Here is all my plastic trash after the first week of Plastic Free July. It’s a bit more than I was hoping I’d end up with, frankly. But I’m not just posting it to make myself feel guilty. What other, lower packaging, options would I have?
- Animal food and litter – my children have a rabbit and a guinea pig, and their food and litter/bedding all comes in plastic bags. I don’t currently have any good ideas of how to avoid this waste, but I’ll keep an eye out for any stores that might sell these things in bulk.
- Cheese wrapper – just avoiding dairy products is the only good idea I have for avoiding the wrappers. I don’t know of anywhere I can buy hard cheeses in bulk or without packaging.
- peel from an envelope – next time I buy envelopes I’ll look for the kind you have to lick.
- mailing label from junk mail – we get return address labels as solicitations from non-profits, and the backing and the mailing label are on plastic. I wish they wouldn’t do that, and I will send a message to the organization letting them know how I feel about it.
- bag for carrots – I normally wash these out to reuse them, but this one got ripped open badly and isn’t any good anymore. Or I could buy my carrots loose and not get a bag, if I can find them like that.
- plastic cup and straw – this was just a foolish forgetful choice. I let my daughter order a bubble tea when we went out to lunch, and so we ended up with plastic cup, lid, and straw. We’ll not do that again.
- two little plastic spoons- another forgetful moment. My kids bought gelato and got two little tiny disposable spoons into the bargain. Next time, we could carry our own utensils and refuse the disposable ones in the shop.
- soda six pack rings – I could either not buy soda, buy it in glass bottles, or buy cans in a cardboard box.
- wine bag – I can buy my wine in glass bottles, but this was for traveling and keeping in a cooler in the car, so the bottles weren’t going to work well for that.
- wrappers from veggie burgers – I could make bean burgers from scratch.
- hotdog packaging – we could buy sausages from the local butcher instead, they come wrapped in butcher paper. Or we could not each sausages at all.
- wrap from bacon and sausage packages – these were our own pork from pigs we raised, and each package comes back from the local butcher wrapped in plastic inside the paper. Other than not eating meat anymore, I have no ideas how to avoid all this.
- popped airbags from mailing box – we ordered a few things from the big online shopping giant this week, and each box came with extra packaging. This is another reason for me to try and shop small and local rather than take the shortcut of ordering online, whenever possible.
- packaging from frozen fish, both outside bag and individual wrappers for each fish fillet – we don’t eat a lot of frozen fish, but I spotted this down in our freezer chest and decided to make fish soup this week. I could buy at the local seafood market at the waterfront, instead, if I want fish. That usually comes with a bit of plastic wrap as well, though.
- lots of little produce stickers – I do wish fruits and veggies didn’t always come with those irritating stickers on them. The farmers market stands have a lot fewer stickers than the food co-op or grocery store do, so that’s another reason to buy at the Farmer’s Market.
Let’s see if I can do better in Week Two!