ways we are trying to consume less plastic: grocery trip one

As a family we have decided to try to use less plastic. It is a practice that we were better at before Clover was born. After shopping at Trader Joe’s so much for our food we realized that we were throwing plastic packaging away for almost everything that we ate. I figured that this would be an excellent home schooling lesson and Clover is super into it. For our first adventure we visited Oakland’s Whole Foods try to find replacements for the foods that we like, hopefully in better packaging.

The produce department is easy because the do not put their fruits and veggies in plastic for the most part. We always bring a Baggu and throw loose carrots, bunches of greens, celery and bundles of green onions in willy nilly. Whole Foods does offer compostable bags now and they are handy for holding mushrooms or other loose, small produce. Also, when prepared having your own reusable produce bags makes it all the more manageable.

I am thankful that I can buy noodles in a box here and they offer many brands and noodle shapes. Tortilla chips in the 365 brand come in a big paper bag. Cereal is one of our breakfast choices and I was concerned going in that there would be no way around buying the box with large bag inside. We found that there are larger bags made of recyclable plastic and cereal in the bulk section as well. Clover liked the peanut butter balls with a panda on the bag and I tried the bulk oat flakes. They were good, not stale or too pricey. In the bulk area we also picked out almonds and cherries for ballet snacks. I was happy to see sugar there that we will buy the next time we run out. Rice, beans and oats are staples we already get from the bulk isle but I will have to be more diligent about bringing enough bags to put everything in (or use the compostable bags they offer in produce).

Another item that I was concerned about was cheese. At Whole Foods they package everything in plastic wrap so we decided to go for fresh mozzarella in a plastic box from a local farm. They could be reused or recycled. Another option was a container of crumbled goat cheese. I think that I may have better luck from another market, or even a cheese shop. We would like to have a cheese monger cut us some of a block and then sell it wrapped in paper rather than plastic wrap but we will see how it goes.

This week we will make our pizza dough and some bread and hopefully by next week I will be making our tortillas as well. I am looking forward to documenting our progress and every little bit helps our planet!

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