Here at MantraMeds, our scrubs are made from recycled plastic but we like to emphasize that making our planet a more sustainable place means practicing all 3 R’s: Reducing, Reusing & Recycling. Here is a great article from HuffPost Green on reducing use of plastic on all your fresh summer produce!
I started shopping at my farmers market this summer. I’ve noticed people putting fruits and vegetables directly in their totes, without taking the plastic bags some vendors offer. But how do you keep produce fresh in the fridge without the plastic?
Not long ago, I asked myself that same question. I had recently invested in a large set of organic cotton reusable produce bags, and while I was feeling mighty proud of myself each time I ventured out to the market (look how eco-friendly I am! Who needs those wasteful plastic produce bags?), the scene in my fridge a few days later was less than pretty.
Stored in plastic, fruits and vegetables would have normally stayed fresh for at least a week. But left in my new reusable bags, all my beautiful produce fast turned into a wilted, spoiled mess. (Even the “crisper” bin seemed to do just the opposite, no matter what the setting.)
I’ve written before about the enormous environmental implications of wasted food; needless to say, my cloth produce bags were not coming close to offsetting the yearly 34 million tons of food waste to which I was now contributing.
But obviously, there were reasons to avoid the plastic bags, too (wildlife-destroying pollution, needless oil consumption, endocrine-disrupting chemicals). They also didn’t seem necessary: After all, plastic produce bags only came into being in the 1960s; plastic grocery bags, a decade later. There had to be a way to keep my fruits and veggies fresh without them.
Enter Beth Terry. As author of the blog My Plastic-free Life and the recently released book Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too, Terry knows how to keep everything from persimmons to parsnips fresh with nary a plastic bag in sight: She’s lived plastic free (and not just in the produce department) since 2007.
Terry’s storage methods come largely from Ecology Center Farmers’ Markets in Berkeley, CA, which createdthis guide on how to store more than 60 kinds of fruits and vegetables. But being the plastic-free pro that she is, Terry of course had some suggestions to add. With her help, I’ve created a condensed version for you that includes her input, below.
*Note: While the Ecology Center guide occasionally calls for paper products, Terry tries to limit these; she opts for cloth bags or plastic-free reusable containers instead. (“While plastic is truly problematic, all single-use disposable bags and wrappers have an environmental footprint,” she says.) She suggests a variety of different bags and containers on her site.
via Students for Environmental Action: As I was eating some peanut M&Ms (love ‘em) I looked on the back of the package and saw the message “Recycle this package” and the website. I went to it and it is SUPER AWESOME! All these things you didn’t think you could recycle, well you can! It was started by a student at Princeton University in 2001 and now they recycle waste from big corporations too. We could also collect some of this waste ourselves and send it in. The incentive is not only recycling, but each wrapper or package is worth 2 cents donated to the charity of our choice! Maybe one of our goals could be to set up official collection boxes next to all the trash bins in buildings. It wouldn’t be that bad since there’s only like one per hallway now!
Check out TerraCycle at:
Mexico City, the world’s seventh largest city, will close the world’s largest garbage dump by the end of 2012, instead turning trash from the city and surrounding area’s 20 million residents into renewable energy and reusable materials, according to Mayor Marcelo Ebrand.
City Council passes ban unanimously; bill now goes to mayor
By VANESSA HO, SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF
Updated 03:42 p.m., Monday, December 19, 2011
Ready to bring your reusable bags everywhere?
The Seattle City Council passed a broad ban on plastic bags Monday, outlawing them not just in grocery stores, but in department stores, clothing stores, convenience stores, home-improvement stores, food trucks and farmers markets.
The bill goes further than bans in other cities, which have largely banished plastic only groceries and sometimes drug stores. Customers in Seattle will still be able to get paper bags from retailers, but for a 5-cent fee.