Everyone knows the 3R’s- reduce, reuse and recycle but did you know the order of the R’s is important? Reduce is the most planet friendly way to help our world and recycling is the least effective. One of the easiest ways to cut down on your plastic use is to BYOB- Bring Your Own Bags.
It’s easiest to start with your groceries and takes just a bit of organization. Keep your weekly grocery bags handy in the car, that way they are easy to get. One of the hardest parts for me was the quick trip for just a few items. Now, I always have a few bags in my purse. To keep the bulk of the bags down I love Baggu bags. Their standard shopping bag comes in tons of cute, bright prints. Super sturdy- they can hold a lot of groceries but have snaps and a pouch for some true space savings. For regular grocery trips I prefer flat bottomed canvas bags- this allows for bottles and jars to stay upright. Almost everyone knows about the importance of BYOB- find the bags you like and make a pledge to yourself to give up single use plastic grocery bags.
Once you’ve made the BYOB grocery bag commitment you will start to notice how abundant plastic is in grocery stores. Remember, the first R is the most important- reduce. Avoid products that are over packaged. Once I was debating over which mix of peppers to buy. I bought the brand I usually buy only to get home to find they had changed their packaging and added an extra plastic bit. That was the last time I purchased that particular brand.
Shopping at Farmer’s Markets is one way to help cut down your plastic. In general, farmers don’t over package- they want you to see and smell their wonderful offerings. Buying from bulk bins also helps. When you have a choice between plastic or glass- choose glass. Find wines that still use natural corks instead of plastic corks. Make how a product is packaged one of your buying decisions.
It’s important to take a step- however tentative or small. You’re going to forget and mess but once you begin your personal plastic free journey there will be no going back. It’s worth the effort.
Here are some resourcesChef Jude Blereau tips and thoughts http://www.earthcarers.org.au/library/file/Plastic%20Free%20July/Toolbox%20-%20Living%20Plastic%20Free/Food-Jude%20Blereau%20storage%20&%20shopping.PDF