Honey & Plastic In A Jar

I got the chance to use our downtown independent drug store today. It was actually the cute guys idea. I suggested a chain store.

Here's what happened. I started buying local honey for our kitchen at work in a big jar. And then I bought a syrup pourer so people could, you know, pour it. The honey stuck in the spout instead. The lid had to be unscrewed to get to the honey except the lid would stick because it was caked with honey.

That was the case today. Hot water didn't help. I twisted harder. The glass syrup pourer shattered in my hand. A plastic honey bear was sounding like a better idea until this evening. Bandaged I went to see Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins from the Algarita Marine Research Center on Beth's suggestion at Fake Plastic Fish.

After studying jars of collection samples from the Pacific gyre which they passed to the audience, think a dirty snow globe of plastic, buying throw away plastic stuff (except maybe medical supplies when you're bleeding all over the place), I'm convinced throw away plastic isn't worth the damage it's doing to the ocean. Plus we likely end up eating the plastic when we think we're eating seafood.

Bottom line, syrup pourers for honey and throwaway plastics are dangerous. Fortunately there are alternatives. Like regular honey jars, water from the tap and canvas bags to start with.

Does anyone have a non-plastic alternative to keep greens fresh in the fridge? That's a plastic alternative I haven't figured out yet.


Anonymous said...

I've been using organic cotton produce bags. Simply get the lettuce or greens wet, shake them off and put them into the bag. That should make your bag damp. They won't keep quite as long as in plastic, but it works pretty well.

Green Bean said...

I use the cotton produce bags too. Not the netted ones - plain organic cotton fabric. I don't even bother getting anything wet. My lettuce lasts for about a week.

Anonymous said...

I use my organic cotton produce bags too. I make mine out of cotton mesh which does a great job at preventing decay.

Anonymous said...

It was great to see you last night! I wondered what that bandage was doing on your hand.

I'm thinking of creating a blogroll of people who write about plastic. But since most green bloggers write about more than plastic, my thought is to ask them to label their plastic-related posts as "Plastic" and I'll link to that label. Would you be willing to participate? This post could be included immediately. Just label it "Plastic", as well as any others you may already have about plastic.


Donna said...

Owie! I'm sorry I don't have any solutions for you since my local honey comes in plastic containers, but I hope your hand heals soon!

Jenna said...

I keep my greens, well... green without plastic by giving them a quick rinse when I get home (VERY quick, not trying to clean them, just get them barely damp) then loosely wrap them in a cotton tea cloth and set them in a big ceramic bowl in the bottom of our fridge. We got ours second hand and while it works fine, it came without crisper drawers.

I actually have two huge ceramic bowls in the bottom of the frige. One for the veggies, one for meat. Everything stays contained, no spills or messes, and I really have noticed things staying fresh longer.

Kale for Sale said...

laura - It sounds like not getting the greens damp is the step I missed. It makes sense. Thanks.

green bean - It's the super green infused energy that runs through your house. And the fact the greens are likely picked hours before you buy them. I'm giving cotton bags a go on the greens again. Thank you.

organic needle - I checked out your bags, the produce bags are really good but the tea bags are brilliant!

fake plastic fish - I added a white cotton glove to the bandage today and plastic to the label here. Sign me up. The more I become aware of plastic the more I see of it everywhere. I keep thinking, we can do better than buying things in plastic. Of course that's what you've been saying for awhile.

It was good seeing you too. Your smile is even better in real life than your blog label.

donna - Thank you. I needed a little sympathy. My hand is actually doing great. I put lavendar oil on it tonight which made me smile if nothing else.

jenna - That's such a wonderful image of ceramic bowls in the fridge. It makes me want to get rid of the crisper drawers I have. The tea towel idea is a good one too. Thanks. It's nice to hear from you.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Plastic-free Posse. I just added this section to my sidebar, and you are the first member. It'll include bloggers whose primary focus is not plastic but who, nonetheless, are working to reduce their plastic consumption and who will label those relevant posts "Plastic." I'll blog about it soon -- probably next week!

Theresa said...

Ouch! Sending you healing vibes for your hand - I'm sure the lavender helps too :)

I also wrap my greens in a damp tea towel. I also put in in a re-used plastic bag after that, but it may well not be necessary. I wrap washed celery in a damp tea towel as well, and then wrap that in re-used foil paper. That does work very well - keeps for weeks.

Unknown said...

A good way to keep greens fresh the non-plastic way is to wash them (I wash them well.) but spin off the excess water. Unfortunately my salad spinner is plastic but I love it. Spread the greens out on a strip of paper towels and roll it up. Sprinkle with water and wrap the whole thing with a cloth hand towel. I find that this works really well but you cannot let it dry out.

I'm joining the plastic free posse!

Linda A

Kale for Sale said...

theresa - I missed your comment yesterday. Have you ever froze celery? I read somewhere you can but I've yet to try it.

The lavendar must have helped. My hand is healing beautifully!

citizen green - Yeah for the plastic posse! I can't tell you how much plastic I find everywhere I look now. It's stunning. I told a friend today we should throw it all in the bay direct. Skip the dump trucks and the fuel to run them. So much of it ends up in the ocean anyway. It was a good laugh but not really so funny. I can't wait to see what plastic news you round up. Thanks for stopping by.

Theresa said...

Kale - I have not frozen celery, on purpose, but when I have done it by accident (i.e., when the crispers in the fridge go crazy and freeze things) the result is not pretty!

Glad your hand is feeling better!

Going Crunchy said...

I think I eat mine faster then they can poop out anyway. I just shop with my canvas bags a-la-natural and put them in the fridge crisper. Well, the fridge crisper is made of plastic but there isn't so much I can do about that right now.

I just picked up a fantastic wooden potato and onion keeper from Goodwill for only 3.00. I'm loving having more room in my fridge now and just put veggie right in. Shan

Kale for Sale said...

theresa - Thanks for following up on the celery. I'll take your advice and skip freezing it! Ugh.

going crunchy - An advantage to having kids number 42 - they eat the food before it goes bad! Advantage number 36 to not having kids - lots of room in the fridge. I like the wood box for potatoes and onion. I use a bottom drawer which could be advantage number 37 to not having kids - more available drawers. Nice to hear from you.

Jonno! said...

I like to use reusable plastic Tupperware. We actually use the ziploc brand though. It's not an alternative, but it's just a more responsible way to use the things we can't get around. Also, reuse the plastic bags you use. I bring a sandwich to work every day in the same ziploc bag, or if I cut a watermelon and put some ceran wrap over it, when I cut it again I use the same wrap again. If it's still usable at the end I clean it and fold it for another reuse.

Kale for Sale said...

jonna - Ummm. Is Tupperware Tupperware if it's Ziploc? You're reminding me of the three r's though -- recycle, reuse, reduce or some such order. You're doing it! Apparently there's a song about this. You probably have to be a mom to know it though.

Diana R.Smith said...

Well,as small honey producers we do use plastic for bottling our honey...recycled plastic actually. The cost of glass is prohibitive...would add $1 to each pound we sell. Canning jars are outrageous in price and any glas we would order comes with "buy at your own risk" policy...if it arrives broken there is no money back guarantee. Most of our customers return their bottles and we refill them for them-or bring us glass jars and we fill those. We do alot of our honey in the comb,too. DEE

Kale for Sale said...

Dee - How wonderful that even with the challenges to getting glass you're finding alternatives to plastic by refilling the customers container or filling one they bring from home. There are so many solutions when we step out of the box. Thanks for the other side of the story. I appreciate it.