Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My plastic-free shop

I posted a while back about going plastic-free, and my goal for this year is to have as little plastic in our kitchen as possible. Went shopping today at Top Foods armed with my roll of waxed paper, cotton mesh produce bags, and regular cotton drawstring bags. I was curious to see how many items on my shopping list would be available without plastic packaging. Some stuff was easy, other stuff not so much. Amazing how much is packaged in plastic. Even those cardboard boxes that look like they're eco-friendly are hiding a plastic sleeve/pouch inside to hold the contents.

Anyway, I did get some rolled oats from the bulk section in the natural food section, used my Simple Ecology bag and avoided the little twist tie thingie by writing the code on my hand.

I was happy to discover that Top has a bread section with unpackaged loaves, I was able to stick one of these in my cotton bag and put that in the freezer once we got home. Pillowcases would do the trick too!

The woman at the meat department was friendly and when I specified no plastic she wrapped the chicken breasts in what looked like brown paper...unfortunately it is lined with plastic so I'll have to ask her to use my wax paper roll next time.

The deli woman seemed amused and slightly annoyed by my request, but she did wrap the sandwich meat in paper (not plastic-lined, yay!). When I asked about unpackaged cheese and could I please get a chunk in paper, she didn't seem to understand. Looks like they have pre-sliced cheese available...but plastic wrapped. I think I'll have better luck at Whole Foods where they have a proper cheese counter and I can hopefully get something that isn't already packaged.

Produce was easy, although certain items use plastic bands and plastic tags. And beets are messy! I will simply have to designate one of my synthetic Envirosax bags for those.

And last but not least, the cashier was actually excited about my cotton bags! She liked the fact that the Simple Ecology ones have a tag with their weight to deduct.

All in all the shop went well. I look forward to the Farmer's Markets this Spring, and possibly doing a CSA this year. In the meantime, I'll be known as the crazy plastic-free lady at the local grocery stores. Just wait until I go entirely paper-free and come in with my glass jars! Here comes the crazy jar lady!


  1. It does seem like they're more used to the plastic-free "crazies" at PCC and Whole Foods. I just wish we had a PCC in the neighborhood! You should join me in lobbying the developer and PCC to open a new store in the soon-to-be-redeveloped Lake Hills shopping center!

  2. Oh that would be awesome!! I would love to have one in Bellevue. What's invovled in lobbying for it?