Zero waste living is not always easy to perfect. I went grocery shopping and bought garbage (single use packaging), literally, but I bought food that was soon to expire at a discount which means I am helping divert food from dum(b)ster to dinner table. .
I calculated every price out in my head and still spent $16.24. That is about two hours of work at minimum wage (after taxes). I discuss rather defeatedly with the cashier about how expensive food is. We commiserate. She is feeding two teenage boys on her salary. I carefully pack my two packages of rice cakes, one loaf of french bread, heavily discounted fondue cheese, almost expired kefir dip and boccaccini into my panniers. I tuck a chocolate bar into my pocket. This grocery order has 8 pieces of garbage involved. The wrappers from the bread and rice cakes and chocolate bar will get tossed. There is also a plastic wrapper under the lid on the kefir and cheese. At least the containers for those two items are recyclable. The cardboard on the fondue cheese is also recyclable but I imagine there is plastic wrap inside.
I did not really win on the garbage front. Two of the five items purchased were dum(b)ster diverted though. Is that a win? I am not sure. Does it help that I bicycled there? How about the fact I did not use plastic bags, instead I put the groceries into my panniers (which by the way were bought used and therefore given a second life and saved from becoming possible garbage themselves)? Yeah I am judging myself. I need to accept that EVERY step in the right direction is a BIG deal no matter how small the change.
Food rescue is my passion but becoming zero waste is an aspiration I really need to master before the end of the year. Have you seen Superstore’s new product line Naturally Imperfect? They are selling apples and potatoes that might not win a beauty pageant but taste great anyways! Be an environmental activist with little effort! How cool is that?!