Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 1- The Grocery store

So, Will and I like to menu plan, which means I write a pretty extensive grocery list every week to pick up the essentials and dinner fixings. I was really nervous about shopping, it seems everything at the store has plastic in it somehow. I figured that Whole Foods and Trader Joe's would be a better bet then my local Giant (equivalent to HEB or Vons) in terms of selection. Before I get to telling you about my store debacle,  I would like to confess.

We had a bigwig from work coming today, so we got to go out for lunch! Yay! Free lunch! I was ready, I was prepared. We went to a place that had paper napkins, but glass glasses. I'm scott free right? Wrong. I forgot to say "no straw".  Not only did I get a straw for my soda, but I also got a straw for my water. What an inauspicious start. Oh, and I had to order printer cartridges.  In my defense, I did ask if I could get them in non plastic. The guy laughed at me and then I managed to drop a bunch of metal in my filing drawer, but I'm pretty sure I impressed him.  They do recycle the cartridges, so it's not a total loss right?

Whew, I feel better!

So, here in the Mid-Atlantic, we are having a rather interesting winter. It's not the snowpocalypse of 2010, but it's definitely storm after storm after storm. The point is, we are supposed to have an ice storm tonight, so I could only hit one store tonight. So, this will be two parts. I took the easy part. Will gets to do the hard part. Sorry Will!

I went to Whole Foods with 7 bags, I was a little apprehensive about how one keeps all the produce separate, but I think that's really for the checkers. So I had all my fruit in one smaller bag and all my veggies in a different smaller bag. I felt kinda weird about it until I saw at least 3 other people with loose produce. Vigilante produce shoppers, I am now one. I wasn't able to get the tomatoes that we love for bruschetta or fresh corn. But it is January, I suppose fresh corn doesn't really exist now. Also, I don't think bruschetta is going to happen until I can grow basil. AND now I have egg cartons to start growing it in, score! C'mon warm weather. I did try to find rice, and while they have rice, I didn't have a container. So no rice for me. No milk either. But I could get meat no problem. I just went to the butcher and asked them to wrap it in paper. Done. I am curious if it's plasticised paper, so I will experiment with it later, but we have MEAT!

The lady at the checkout told me that all Whole Foods stuff is or should be compostable. I find this interesting, and am a little dubious. I think that I will have to e-mail corporate to see. Hopefully I'll get something back. I will have the in-law try to compost something in the meantime. They live on 18 acres, and I think it would annoy their neighbors less than mine.

Part 2 tomorrow. I know you wait with bated breath.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

May I introduce myself?

I would like to start by saying that I am not much of blogger, I never really thought my life was that interesting. But now, I have a purpose! So here is the ongoing story of how Will and I will use less plastic in the next year. There will be rules, and I will get to those later.

Yesterday, Will and I were watching Tapped on Netflix at home (side note: if you don't have Netflix streaming live, I highly recommend it, just avoid the documentaries), this is a film about how large companies bottle what is basically tap water, then sell it at a 1400% premium. Well, we use nalgene water bottles at home, and I was aware of the resources that creating plastic bottles uses, but I was literally blown away at the plastic information presented in the film. We spent the afternoon looking at everything plastic that we drink or eat out of in the house. Overnight, this idea took hold: How hard would it be, how much work would it be to not buy any new plastic? At first I thought it couldn't be that hard, but it dawned on me... Everything is plastic; cups, straws, linings of tin cans, household soaps, lotions, holding cereal in boxes. Everywhere!

I need to take a moment to give you some idea of how I am. Will is what we call a detail person, he can't come up with the big picture, but he can certainly execute an idea. I am more a big picture person, I can conceptualize things, but I have no idea how to get myself from point A to point B. In my vigor for the project, I didn't realize that I am a terrible straw slut. I love straws, bendy straws are better than straight ones, and colored straw are at the top of the straw heap. I won't be able to get nearly as many straws, and I will have to ban them from my restaurant tables. This might be the hardest thing for me to accept. Luckily, I have leftover straws to comfort me in the meantime. I also discovered that bacon, practically it's own food group in my house, would be hard to come by. When is the last time you got bacon sans any plastic? Most of the time it's vacuumed sealed, and then once it's open I always put the bacon in a Ziploc. I suppose if my biggest concerns are no bacon and no straws, my life is pretty good.

So here are the rules:

1) No purchase of new plastic- except for:

Britta filters
Plastic involved in anything medical. For instance, prescription bottles are ok as are band aids
Plastic surrounding toilet paper-- because, really? Who wants us to be toilet paperless?
Gifts from other people- I don't need to drag others down with me.

2) You may get something with plastic if your only alternatives have greater amounts of plastic-- For example- Bread. Most yeast packets have some sort of plastic in the coating, but making bread has far less plastic than buying the double packaged bread.

3) We will budget everything

4) Will would like to research to see if things as "fads" are actually worse than the plastic.

So there you are, the rules and the plan. Tomorrow I have to go to the grocery store. Wax paper is already on my list.