Cutting back on wasteful bags, wraps & containers in the produce aisle keeps plastic out of the landfill and reduces fossil fuel consumption! #monthlychallenge
By Janeen Ellsworth
Why do onions, cabbage and cucumbers get wrapped in cellophane when they already come cloaked in their own, natural packaging?
Too often, I see grocery store shelves filled with peppers that are snuggling inside plastic wrap on a bed of Styrofoam. They do this with broccoli and cauliflower, too. It drives me bananas!
I dunno about you, but I think God did a splendid job when she decided to invent peels and skins to protect the flesh of our favorite fruits and veggies. And yet, we sometimes feel compelled to gather our produce into yet another bag before moving on to the dairy aisle.
Who benefits from us using all this packaging? Not you or I.
Fossil fuel companies do. Plastic bag producers do. The natural resource-depleters--like those folks building the cracker plant downriver from me (who shall not be named)--absolutely do. Grrr...
We've been fed a false narrative about why we need to bag every stray beet. We're made to believe it's more hygienic to gather our turnips into plastic sacks. Industry has convinced us somehow that it's simply The Rule to present pears in a neat satchel when we reach the register.
But none of that makes sense. You'll wash your watercress when you get home, right?
(For a thorough tutorial on safe and natural produce cleansing that removes bacteria, visit our friends over at bestfoodfacts.org.)
And trust me: no checkout gal or guy at your local supermarket is going to holler at you for rolling your rutabaga across the counter to get weighed. (Although you might get an irritated eye roll.) Just be kind and make pleasant chitchat to win them over.
It's time to take a stand against the wasteful practice of extraneous produce packaging! The next time you're out grocery shopping, skip any fruit or veg that's wrapped unnecessarily. Put the power of your pocketbook to work and choose to spend your dollars on the freely floating foods instead.
Yukon Golds, Granny Smiths, Russian kale--it doesn't matter what the produce. Just toss 'em free-bird-style right into your buggy!
Better yet, B-Y-O cloth produce sack to the store with you so you don't have a radish explosion in aisle 9. E.g., any of these cotton, draw-string-ready ECOBAGS. (*I own a handful of natural fiber produce bags--though I'm not even sure what brand they are so I'm not pulling for this particular product as opposed to another, but I can verify that they keep leafy greens fresh for wayyyyy longer than plastic does.)
Even better still? DIY your own produce bags! If you're sew-curious, that is. Get the tutorial over at wellnessmama.com and stitch to your heart's content. (Easy, hand-made Christmas gift idea, anyone??)
Good luck! And please let me know how your month of packaging cutbacks is going.
I'm Janeen; writer, mother, wife, and full-time, radical Reductionist. I share stupid-easy tips on how to save money while reducing your impact on the environment, & I'm committed to helping others live a life of simple sustainability.
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