August President’s Letter
By Lori Danielson
If you read my column in last month’s Corvid Crier, you know I’m on a quest to reduce my use of plastic, especially when it comes to food. I’m trying to do my part to fight the worldwide problem of overwhelming plastic waste. And I’ve discovered that, wow, it’s really difficult to not buy plastic.
First, I’ll tell you about my successes. I’ve found there’s no plastic around fruits and vegetables at the farmers market. No plastic clamshells encasing anything, no little plastic tags. My produce purchases at my hometown farmers market have increased. Buying local veggies has the added benefits of supporting local farmers and reducing fossil fuel transportation needs. But the fall/winter closure of these markets will bring new challenges.
Another small victory – bread! I’ve found I can buy fresh loaves without plastic at a local little bakery a few blocks from my house, as well as at Panera. I bring along my sewn cotton bag and the loaf goes directly in the bag. Panera even slices it for me. At home, I freeze the sliced loaf in a plastic bag reused from prior bread purchases.
The bulk bins at PCC and Central Market have also provided some no-plastic wins, as long as I remember to bring along my own containers. Among the items I’ve bought in bulk are almonds, oatmeal, dried fruit, hummus powder, beans, and spices. And there are quite a few other things I could buy from these bins as I get more adventurous.
My most recent success was finding cheese encased in compostable beeswax instead of plastic. It’s produced by a small cheesemaker in Carnation and I was happy to find them at the farmers market.
There are many frustrations too. Chicken, even at the local butcher shop, is already wrapped in plastic. And most glass bottles holding condiments, sauces, and even wine, have tops made of, or wrapped in, plastic. I have to remind myself each time I shop that being totally plastic-free is probably not possible right now.
These are just a few of the discoveries I’ve made so far. Do you have any tips or discoveries to share? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.