Week 5: Bring Bamboo to Lunch!

Rejected!

Rejected!

Week 5:

-5 Lids

-3 food containers (1 hummus, 2 take out indian food)

-2 Container Seals (from hummus and earth balance? It becomes hard to tell)

-3 Films

-2 Frozen Fruit Bags

-2 Toothbrushes

-2 Toothbrush packages

-1 Graham Cracker Wrapper

-1 Bubble Wrap Envelope

-1 Simply Orange Juice Bottle

-1 Chocolate Wrapper

-1 Hair Brush Package

-1 Potato Bag (the only way we could buy organic…)

-1 Tortilla Bag

-1 Bread Bag

-1 Brown Sugar Bag

-1 Large Tetra Pak (almond milk)

-1 Tempeh Package

-1 Dehydrated Dog Food Bag

-1 Spice Lid

-Film seal from Hummus Package

-Pill Package

-Seal from Nyquil

Another week, another pile.  This one looks smaller than average, a promising start to our second month.   Yet this pile, however small, is adding up to a big realization of how extensive our footprint is on this planet. We find ourselves thinking much more about our consumer choices knowing that we have to keep it with us until the end of the year.  We are no longer making excuses for the things we buy (Ok, we excused the OJ this week because Brandon was sick… there are still excuses, but we recognize them for what they are: areas for improvement).  If it is wrapped in plastic, we hem and haw over the pros and cons to buying it.  We know we cannot live without plastic, nor do we plan to or want to, but these plastic piles are making us think long and hard about what plastics we could be avoiding.

This week we want to feature one of our favorite plastic-reducing tools: To-Go-Ware Utensils!

IMG_5323

Easy to carry and beautiful to boot, these utensils make a great lightweight addition to any lunch bag, purse, or backpack. Each set of utensils comes with a fork, spoon, knife and chopsticks. They are made from a high-quality sustainable bamboo, which is very durable and doesn’t stain or absorb flavors. They also have a food-safe oil finish so they can look sleek without any chemical additives.

If carrying around your own place-setting seems a bit odd, the company does you a favor and puts them all in an easy to carry case with a handy carabiner. Even the utensil package sports a sustainable drive, being made from recycled PET bottles itself! Indeed, when it comes down to lunch time nothing turns more heads in curiosity then when you whip out a bamboo spoon before you dive into soup in a mason jar.

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

However these utensils serve a great purpose than turning heads and starting conversations – they are a symbol of sustainability and another grand step away from single use disposable plastics.  From backyard barbecues to take-out orders, we see plastic ‘silverware’ floating about everywhere.  They are a sign of our disposable living, of people who are too busy to make a proper lunch, of marketing that seduces us with convenience.  These utensil wait for us to use them that one time, that one bite, that one sample of ice cream. We use these plastics and throw them out, their life seemingly not lasting even a minute.  Yet these plastics live on, in landfills and in the environment.  Worldcentric.org estimates that at least 40 billion plastic utensils are used every year in the US alone.  Just imagine all those forks!

I can no longer be satisfied tasting anything if by doing so I produce and therein promote waste. There is a better way! As one adage goes, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle — There is a reason why REDUCE comes first.  It is the most effective way to solve the problem.  Well, we all gotta eat, so let it be with our hands, or with our bamboo! So treat yourself to a To Go Ware bamboo utensil set.  I’m also willing to bet that if you start to avoid the places that serve you plastic utensils, you will not only be making better choices for the environment, but also healthier choices for your body.

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3 thoughts on “Week 5: Bring Bamboo to Lunch!

  1. Freaking AWESOME entry, as per usual! I’d like to say that your post last week about plastic lining cans to prevent food-borne botulism has irked me since I read it. Being poor over here in Australia is hard, and go-to foods are often beans, pasta and 2-minute noodles, all of which are nestled in some form of plastic. I told a good friend about this and she had me over for dinner last night. Everything she put in her Mediterranean veggie dish came unwrapped from the grocery store, or in the case of artichoke hearts, from a glass jar! I was very proud of her. In saying this, I’m wondering…are glass jars treated at all with plastic before hitting the shelves? I feel like they wouldn’t be, because I know that jars have to be boiled to be sterilized before putting fruit preserves in them (if you make your own jam). Do you know if that is what they do to jars that end up in stores as well?

    • Jars don’t have a lining because, as you said, they can be sterilized with heat. But the lids can have linings, some of which I know contain BPA because I have bought mason jars labeled to have BPA free lids. The way I rationalize it is that the food doesn’t usually touch the lid, so the exposure is minimal. The best way to go is fresh local produce… if only that were always possible! Keep up the good work Cort :O)

  2. Hey Kim,

    Awesome blog entry. I love how well you connect plastic utensils with our consumerist society. The plastic fork truly is the epitome of disposable living. I hope you are doing well and I miss you. I just moved to Monterey, started school, and got an internship with Ocean Champions. Wheeew how life changes.

    Much love,

    Trent

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