The other day my friend Emily (she’s the blog’s godmother…you can thank her for the existence of TWFD!) emailed me and said the following:
so….remember at the beginning of the year when your blog resolution was to get rid of using one-time-use plastic stuff? well, i tried making the same one…but i’m failing miserably? what are you doing? what do you do about trash bags? lunch? etc….i would love to know…you always have good ideas.
I responded with:
yes, I remember my resolution…I think about it every day and how it is SO HARD.
I went on to describe how I am not nearly far enough along with my goal as I want to be.
These are my new, beloved food storage containers. I’ll get to them in a minute. Promise.
Since I started making food-related new year’s resolutions that help the environment, I haven’t actually felt that challenged. Eating less meat turned out to be actually pretty easy. Joining a CSA was a simple and wonderful shift in the way I buy and use produce.
Using less plastic? TOUGH. Plastic is everywhere. It is such a part of daily life. Which just solidifies my resolve to want to change that fact…but, yeah, 3 months into my goal and I’m not nearly as far along as I’d like to be. But sometimes change is slow…just so long as it is steady!
I have taken a few steps to reduce our plastic and one-time plastic use. I wanted to share what I’ve done. And, of course, I want to hear how you are doing or what tips you might have. I’m also hoping that checking in with all of you will help re-light my fire and really get this resolution going!
What I have done so far:
- I almost never use little plastic baggies anymore. I’m not perfect, they still sneak in here and there. But they hardly EVER find their way into my kids’ lunchboxes and I am rarely using them to store food in the fridge, unless I just can’t find a container that works, and even then I try to use foil instead if possible (which I can then wash and recycle).
- I replaced my plastic food storage containers (which were all recycled, by the way!) with glass containers. I LOVE THEM. I picked up the Rubbermaid Glass containers that they have at Target and my local grocery store. The plastic lids are BPA-free, the glass bowls are great sizes and shapes that are actually useful and, the best part, everything stacks and stores together SO WELL. Please note, I do not have any sort of working relationship with Rubbermaid. I looked around at different types of glass containers, thought these looked good, bought them and gave them a try. And I seriously love these containers.
- Buy a few more glass containers (specifically small ones) for storing food so that I don’t need plastic baggies for storing leftovers in the fridge.
- Find some good, non-plastic storage containers for the girls’ lunchboxes. While I have stopped using plastic baggies in their lunches, the containers I’m using are still made out of plastic. I would love to find some alternatives.
- Develop a system where I actually USE my re-useable grocery bags lying all around the house.
- Buy more cloth napkins.
- To address Emily’s question…what about trash bags? Hmmmmm….still don’t know the answer to that one, but am thinking long and hard about it.
- I don’t buy much individually packaged foods…but we do buy granola bars and fruit leathers all the time for lunches. I am going to start a quest for homemade versions that the kids like!
I’m going to stop there for now. I think that’s a long enough to-do list for now!
This year’s resolution has made me much more thoughtful in my daily life. I think a lot more about recycling. I think a lot more about how to buy things with less packaging and often do so. The resolution has definitely gotten me on the right track, even if I feel like I still have a long way to go.
Please share your own experiences with using less plastic. And tips are more than welcome!