When we make food choices for our families, we often put most of our effort into what we’re buying but, there is another part of the equation.
How is your purchase packaged? I get really annoyed when I see lovely organic eggs placed in a polystyrene container. Nope, that’s not green at all because, while it can be upcycled, it certainly can’t be recycled.
Take a closer look:
- Mesh bags – they’re a green mama’s best friend for purchasing fresh produce. Don’t cart home a mountain of plastic bags… use your own bags instead. (But if you forget, return those plastic bags to the store for recycling).
- Glass – it’s a dream container. Not only can it be recycled but it can be safely reused.
- Aluminum cans – yes, it’s recyclable but many also worry about leaching into the contents.
- Paper packaging – it often gets contaminated from food residue or has a wax coating, making it unrecyclable.
- Plastic – some of it is recyclable, but it’s also made from fossil fuels. And, would you believe, only about 4% of plastics ever get recycled! (Plus, many also worry about plastics leaching toxins into the food.)
- Cardboard or paperboard – definitely “Recycling 101”… make sure it reaches your recycling can.
- Polystyrene (often called Styrofoam) – covered in my “egg” comment… avoid it!
The moral of the story is to consider the packaging of what you purchase right along WITH your purchase. You CAN bring your own containers for bulk foods, the meat and deli counter, produce… and you’ll earn a green star for being “as green as you can be!”