No-Plastics October – Musings Week 3

I am definitely becoming hyper conscious about plastics. I bought a GAP shirt this week as the 50% off sale had a further 40% reduction. YES! I confess that normally I would have accepted their plastic bag (:( ) as I had wandered in perchance on a walk through town, but I refused and carried it home like that. With my no-plastics focus this month, I have noticed also a greater awareness of waste in general. I have always hated food waste and tried to repair rather than throw things away, but I am consciously looking for ways to improve on this. I was super lucky when I moved into my little apartment almost three years ago, spontaneously friends and colleagues gave me furniture and kitchenware they no longer used. Now this was wonderful for my limited budget, but doesn’t it make so much sense to share like this?

Instead of buying new glassware for storage, I am checking thrift stores and my apartments recycling bins, as well as using the bottles and jars I buy. I don’t think I am going to throw out my plastic storage containers quite yet but I am trying to increase other forms of storage. Of course, it is trial and error. I froze some soups in glass bottles in my freezer. I DID leave space at the top for expansion but while the wide-necked bottled fared fine, the narrow-neck cracked! Reasons to reduce plastic are of course not just for the animals and planet, but also our health. Plastics can contain toxins that can leach out and enter your body. A popular toxin in plastics is BPA; a chemical that mimics estrogen. Thanks to recent activism and greater public knowledge, BPA free plastics are becoming more the norm. But the question we need to then ask is what is BPA being replaced with. Even if BPA is not a concern in plastics, other toxins are still there. I have been using vinegar as a non-chemical cleanser this month, diluted with water. I have it in an old plastic spray bottle and need to find a glass one.

My food consumption has continued to be predominantly vegetarian and in-season due to the ease of buying the produce. It has also made me more creative in my cooking, which I love. When I buy beets wrapped in plastic from Trader Joe’s, of course their leaves are removed, not so from the market. A quick google, and I discovered they are more than edible, so I blanched them for a minute and sautéd them with garlic and onions and threw on some pine nuts and blue cheese for a very tasty lunch. I used a farm delivery service I used a couple of years back for some super tasty raw milk products. More costly but oh so creamy!

This is a great video about freezing without plastic.

This week’s fail. With my milk, yogurt, eggs and cheese, I also bought some raw milk butter from the farm and didn’t check how it would be packaged. A plastic tub, I am afraid. But the taste is better than any store bought butter I have tasted.

On a positive note, awareness is definitely growing and I want to give a shout-out to a local Italian friend, Riccardo Befi, who for a hobby (he is a jeweler by trade), sells his homemade lasagna and buffalo mozzarella at Hastings (and other) farmer’s markets. This summer he changed to biodegradable containers and I am proud of his decision. And his “Lasagna Preziosa” is to die for.

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6 Responses to No-Plastics October – Musings Week 3

  1. Patricia Nozell says:

    I’ve been so inspired following your progress, Joanna! And I chuckled at your remark about refusing the plastic bag with your Gap purchase. I purchased allergy medicine a few days ago – a plastic bottle of pills encased in hard-to-remove plastic packaging. I had to request no plastic bag three times, even though I was holding my own reusable bag. I think some aspects of the no-plastic challenge are harder than others, but hopefully awareness is building.

  2. Joanna says:

    Hehe, little by little, right?!

  3. Enjoyed your latest journey. You are making me hungry. You really have been creative in storing foods. I do worry about the carcinogens in foods wrapped in plastic. I don’t have to worry about cooking anymore, so my refrigerator looks like yours. Wish you were near when I was getting rid of utensils, pans, a microwave, a TV etc. Still have more to take to Goodwill or give away.

    • Joanna says:

      Aw, I know you would have passed on loads of cool things had I lived closer. I feel I have learned a lot over the past month, almost all of which I shall continue to implement.

  4. One of the most surprising things I learned in my own quest is about plastic in chewing gum. I used to chew so much gum it makes me a bit sick to think of it but managed to stop ‘cold turkey’. Thanks for posting the video too – she makes an important point about safety regulations today may change in a few years!

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