|Eliminating the Waste|
|Written by Caitlin Mchose, Four Green Steps|
|Wednesday, 26 September 2012 00:21|
Written by Caitlin Mchose, Four Green Steps
Think about the types of things that wind up in your garbage: an empty yogurt container, the plastic wrapping from some cheese, an empty cracker box, a zip-lock bag, an empty shampoo bottle, and maybe a banana peel and some used coffee grounds. Mostly packaging! Although a significant amount of packaging materials are recyclable, such as PET bottles and cardboard, we would eliminate a significant amount of waste if there simply weren’t as much packaging for us to tear through.
The best and easiest way to do this is to buy in bulk and choose retailers that strive to minimize their use of packing materials. Shopping at wholesale retailers such as Costco and Sam’s Club is good way to lessen the amount of packaging that will end up in the garbage. Even better is getting produce from farmer’s markets or in produce boxes from local farms since they will likely be packaged in a lot less then what you’d find in a grocery store (not to mention that it’s local and organic too!). Another possibility is making breads, pastas, yogurt, soups, or any kind of food at home from scratch. Or you could let the work be done for you! Research at Harvard University is taking place to develop a type of packaging that is edible; and even if you didn’t want to chow down on the so-called “Wikicells”, you could do so guilt free as they biodegrade. As early as summer 2012, ice-cream and yogurt will be available in strawberry Wikicells at the lab store located in Paris, France. Retailers outside of the realm of food are also striving to minimize the amount of packaging they use. Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics sells about 60% of their goods unpackaged, and when packaging is unavoidable their mandate is to use recycled and/or biodegradable materials. It is important to remember that the amount of waste we put out contributes to our carbon foot print, so a good step forward is to become informed about the eco-friendly businesses in your community.
Image courtesy of Creative Commons.
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