Today, I went shopping for groceries. I wanted to check out what options with no plastic and less packaging in general there are.
First, I went to the farmers market. This is a pretty easy way to buy non-packaged stuff, often-times the food is even organic. I loaded up on veggies there, got some fruit and bread, as well as grape juice in a glass bottle.
Next, I stopped at the local organic supermarket. I was able to find some hearty spreads to go on top of the bread I bought, packaged in glass. They also had one of the chocolate brands that use biodegradable wrapping for their goods (info found here: https://einbisschengruener.com/2016/02/14/plastikfreie-alufreie-nachhaltige-vegane-schokolade/). Sadly, they didn’t have any noodles in paper or cardboard. Maybe one of the packages was non-plastic, as it felt differently to the touch, but since there was no info on it, I didn’t buy it.
I went to a bigger supermarket, where I found noodles from the house-brand, packaged in cardboard box. Too bad that those noodles aren’t organic. Phew. Maybe it’s like with the vegetables – if they’re organic, they will be wrapped in plastic. If they are non-organic, they won’t have a plastic wrapping. I still haven’t understood why it’s necessary or meaningful to wrap the organic stuff in plastic, but I guess most people don’t buy organic, so at least less plastic gets bought that way… with the exception of those damn plastic bags they give away for free at the fruit & veggie section.
My conclusion so far: it’s possible to buy less plastic and less packaging. It feels a bit like when I went vegetarian (or vegan after that) – in the beginning, it seemed a bit difficult to find alternatives, but as soon as you knew about them, your shopping list changed a bit and from then on, you simply bought a few different items.
Only three ingredients are needed: cocoa, coconut fat and powdered sugar. That means that you might be able to quickly make yourself some chocolate anytime you crave some, if you keep basic baking ingredients at home! That sounds pretty calming to me ;)
The process is easy, although it takes some time to melt and mix the ingredients. I was able to produce a pretty decent result, so everyone with minimal baking knowledge (reaaaally minimal) can do it too! Next time I will use syrup as sweetener instead of the powdered sugar to avoid having lumps of sugar in the finished chocolate.
Since deciding to reduce my plastic consumption starting in September, I have done a bit of research and thinking.
My first quest is to find alternatives to noodles and chocolate packaged in plastic.
So far, I have found out that there‘s a company from Austria called Wolf Nudeln which produces noodles packaged in paper/cardboard AND they offer vegan noodles (good old-fashioned durum wheat noodles ;)).
Also, I found a blogpost about chocolate without plastic wrapping, stating that there are some brands which use a bio-degradable plastic wrapping. The author even tried the bio-degradation for herself by burying the wrapping in her garden for some time and she was able to confirm the company’s claim.
Inspired by a posting by a fellow surfer, I will try my best to reduce my plastic consumption this september (and hopefully stick to it for the rest of my life).
Here is the posting I am referring to:
I can relate to the experience that the awareness for how much we litter our earth has grown due to surfing. I have reduced my plastic consumption over the years already, but I still have lots of room for improvement.
I really had to think for a while what items packaged in plastic I am buying constantly, then I noticed that our beloved noodles come in plastic wrapping. I don‘t know why, because I guess that dry durum wheat noodles could easily be packaged without using plastic, but then again, I‘m not a food engineer, so what do I know, really? ;)
Another item that always is wrapped in plastic is chocolate. There is of course chocolate that is wrapped in aluminium foil, but that‘s probably not better.
My personal challenge for september will be to find an alternative for the noodles that come in a plastic bag, I am optimistic that this will be possible.
More of a mystery to me is my second challenge task – don‘t buy chocolate wrapped in plastic or aluminium. Will it work? I have no idea. But I want to educate myself, so I can make more conscious decisions in the future.
I will continue to buy less plastic, stick to fruits & veggies that are sold unwrapped (ideally locally, organically grown stuff directly at the market) and look for other alternatives to single use plastic.
If you have any recommendations for me, please feel free to post a comment or send me an e-mail!