-3 food containers (1 hummus, 2 take out indian food)
-2 Container Seals (from hummus and earth balance? It becomes hard to tell)
-2 Frozen Fruit Bags
-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
-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!
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.
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.