The Plastic-Free Diet: Dairy

One thing I’ve learned is that there’s no way I’ll be completely ridding my life of plastic anytime soon. I am, however, taking small steps.

Last weekend I made homemade, plastic-free (everything came from a bulk bin) dog treats using garbanzo flour (I ground my own from dried garbanzo beans), peanut butter, banana, and egg. Today I dehydrated sweet potato slices in the oven to make chewy dog treats. The dogs absolutely adore both. While they’re still motivated by the store-bought treats we still have, they go wild for the homemade ones. I think that will be some easy plastic to avoid.

On the human front, I made almost plastic-free yogurt. I say almost because the yogurt culture had to come from somewhere, so I had to make one last purchase of my favorite Greek Gods plain yogurt. Turns out, my homemade yogurt is just as good. It may even be better! The hard thing is going to be leaving half a cup of it so I can make a new batch next weekend.

I used Straus farms milk which comes in returnable glass bottles. I also bought a pint of their heavy cream for my coffee — it was so thick a bit of it had turned to butter and clogged the neck. I’m not complaining.

I have a bottle of leftover whey now waiting to be used in a loaf of gluten-free bread, but as I have no other ingredients on hand for that at the moment, I’ll have to wait until I go back to Winco later this week. I’ve had bad luck making gluten-free breads, but I don’t think they are available outside of plastic bags, so I’m just going to have to figure it out.

I’m also going to have to figure out all the gluten-free convenience foods I buy: tamales, enchiladas, pizza, bulgogi, lasagne… It’s nice that these pre-made gluten-free options exist when a craving hits, but it’s time to end my dependence on them.

I made my own lip balm last week, too, and that’s working well. I find I have to apply it ever so more frequently, but since the cost of the ingredients and the cost to the environment (I’m using a repurposed small tin) are so small, that’s not a problem. Besides, I think it’s pretty cool that I made it myself.

Yesterday I read Beth Terry’s Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too and watched the documentary Bag It; today I got about halfway through Plastic: A Toxic Love Story by Susan Freinkel (I would have finished had I not also been reading Matt Taibbi’s The Divide). I recommend them all.

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