Our 1st Mindful Plastic Free Shopping Experience
Plastic free living puts a whole new spin on organic, gluten free grocery shopping. I was on a high thinking about how I would manage our typical Whole Foods shopping trip. I think the high was on “cloud 9” though, it didn’t last long. As we walked into the grocery store I thought my husband might hyperventilate at the idea of loosing all of his “stress relievers”, prepackaged convenience foods.
NO chips, NO cookies. What? NO bars.
How will I survive those midnight cravings? I can already hear the shuffling of items in the pantry, glass jars clanking. Where are my brightly colored, alluring plastic packages of sweet & savory snacks? You know, the ones that make the crinkling sound and cause the kids to stop dead in their tracks and ask,“What do you have?”
What will life be like now, post commitment to plastic free living? I reassured my family that we wouldn’t be giving everything up at once. On our commute, we discussed our grocery ‘wishes’ (items containing plastic packaging) and decided that each family member would choose 2 items.
Shopping for produce should be easy on my plastic free mission. I thought, “I will simply avoid the bagged/netted produce for their loose counterparts.” Then a depressing fact came to my realization. In most cases the price/lb of loose produce EXCEEDED the price/lb of produce pre-packed in plastic! How could this be? The resources used in making the packaging increased the overall cost of producing the product. I stopped to remember why I started this year long project to rid our lives of plastic. Better Health, Better Environment, Better You. I know that not all plastic free choices are going to be cheaper. But this one surprised me. Illogical! I packed my reusable produce bags and continued on.
The rest of my shopping didn’t give me any pleasure except for the ‘naked’ bar of goats milk soap that I slid into a paper bag. I obviously have a lot of planning to do if I’m going to shop plastic free. For this trip I had to be content with choosing less plastic in easily recyclable containers.
As the cashier rang up my items I asked about deducting the tare weight of my reusable produce bags. Yes! They gladly did it. One last thing..I brought one of my surplus reusable shopping bags to share with a fellow shopper who didn’t have one. A quick glance around and the man next to me didn’t have one. He gladly accepted it. Maybe next time he’ll think about using it again., via Wikimedia Commons”]
At the end of the shopping experience we left with more than 8 items containing plastic packaging. It was a very enlightening experience with several small successes along the way. I must confess did a little hyperventilating myself as I walked through the aisles. Next time I’ll be a little more prepared….