As I mentioned in a previous post, my major New Year’s goal is to limit some of the excess food packaging that comes into my house.
foolproof super hopeful plan!
As noted, I’ve failed to reach my goal for four years or so. I’m pretty sure that I’ve been aiming too high, which is exactly the opposite of what I always tell other people to do. For example, I want to eliminate ALL unnecessary food packaging. Obviously I’m not nearly reaching that goal.
I always tell you, my readers, to take small steps towards a greener lifestyle, so this year, I’m taking my own advice.
In 2012, my household will be concentrating on some smaller, hopefully more achievable steps towards an overall less package-laden lifestyle. Here’s what I’ve come up with.
Who will be involved:
Since I live with four other people for the time being, a true elimination of household packaging would require the entire household’s cooperation. That spells potential trouble and extra stress I don’t need. That said, I’m limiting my goal to what I can control – meaning packaging concerning my son Cedar and myself.
The basic plan:
1) I sat down and thought about all the foods we buy prepackaged.
2) First I eliminated impossible items from my list. For example, I’m not buying an organic cow, milking it and churning flipping butter and ice cream. I’m also not raising chickens. Meaning, we’ll keep buying items such as organic milk, eggs and butter prepackaged.
3) Then I thought about the stuff I could manage easily because I’ve already got the skills – i.e. I can bake cookies and muffins vs. buying packaging. I can also buy rice and beans in bulk and cook them vs. purchasing cans or boxes.
4) Then, because a goal should be at least a little bit challenging, I considered something harder. For us, the food items with the biggest package impact would likely be soup. We eat soup for most lunches and often for dinner too. We eat organic veggie, chicken noodle, veggie chili, tomato and more. I have almost zero soup making skills. I’ve tried to make soup before. At best I’ve had curious results and at worst really terrible results. If I can learn to make decent soup, it would be a BIG deal, save on lots of cans and a great accomplishment.
My chosen small steps:
- Quit buying rice and beans in cans, bags or boxes. Both are easy to get organic in bulk, but take more time to cook.
- Don’t buy potatoes or carrots in bags anymore. Can you believe I sometimes do this! Anyhow, I can cut up bulk carrots myself and lately I’ve located bulk organic potatoes not in bags.
- Bake cookies and muffins from scratch from now on, using bulk ingredients. Easy because I’m a good baker and since I work at home, baking is something I do have time for – i.e. it’s easy to walk away from the oven, so long as you set a timer.
- Learn to make soup. This will be the hardest part for me. One reader suggested a crock-pot, which I’ll be looking into, and I’m going to gather up some organic soup recipes.
How is 2012 going so far?
Well, not great, but luckily it’s only the 8th. I bought bulk carrots and potatoes this week, plus didn’t buy any muffin mixes or prepackaged cookies.
I’ve utterly failed to research soup making yet and I bought two boxes of rice and two cans of soup. Blah. So, it’s going about half good. Stay tuned, because hopefully I’ll manage to look up some soup recipes and share them here.
Image by Johnkarun via sxc.