For decades now, the planet has taken a back step to profits & the greed of many, a sad but true reality. I wish that all leaders woke up to the fact that our choices as a society are destroying our planet. The one planet that can sustain life, is being trashed & climate change is abundantly obvious to most, but those in positions of power seem to be deaf to the calls for climate action NOW.
Despite the knowledge that plastic waste is out of hand, with so little of it actually being recycled (9% of over 3 million tonnes a year in Canada), companies still like to espouse the value of it. Many point to the value of plastic in terms of food, but ignore the fact that much of the packaging will continue to pollute the planet past their lifetime & how much of that pollution affects the food that they are reportedly “protecting”.
I still can’t wrap my head around why supermarkets have to have so much produce wrapped in plastic. Even when we have had farm shares, we were shocked by the amount of plastic that was still a part of it, so it’s not a transportation issue per-say, I think it’s often just a convenience thing. Change is hard, more than necessary, but hard for many to do.
One knows that it’s possible to buy fresh produce without plastic when you go to somewhere like Farm Boy or your local farmers market, but for many to take advantage of those options requires a degree of privilege. Often buying farm fresh or loose produce is more expensive, either due to geographic location (which can also include a lack of viable transport to get to those places) & or the actual cost is increased. People are literally being forced to support the pollution of the planet because they see no other viable options for their families. We all need food to survive & corporations know that they have most of us over a barrel to just continue as it always has been for some. There needs to be more drastic changes sooner than later, because the planet has taken a back seat for far too long.
Despite this belief, we (as a family) try to appreciate all the little changes companies etc make. In the end all the little changes & actions that happen, add up & often have a snowball effect, encouraging others to do something too. One of the little changes that I have appreciated this year is watching as different places switch to cardboard bread bag tags. The other spells the end of cucumber dido’s. A company called Apeel makes an edible coating that eliminates the excuse that cucumbers “need” to be wrapped in plastic in order to curb food waste. I am sure that there are others, but these are things that stood out for us. Last year it was bags of potatoes that were all paper without the plastic mesh window (which seem to be strangely harder to find this year).
We are firm believers of supporting those that support the environment, even in small ways to encourage them & others to take it further. For example if I need to buy bread in a plastic bag ( the bag, I then reuse for rubbish, as I don’t buy bags) I will search out a brand with a cardboard tag, v’s a plastic one. I also actively avoid buying cucumbers in plastic too & of course there are the bags of potatoes as mentioned (we actually buy most of of our potatoes from a local grower in the fall, we get 3x 25kg bags, which gets us through most of the winter).
As a family we try to restrict our plastic consumption, but we are NOT hardcore zero wasters. I wouldn’t even say that we are even aspiring to be so, some of the hardcore zero wasters have hangups about solar panels & that’s definitely not us. We are simply try to live as sustainably as possible on our life’s journey. I firmly believe that more people need to share their “imperfect” journeys, as it encourages others to make changes too. Doing a little is way better than throwing your hands in the air, calling it too hard & doing nothing at all.