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Name: Davin Lengyel
Hey, I’m Davin from the Ethical Ocean team (www.ethicalocean.com). I live in a house with three other people. I work at home as well.
Total items: 19
-plastic grocery bags
-plastic food tub
-tic tac container
What items can I replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Remembering to bring shopping bags with me, and trying to buy candy or snacks in bulk.
What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
I will try to avoid using vegetable bags when shopping for produce.
What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I was surprised to see all the shopping bags and veggie bags adding up!
Read all posts by: Davin Lengyel
I keep cloth bags in my trunk. Now it's automatic to open the trunk before going into the store, but I got there by doing the same thing Beth and Meaghan mentioned -- forcing myself to carry my groceries if I forgot bags. Works! I've been able to find a lot of juices in glass bottles. Not orange juice, but I save OJ for a very, very special treat (or when I'm sick) since I learned how jaw-droppingly high in sugar it is.
For some reason it is hard to remember to bring bags to the store. What has made me really vigilant about it is 1)the strategy above -- I force myself to carry my stuff if I forget the bag and 2)a bumper sticker that says "Plastic Bags Blow" -- I would feel like a total hypocrite if someone saw me putting my plastic bags into my trunk with that bumper sticker right underneath it.
Hi Natalie. Here are some organic cotton mesh produce bags: http://www.reuseit.com/store/reuseit%E2%84%A2-produce-snack-organic-cotton-p-747.html
How do you usually go shopping? By car? Maybe you can cultivate a habit to keep some old bags always in the car so that you have them in case you forget? I am so intrigued by the mesh produce bags that keep getting mentioned, but I don't know where to find them! I usually let any produce purchases make friends in my messenger bag, but some things (bean sprouts come to mind) need a container. I don't know if the particular store I go to can subtract the tare weight of a container.
Davin, Thanks for being so plastic-free minded. Cloth produce bags are available for a couple of bucks. I found mine hanging in the produce section of my grocery store. They are made of fine mesh so you can still see the produce in them. I am going to make some more out of some bridal netting. When they get dirty, just throw them in the wash. Every time I use them, I have an opportunity to talk about plastic free buying with the cashiers.
Hi, Davin! As a college student, I can relate with buying food and drinks in plastic. I don't have the means or the time to make my own, which I know is the best way to avoid those things. Although it could be due to my shortage of money, I discourage myself from buying anything like chips, granola bars, candy, mints, etc. Lately, I don't have to discourage myself - I naturally don't want them. All I can see when I look at them is the packaging and they don't seem appetizing anymore. I guess my point is that while some packaged food can't be avoidable until you really make the time to make all your own food, some foods are completely able to be done without. Whenever anyone offers me any of those things, I decline and use it as an opportunity to tell them the reason behind my choice. So far, I've received only positive comments! I hope you choose to do this and get the same satisfaction - feels (or I should say tastes) much sweeter than candy. :D
Hi Davin. Thanks for taking the challenge. It's enlightening, isn't it? I really had no idea what my plastic footprint was until I started collecting my plastic waste. To remember my own reusable grocery bags, I have several strategies. First, I carry a couple of ChicoBags at all time. They compress really small into their own stuff sack and can be kept in a backpack or even a jacket pocket. The trick is remembering to empty them right away after shopping and replace them. Yes, they are made from Nylon or Polyester, which are plastics, but they will save a ton of disposable bags if used regularly. The other thing I do is just force myself to carry stuff out in my hands if I forget or do without buying something. I know that sounds hardcore. But honestly, it's not a punishment. It's a way to develop the habit and make it stick. My husband and I once carried stuff out in our shirts. It looked pretty silly. We didn't forget our bags after that. :-) The produce bags should be easy to give up. You can just buy produce naked without any bag at all. I look forward to seeing your progress during the challenge each week!