Sunday, September 16, 2012

CTWW - Plastic at the Grocery Store

This is the latest challenge from Reduce Footprints. It's a good one.  It's one that I've been struggling with myself for awhile. 

This week, pick a food item which you normally buy in a package (especially a plastic package) and find a better alternative. For example, rather than buy beans in a plastic bag, look for them in the bulk isle of the market and fill your own container. Rather than buy produce in plastic "clam shells", see if you can find them loose, without packaging. If you typically shop at a supermarket (where almost everything is packaged in plastic) consider shopping at a farmer's market, food co-op, wholesale market or organic food store for better options. The idea, here, is to find at least one "green" alternative to plastic packaging ... and, while doing without might be an appropriate alternative, we're more interested in finding the food in acceptable/no packaging for this challenge.

Or ...

If, in your area, you find it nearly impossible to buy food which isn't packaged in plastic, please speak to your market's owner/manager to see if they can offer any alternatives. Talk to neighbors and members of the community to search out options.

Or ...

If none of the above works out, please write letters to your government officials and/or start a petition asking for plastic free food packaging.

I tried to use the only farmer's market that is near my house this summer. What a waste of my time.  There were very few vendors there and the ones that sold items that we ate, the produce looked worse than it did in the store and was more expensive.   I only went a couple of times and then just stopped going.  Very frustrating as I wanted to use it all summer.

I also was very good at using my own bags/containers for bulk items, all the nuts I buy for trail mix, at two of my local stores.  However the last time I did this at both of them I was told that customers aren't allowed to anymore because of health reasons.  I was told it wasn't really the store wanting to go this route but state health regulations.  So I have to use the plastic bags they provide.    I was also told the same thing last time I tried to bring my own container for deli meat.

I'm so frustrated on both accounts!   The only good thing is that one of the stores I like that carries locally grown produce and is all organic items will be opening another store somewhat close to my house.  The only other one isn't even close to where I live but I have gone there on occasion. It's just not convenient to go there often.  However they are opening one closer to my house and I hope that when Husband is bored on the weekends I can convince him to make the trip there with the baby to get items.  So I suppose that is something.

Sorry this post seems so down. lol  I didn't intend for it to be, I suppose it's just a frustrating topic for me as I keep trying to find ways around the plastic and to eat locally and each time it seems like I run into road blocks.  I'll just have to keep looking though.

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