This Week’s Plastic Packaging Tally

-Plastic-wrapped large block of cheese. Still haven’t found an alternative.
-LED bulb package x 4. The package was mostly paper but had a plastic shell around the bulb itself.
-#5 tub of sour cream. I’ll send it to Gimme 5.
-Plastic lined and capped heavy cream container.
-Large plastic orange juice jug to go with the breakfast I bought my students.
-Large tub cream cheese to go with the same.
-Package of meat.

-2 plastic produce bags with produce delivery.

-Plastic bottle of Sriracha. I’ll have to learn to make my own.
-Plastic bag while grocery shopping when I forgot my own.

I was told by the higher-ups that I couldn’t use any homemade products for the breakfast I provided for my students, so that meant no fresh juice even though I had a ton of oranges from my last local produce delivery and it could have been fun to juice to order.

I haven’t tried making my own cream cheese yet, but it was the same for that as well. I may have to try my hand at sour cream soon since I seem to keep buying it to go with my otherwise plastic-free chili.

Once again, I went to the closer store for cream rather than driving further for the cream that comes in glass. It’s become too easy to make excuses for that.

The store with the bulk bins doesn’t have a full-service butcher, so I got plastic-wrapped meat.

I wish the bulbs didn’t come in plastic, but as they’re supposed to last 22 years, at least I know that won’t be regular plastic packaging waste.

I am happy that I have very few items on the “accidental” and “resisted” list since that means that, overall, my changes have been habitual to the point that I’m rarely even looking at plastic-packaged items i’ve found alternatives to.

I’m nowhere near plastic free yet, but I’m closer to that than I am to the ridiculous amount of plastic I was consuming weekly before. A regular week would have included the following along with everything above:

-frozen meals with plastic trays
-granola in a plastic bag
-individually wrapped string cheese in a plastic bag
-yogurt in a plastic tub
-beans and/or pasta in plastic bags
-canned foods (soups, tomato sauce, broth)
-almonds or walnuts in a plastic tub
-vegetables in plastic trays
-GF-bread or tortillas in plastic bags
-at least one toiletry product in plastic (shampoo, liquid soap, toothpaste…)

Plus, I always bought more than I could eat and created a ton of food waste. Now the food making its way to the composter is truly waste — inedible bits and pieces rather than the food gone bad I was tossing before. I’m spending about the same because I pay a premium for that local produce delivery, but I’m wasting less and eating better.

It’s not bad progress, but I do hope my next tally doesn’t include a heavy cream container!

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