No-impact food is an area we definitely need to improve upon. Our usual habits are to cook several dishes over the weekend and coast on leftovers throughout the week, so when no impact week started, we were already “done” with food shopping and off to a bad start. Though most of our food comes from further away, I did go to the farmers market last weekend and got all of our produce there. But, the local markets are not around in the winter and the year-round one has stuff trucked in from absolutely everywhere. I do guess at whether some of the stuff they sell has been rejected by local grocery stores or is otherwise not grocery store quality, because stuff from there doesn’t usually keep as long and doesn’t seem as good-quality. It is super cheap though, and it’s fine for me and the loads of other people who shop there. And if it keeps this stuff out of a landfill, I’m all for it! Anyway, looking at our upcoming food list, reducing our trash is going to be a difficult task. And getting more than just produce locally is going to be tough too. And since we walk to get our groceries (no car) we’re limited as to where we can shop, which is pretty much just our local big-box grocery store chain up the road.
Just because our options are limited though, does not mean I’m going to give up. We already make our own granola, jam, cakes, and cookies, among other things, and I’m always looking for other ways to cut down on the processed things we buy. Also, we hardly ever eat meat, maybe once or twice a month. And here is my list of what more we plan on doing.
- Shop at the farmers market every week. We’ve not had the best track record at making it over there every week, and now that I’m not working, I can definitely spare the Friday afternoon to shop there.
- Look into getting a juicer. Plastic juice bottles are one of our largest trash/recycle accumulations. Just this one alone would cut down a lot of what we recycle every week.
- Buy bread and bagels from a local bakery. This reduces plastic packaging and helps out a local business right down the block from us. It’s a win-win that I haven’t explored yet and need to.
- Inquire about our local grocery chain offering bulk items such as cereals, nuts, oats, pasta, chocolate chips, etc. They currently don’t offer bulk items, but maybe if enough people speak up, they might. It’s worth a try.
- Inquire about returning our glass peanut butter jars. The local peanut butter factory is only a few blocks from us and it would be really cool to be able to return the jars for reuse.
- Try to plant a garden. This has been a dream of mine for a while now, but I suck at growing stuff. This spring/summer, I’m gonna at least try some tomatoes.
- Look into the canning process. Again, this is something I’ve been interested in, but haven’t gotten off the ground yet. I suppose I have to start growing stuff first though.
- Try out making our own yogurt. This would cut down on the weekly plastic yogurt container, but would replace it with a weekly milk container. Worth it? Not sure yet.
If we can’t eliminate all our food trash, I’m at least going to zero in on the non-recyclable stuff and try to focus more on buying local produce. I can only go up from here!