So what did we decide?
For two weeks, we're not going to buy any food with packaging. None. Not even recyclable materials. The goal for this challenge is to focus on the "reduce" part of "reduce, reuse, recycle."
|bulk almonds vs packaged almond milk|
- We can eat food we already have in the kitchen, even if it has packaging
- No stocking up on packaged food before the challenge (starting today)
- Recyclable materials count
- We can eat in restaurants but have to bring our own container if we want to take food home
- If we are invited to dinner at someone's house, that doesn't count unless we are asked to contribute (we have to draw the line somewhere). But rule #4 still applies to any food we bring home.
- Cheese - I can't have cow's cheese, so we only eat goat cheese, which I'm not sure where to get without packaging so we will have to go without cheese for two weeks.
- Beer - We can have kegged beer, but not from bottles
- Milk - We'll have to make our own almond milk (we don't buy cow's milk anyway)
- Beans and other canned items - We'll have to purchase them dried in bulk and then hydrate them, which will take more planning for meals
- SoupCycle - I will have to go without my SoupCycle subscription, as it comes in plastic containers each week
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Why are you counting recyclable containers? Reduce is the key here. While recycling is better than throwing things away, reducing waste, recyclable or not, is always the better option. Plus, it is more challenging.
- What packaging waste do we generate the most of? Based off of a quick assessment of the garbage in our can now, our garbage consists of takeout containers, almond milk containers and bags from snack foods. Our recycling consists of a lot of aluminum cans, egg cartons and beer bottles.
- How are you going to have time to prepare everything from scratch? Luckily we already eat a lot of fresh veggies and fruit from the Farmer's Market, and we already purchase a lot of items from the bulk section using our own containers. The challenge is going to be finding time to cook our own beans and making our own almond milk. I like to improvise the food we eat during the week, and with dried items it's going to be harder to make dinner if I have to soak and cook beans, as opposed to opening up a can.