As I am cutting back on our waste, I have been more careful about the products I purchase. Recyclable plastics still use resources and energy to make/reuse. Purchasing products loosly takes away from extra packaging. Some examples of my findings:
Reusable bags. Use these everywhere you go. Keep them in the car or by the front door. Where ever you will likely not forget them! I like to stash one in my purse if I know I’m going out for a small grocery run. If I can carry the item with no bag, that is great too! Just keep in mind to tell the cashier ASAP you do not want a bag!
Royale paper towel and Royale tissues. The packaging is recyclable! Though I came to realise, no packaging is best. You can buy tissue boxes of many brands singly. No plastic wrapping!
Heinz mayonnaise. Glass bottle. I hear glass is better than plastic recyclables, plus glass jars are great for storing other foods or nick nacks. I am sure if we look hard enough, we will find other condiments in jars!
Margarine squares. Parkay brand wraps the squares in paper alone. No foil added! Less is best!
Deli meat. I am going to start bringing in my own dish for sandwich meat. They will slice up the amount of meat you want. No more plastics! After I open the meat package, it goes straight to the garbage anyways and I end up using a zip lock bag to seal what is left. By taking in my own container, two plastics down with one dish. Two plastic habits wiped out.
Produce. This is still a work on process for me. I am trying to find that right bag to use to purchase my produce that can be reused. I want the lightest I can find so I don’t have to pay for a weighted bag with the apples for example. I resorted to using compost bags. After it is used if would be reused as the next compost bag for my bin. Though, after contacting Al-Pack, the compost bag company, they said their compostable bags are not listed as a food approved bag. Okay, looking for a new idea. Maybe a brown paper bag for smaller items. Loose produce for this household includes apples, oranges, kiwi, watermelon, lettuce, carrots, turnip and more. I would like to improve on produce like potatoes. Though most of the package is usually paper, there is still the plastic mesh. This is more ideal than the recyclable plastic bag. Farmers market I suppose might be the right place! Frozen vegetables. We eat a lot of frozen veggies! Or at least, I do! Haha. My next step is to stop buying these, as it is all plastic/recyclable material. Buying fresh and package free is better. Probably more nutritious too. This produce would Include string beans, broccoli, peas, corn, cauliflower and probably more than I can think of at the moment.
Baby wipes. This is a change I made long ago and I will never go back. I make my own wipes from 1 roll of select-a-size paper towel. I have rectangle containers that are the same size a piece of paper towel. Tear each sheet apart until the roll is empty and stack them in the container. Depending on the roll size/quanity, depends on how much mixture you need. Regular size rolls will need 2 cups of hot water with soap mixture. Large rolls will need 2.5-3 cups of hot water with soap mixture. The soap mixture includes 1 Tbsp baby soap +1 Tbsp baby lotion mixed together per cup of hot water. Do make sure the soap and lotion are combined well before adding hot water or else the lotion will be separated and floating in the water.
Dryer sheets. About a year ago I bought a pack of dryer balls. I used them a couple of times, but stopped shortly after. I don’t remember why! Just over a week ago, I found these on the shelf, and thought I would try them and cut back on dryer sheets. They work perfectly! No static. Even with towels! I have not used dryer sheets for more than a week! Less garbage! Less buying too!
Meat bags. Those thin white bags the cashiers pack your meat into, another waste! I take reusable thermos bags (hot and cold) to the cashier. I have one for chicken products and one for beef products. One bag per meat type, no contamination. If there ends up being a leak, these reusable thermos bags wipe down very easily! Keep them with your other reusable bags for the next shopping trip.
Bulk Barn. I am very excited about this! I started putting my baking ingredients into mason jars or any other jars that can be used for storing. Ingredients already in a container from the store (baking powder or cocoa) will continue being used as I can take them to my local Bulk Barn. Yup! Take your container there, pre weigh, fill it with the ingredient and pay for the product weight only. I learned this two weeks ago! Baking ingredients, treats and chocolate, grains and even some chips such as Party Mix. Dog food and bird seed and so much more! Good bye packages.
Update, August 13th, 2018
So, as for the deli meat, I asked my local grocery store, Sobey’s, if they could put the deli meat I wanted in my own container. I was told I had to use their bags provided. I talked to the the manager (boss) of the deli meat department about my question/choice and was told the CFIA does not allow them to accept customers dishes to package food. So now I feel stuck in having to buy the prepackaged meat in plastic, or get it from the deli counter, packaged in plastic. Why can’t they weigh the amount I want and place it in my dish without handling my dish? Or washing their hands/ change their gloves after handling my dish. Sanitizing the counter space touched by my dish. There must be a way around this whole packaging system. Yes I do understand the sanitary reasons for the department, but like I said, if the area is sanitized atfterwards, like it should be kept anyways, no big deal!