I’ve done a little grocery shopping since I started plastic-free February, but only for things we run out of quickly. I’m dreading my first serious trip to restock the pantry.
I usually make one small trip to the grocery store each week to buy the things my family uses the most and things that don’t last long, like milk, cheese, bread, and fresh produce. I usually walk out of the grocery store with one or two bags in hand.
The last small trip I made I needed cheese. I could not find a cheese that was not wrapped in plastic. Every last variety comes in shrink wrap or a baggie or a clamshell. I can make homemade cheese, but my family’s favorite cheeses are cheddar and monterey jack – both those cheeses take months of aging to develop their flavor.
I know of an artisanal cheese place about an hour’s drive away. They might have cheeses wrapped in paper or that I could put in my own container. I’m pretty sure it would be gentler on the environment for me to not drive there and just buy the plastic-wrapped cheese at my grocery store.
I haven’t given up on going plastic-free, but I am finding this frustrating. I thought finding alternatives to plastic cases wrapped in plastic would not be so hard.
About once a month or so, I also make one large trip. It’s usually triggered by a big sale on soup or frozen veggies or something like that – the sorts of things I can leave tucked in the back of a closet or freezer and don’t have to worry that they’ll spoil soon.
Today, I ran out of laundry detergent. Tomorrow, I have no choice but to go for a large restocking trip. Fortunately for my budget, the sales and coupons are aligned.
Image by Brett L., used with Creative Commons license.