Happy Earth Day, two days late. Why was the last time I blogged last Earth Day 2017?!
Ok so this year the global theme is Ending Plastic Pollution. At my (new) job I have already joined the Social Responsibility Team (are you surprised?! No, didn’t think so) and have planned this week as Earth Week. So, we are hosting a bunch of events at work to raise awareness about using less plastic.
First let me back up, about a month ago, our controller told me she was doing no meat March. No meat for the entire month of March, hmm I said, that’s interesting. So then I started planning Earth Week and thought, could I do a month without plastic??? Can’t hurt to try right?
So my challenge is to go at least two weeks, up to a month without using plastic. I shopped last Tuesday April 17th at Sprouts, armed with my reusable produce bags. It was hard I am not going to lie. EVERYTHING is wrapped in plastic. I mean EVERYTHING!!!!! I did find a Kefir in a cardboard box which even though it has a plastic spout I bought, because LA says it recycles those. I did buy one goal milk yogurt in a little container. THAT’S IT!! I got meat at the butcher counter and asked them to wrap it in paper instead of plastic. The butcher wouldn’t give me chicken in paper (he said it would leak), only the in-house made sausages and the bulk chicken chorizo. The deli guy looked at me crazy when I asked him to cut me a hunk of cheese but he did it. Everything else was produce and bulk items like granola and beans.
And actually the living with it hasn’t been terrible. I have had to plan and cook. I made a spicy Italian sausage ratatouille type stew with eggplant, zucchini, tomato, and asparagus. That lasted quite a few days. Then this week I made the chorizo, which btw is amazing. I also made a side of tomato, mushrooms, and zucchini. Fruit and veggies have been my snack, along with some left over baked chickpeas.
But, it’s been almost a week and my recycle is almost full of plastic. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!?!?! And if after a week I have so much how much more is there normally. I have kept paper and glass in a separate bin since I want to track my plastic. I am also using paper bags instead of plastic trash bags in my regular garbage, of which there is very little.
Part of it is I had a get together this weekend, post funeral. So when you think about it, a party with 8 – 10 people and not having a full can from just that is pretty good, relatively. The only plastic we generated was salami wrap, which made me mad because it was wrapped in paper and fooled me! The plastic film from a deli cheese, and two chip bags although those are Teracycle capable and should be recyclable.
Some of the plastic is left over from old things we had in the house. Some of it is take-out boxes, our favorite Chinese restaurant went out of business so I wanted to support them one last time. I did wash them really well, so could be ok, according to my trash can. And some of it is crap other people brought in. That’s the bit that’s hard to control.
However, I am learning this is not THAT hard. It’s like anything, it takes some planning, some tools, like reusable zip locks, bee’s wrap and produce bags, glass jars for bulk things you buy. But once you have those tools it’s not terrible.
Actually it might be a bit cheaper, I only spent $65 at Sprouts and that food is still going. The thing that has struck me the most, other than EVERYTHING is wrapped in plastic, is about is what’s in the plastic. I probably don’t need to eat that stuff anyways – potato chips, chicken nuggets, wrapped candy. Think about that, a star mint IS WRAPPED IN PLASTIC!!!! I do get to eat bread though, fresh from the deli. YAY!
So here’s my lesson, you need to buy reusable baggies (I like re-zip), bee’s wax wrap (the organic kind), and produce bags. Think of how many baggies, how much plastic wrap, and how many produce bags you use. If you can just replace this, it’s actually quite a lot. You can search all these things on Amazon.
Once you have the tools, and you get your head around not eating regular meat, and maybe eating more veggies and beans, which is good for you anyways, it’s not bad at all. I think I can go a month.
In the meantime you should watch this movie on Netflix. Let me know what you think!
Love, Peace, and Light