out line without being stopped.

Now even the people in line think it's a good idea. "I bring my cloth bags," a woman told me last week, "but this is taking it to a new level."

Which is what I need to remember next time - my cloth bag. The big one. It would make it a lot easier to carry the red bowl home in.

16 comments:

Kel said...

i love it. I always need to remind myself in these situations that everyone else thinks its GREAT but being the example is sometimes socially rather excruciating, but also quite a exhiliarating challenge. I had my moment last year when i wheeled by wheelbarrow up to the store and alonfg the footpaths on the main road to bring home the garden supplies rather than take the car.

leslie said...

that is hilarious, and i thought bringing my own bags really threw them for a loop. i love the expressions store clerks or bag boys give me when i hand them my own bags. it's complete confusion!

Donna said...

GOod for you -- you'll probably start a trend. And thanks for a hilarious post. :)

JessTrev said...

Wow, I so totally love this! At least they don't charge for those by the pound. You know, at our Whole Foods? They switched from those horrid clamshells to paper bags (still with a little plastic window but wayyyy better) lined with plastic of some kind. And now they are back to giant ridonculous clamshells again! Argh. But instead of keeping that image in my head, I am going to think of you and your bowl (and inord amt of change) and Kel with her wheelbarrow!

Andree said...

You are my idol. Really, you inspire me frequently.

kale for sale said...

Kel - I have laughed out loud all day thinking of you with your wheelbarrow. But I have to know, is it red?

leslie - Wait until you show up with your own bowl!

Donna - I doubt I'm a trendsetter but the store manager happened to check me out with the bowl a while back and thought it was a good idea. How that works into an action the store takes I don't know.

Jess Trev - They used to have those bags at our corner store too. Apparently they leaked chicken juice in peoples cars and there were complaints so they changed the packaging. We need more wheelbarrows. They can simply be hosed out.

Andree' - I'll remember that the next time I'm feeling ridiculous. Thank you.

Kel said...

http://pandragonathome.blogspot.com/2008/10/putting-my-money-where-my-mouth-is.html - its blue Im afraid

Fake Plastic Fish said...

Hilarious. I get these funny looks every time I bring my stainless steel pot into the butcher shop to buy chicken for my kitties. But I haven't tried it for roasted chicken. What store was it?

kale for sale said...

Kel - Not red but a well loved wheelbarrow for sure.

FPF - Your kitties have such a good life. Our corner store is Andronicos and they sell Rocky and Rosie chickens from Petaluma. Yes, not free range but for a week night I'm good with a bit of industrial local. In my own bowl that is.

Fake Plastic Fish said...

My kitties think Rocky is very tasty. I rarely ever buy meat for myself. And duh, I just got the red wheelbarrow reference.

Donna said...

Katrina,
You make my heart sing. I can't imagine my life without you. Love, Olivia

kale for sale said...

FPF - I had to go and read the poem again.

Donna - You're the cutest. Thank you. xoxox

RHONDA said...

Wonderful! Now all you need to find is a re-usable carry bag that will fold up small and fit in your purse. It's great for those times when you buy just one item, but it's something that is awkward to carry. I've had mine for a few years now - it's made from something that feels like parachute fabric - and I use it all the time.

kale for sale said...

Rhonda - That's a good idea. Funny how the most obvious things elude me. I've seen those everywhere but never thought I needed one. Thank you.

Karin said...

I'm over from Kel's blog but couldn't leave without saying I love this! You go girl!!

kale for sale said...

Karin - Encouragement is always appreciated! Thank you.