June 29, 2009

BillieRyder – Plastic Trash Eating Challenge – Week #3

Lets just say that eating healthier is apparently not the key to losing weight. I am still at +1 pound. Although, you can buy junk food in bulk! And I am a bit *whimper* But please take pity on me. You haven’t seen me on a Friday night when I am desperate for anything and I keep repeating to myself – If you take some of those chips/pretzels/granola bars/chocolate bars you will have to add it to your plastic tally! It is very sad folks!

On to my items for the week:
Items: 20 weight: 6oz <- hmm... going up? ARGH!

Once again, nothing to recycle but I will reuse a single item.

Butter tub + Lid: from fresh Farmer’s Market butter – reusable for bulk purchases
Lettuce bag – used up husband’s lettuce that was going bad
Starbuck’s Caramel Frappacino – cup, lid and straw
General Foods flavoured coffee foil top + plastic lid
cap from olive oil
2 milk caps + 2 zips
2 rings from ice cream lid
Quick eggs container
plastic film from a tub of store bought butter (bought to go to retreat but never used at retreat)
plastic wrap from Fociacci bread – plug for Grace’s Pastry – YUM!
styrofoam tray + plastic from 6lbs of hamburger and 5lbs of chicken

Note: And no, we did not eat 11lbs of meat this week. We ate the chicken but not the hamburger. I shop at Costco once a month to stock up on some items. I often purchase meat because it is so inexpensive there.

What could I replace?

  • Quick eggs container – Easypeasy – I won’t be purchasing this again and just using plain eggs
  • plastic film from store bought tub of butter – I usually use the sticks or I buy at the Farmer’s Market. I did this for a retreat I went to.

I was feeling pretty smug on the ice cream part. The two lid rings were from ice cream bought before I started. I didn’t want to give up ice cream so I looked for something with no plastic and there it was – PET Ice cream. Sneaky, deceitful packaging! I opened up the box and there was a sheet of plastic under the paper lid. It doesn’t seem that ice cream is possible without plastic but I don’t want to give it up. Will have to ponder my options

What would I be willing to give up if there was no alternative?

BIG FAT NOTHING. Starbucks is once in a blue moon – just about given up. Grace’s Pastry bread was a whim and not to be repeated very often at 7$ a loaf. I am not giving up meat and sadly not buying it at Whole Foods where I might be able to put it in my own container. Good golly, my grocery bill has already exploded in an attempt to eat locally, more organic and plastic free.

Essential items?

Lets face it, Starbucks, ice cream and Fociacci bread are not essential but if you can’t enjoy what you are eating because your diet is so limited – what is the point? You might as well just eat bread and water. I know… not very Beth Terry like.

Conclusions?

I have several of these:

Impulse buys are my downfall. These are the times when I am NOT thinking about plastic. And they showed up in the Starbucks and the Grace’s Pastry purchase. They were yummy delicious but I didn’t think about the plastic until I was getting ready to toss the garbage in the container.

Some people say avoid packaging. Other people say eat local. Other people say eat vegan. All of these are supposed to help the environment but you can’t do all of them at once. For instance, I can purchase butter and support a local farmer but he is going to sell it to me in a plastic tub. I have seen a number of these contradictions and it is really frustrating to figure out which is suitable for me.

Living sustainably is EXPENSIVE! My grocery bill has shot up substantially in making the switch from the grocery store to the Farmer’s Market and bulk foods. In many instances, buying food at either of these places is more expensive. I know I spent more money on pasta, eggs, peaches and apples (and who knows what else) than I would have if I went to my local Shopper’s Warehouse. I truly don’t know if I can sustain this practise – budget-wise – in the long run.

1 comments
Fake Plastic Fish
Fake Plastic Fish

It's cool to see the discoveries you are making. It is VERY frustrating that organic and local sometimes comes in plastic when conventional may not. In fact, I published a rant about that very topic:http://www.fakeplasticfish.com/2009/06/organic-food-in-plastic-packaging-isnt.htmlAnd don't think that just because I avoid plastic means I necessarily eat healthfully. You should see the amount of delicious, plastic-free bread I eat:http://www.fakeplasticfish.com/2009/03/i-eat-lot-of-bread.htmlI highly recommend the film Food Inc (http://www.foodincmovie.com) if you are able to see it. It will open your eyes to The Matrix, dude!