The image at right represents the take from yesterday morning’s trip to Central Market in Lancaster, PA. It being the day before we started our move to zero-plastic-influx, I decided that I wasn’t going to worry about the plastic deal. I would buy as normal and take note of what plastic packing materials my items came with and make adjustments for future visits. Sure, that’s a pretty lame justification for being lazy, but that’s what I did.
The rings/caps on the milk bottles excepted, all of the plastic I came home with could have been eliminated with a little bit of planning. Reusable containers and cloth bags could have easily been used to package the spinach, meat sticks, sandwich meat, hot dogs and rice. The carrots left the market in a plastic bag that I provided, but cloth would have worked in that case, too. The prepackaged hummus situation could have been resolved by pre-arranging with the producer.
Other than not drinking the stuff, I don’t really see a way around the milk issue – I suppose I could buy milk in a paper carton, but we have been buying raw milk lately and this only comes in glass or plastic jars/jugs. In fact, Green Circle Organics at Market was out of raw in glass (supplier was taking a break over the holidays?) and I needed to go to Mapplehoff for milk in glass (2%, conventionally grown, no growth hormones).
The pre-packaged nature of the humous brings up a couple of things. First of all, this is something that I can make myself (everyone can) and plastic use in this case can be addressed through a DIY approach. Another solution would be to contact the producer and make arrangements to have her pack her humous in my container at the time of production. Since many vendors, this one included, at market are the producers, this would have been no problem. It only takes a bit of planning. Ahh…. planning. Something tells me this will come up a lot over the course of the year (and beyond?).
While it all may take a bit of planning, I will say that we are pretty damn lucky to be embarking on this journey within spitting distance of Central Market, Lemon Street Market and Expressly Local Foods. Each are small operations that deal in bulk foods, have a variety of organic goods on offer and do an excellent job of sourcing local.
Stay with us! More to come!