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Green your coffee routine

Save 23 lbs of waste this year and start using a reusable coffee cup to keep you caffeinated.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Plastic free: What habits will I change or have changed

Twice a week, I visit the local soup cart for lunch (sometimes it's three times). The price is right and the taste is amazing. The problem -- I wasn't bringing my own containers and was throwing away a plastic lid, bowl, fork and spoon (twice a week).

As I started tracking my plastic last week, I started to think about ways I could cut down tracking items so I used my 12 oz ceramic coffee mug with silicon lid for my soup and brought my own utensils to work.

Soupcon was skeptical of my container but we made it work. And as you can see, he was a good sport about it.

Last week, when I brought my lunch to work, I made sure to use glass containers and bring my own utensils.

I drink coffee everyday. Back in September, I made a pledge to not buy coffee unless I had a reusable mug. Of course, the week I track my plastic, my co-worker surprised me with a latte from my favorite place in a plastic cup/lid.  I'll keep going on this one ... I promise and I'll try try try to get my husband on board BUT he's resistant to this as he says coffee doesn't taste the same.

Another co-worker brought in bagels and cream cheese ... catch, all we had were plastic knives to spread the cream cheese. Now I have a reusable knife in my drawer.

I made sure I didn't reheat our leftovers in plastic as well as I stored everything in glass contains (I realize that I might need a few more).

As for the grocery store, I'm still unsure where to start. I will not switch to disposable diapers ... I just don't have time and my son will be soon potty trained. If I do have another child, I will commit to cloth diapers then.  Maybe buy some cloth produce bags for the veggies? Buy more in bulk? Instead of buying a cheese sticks and a brick of cheese ... maybe skip the sticks and buy two bricks? I'm still unsure about going without plastic with my meats. I'm also trying to wean my son off juice boxes and the drinkable smoothies. My son loves his smoothies from Trader Joe's but I'm sure he'd love them more if I make them.

Do you have any suggestions? Look at these photos and please offer suggestions! I'm willing to listen to your advice!


  1. I love your plastic posts! Once I started becoming more aware of what my family uses & throws away (or even recycles) I got a bit overwhelmed. We recycle so much of our food packaging, but I'd like to have less to recycle. I have started buying staple items in bulk - flours, oats, nuts, cereals, spices, etc... and I label & keep the plastic bags that I purchase each in to reuse when I need to restock. I keep our coffee bags & re-use them. I buy Dr. Bronner's soaps from the bulk section of our co-op, and reuse the plastic bottle it came in originally. Our co-op sells dish soap this way too! Regardless - we still have quite a bit of food packaging waste.

    I found this article you might like:

    Keep up the good work!

  2. If you buy cold cuts directly from a butcher, most likely they will use paper to wrap the meat. Same for fish and all other meats. Making things like chicken nuggets from scratch means no plastic bags... not that we all have time for that but really, a big old can of bread crumbs and an egg makes just as good a breading as any store bought nugget and if you bought that chicken from the butcher, it would have come in paper, waxed mind-you.

    I'm just as annoyed as you are about the veggies (like the cauliflower in your photo) being individually wrapped but sometimes the wrapping does allow the vegetable to last longer, so perhaps less waste in the end. If you go to the farmer's market, it wont have that plastic on it.

    Your idea about bulk will definitely reduce the waste from the smaller products but how will your child bring that cheese stick cut from the block to school eventually? I guess a metal snack box?

    You conundrum is a good one and I want to give it a go for March to see. I'm going to be a mother in July and I've already started on all of these kinds of questions since having a child requires so much extra stuff, most of it plastic. ICK!

    I love your commitment and I love this blog. I don't know how I found it but I did.



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