Change the World Wednesday – 12th Sept

These do NOT make coffee, they produce dirty water

A week ago, I started my CTWW with coffee and no teeth, today, I have neither, but the pondering continues.

I am waiting for the water to boil for my coffee, and before that, you’re not going to get a lot.

People in the First World need gadgets. They have machines to do everything. If everybody just spent 10 minutes more of everyday in the kitchen and made coffee the old fashioned way, straining water through ground coffee beans you wouldn’t have the millions of coffee makers that are around the world. Now you add up all those coffee makers, all that plastic, metal, elements and glass that would never have to be mined, manufactured, transported and eventually thrown away.

That equals a lot of raw materials never extracted, refined and processed. All that petroleum saved, all that electricity never produced and used.

Fresh ginger

My kitchen smells deliciously of ginger this morning. Yesterday I marinated my steak in soya sauce and coarsely grated ginger root and today the kitchen still smells  fresh and clean.

I have a clump of ginger rhizomes in the garden, every now and then I break off a hunk for the vege bowl.

I must break the clump up and spread it out so that it will grow again this season.

My compost tomatoes haven’t ripened yet, but a couple are showing that yellowish tinge, so it won’t be long now.

My passionfruit vines had their first flower during the week, so hopefully they will be more successful and I will have passionfruit for this season.

Change the World Wednesday for this week is a great one. Apt for today because I am off to the supermarket after class.

This week, pick a food item which you normally buy in a package (especially a plastic package) and find a better alternative. For example, rather than buy beans in a plastic bag, look for them in the bulk isle of the market and fill your own container. Rather than buy produce in plastic “clam shells”, see if you can find them loose, without packaging. If you typically shop at a supermarket (where almost everything is packaged in plastic) consider shopping at a farmer’s market, food co-op, wholesale market or organic food store for better options. The idea, here, is to find at least one “green” alternative to plastic packaging … and, while doing without might be an appropriate alternative, we’re more interested in finding the food in acceptable/no packaging for this challenge.

 

Or … If, in your area, you find it nearly impossible to buy food which isn’t packaged in plastic, please speak to your market’s owner/manager to see if they can offer any alternatives. Talk to neighbors and members of the community to search out options.

 

Or … If none of the above works out, please write letters to your government officials and/or start a petition asking for plastic free food packaging.

Farmer’s markets, etc are the answer, but I have explained that is not feasible for me, so I am stuck with the supermarket.

They have many products prepackaged in polystyrene with wrap. For example they have shredded cabbage, I prefer to buy a small cabbage and it takes about 30 seconds to shred enough to use, so I wouldn’t even entertain the idea.

I have managed to get the fresh produce guy to put fruit in a simple plastic bag for me rather than buy a tray with wrap. But it’s got to be in a bag for ‘security reasons.’

These trays are really so unnecessary

They have prepackaged meat as well, but I always go to the counter and get my meat in a simple plastic bag, or get my bacon cut fresh and not use their cryo-vacced stuff, besides it always looks pale and insipid. A hunk cut fresh from a side is much more appealing.

So that takes care of the second part of the challenge. I am always on the look out to at least reduce packaging if I can’t eliminate it.

Today I will check around and see what else I can reduce, and then I will do an update.

Update

I failed.

Apart from the fact that the supermarket didn’t have many of the things I wanted, which is becoming all too often these days, I saw some wonderful filled pies, they were open topped, sort of like little 4″ quiches. The soft pastry would have been destroyed if they had been packed in anything but a polystyrene tray and covered in plastic wrap. There were four different fillings, I just had to have one of each… I felt so guilty when the girl in the deli section wrapped them.

But I managed to assuage my guilt over morning coffee…

They were scrumptious!

I’m off to the other supermarket in a couple of days, I’ll try again then.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Alex Jones on September 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Technology makes people lazy. Going the long route is often fun and rewarding, without the slavery to technological gadgets.

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  2. I’m off to the supermarket today for my weekly grocery shop. Like you, I suspect it’s going to be very difficult indeed to succeed in this challenge. I also don’t have farmers’ markets on my little island. The street sellers certainly have no packaging but the quality is often poor, and heaven knows how many days the produce has been sitting in the blazing sun. Sigh. But there’s got to be a way……
    Thanks for another entertaining post!

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    • >Clare, if you are already aware of these pitfalls and taking precautions, yes it is difficult; especially when you are faced with such treats… oh they were so yummy. We have street markets here too and for fresh produce they are the answer to avoid packaging. WE have one near here, but it’s still a 20 minute walk and it’s up hill; when you’re on a walkingstick, that’s a long way.

      AV

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  3. […] where possible but in the end I failed, I succumbed to temptation. You can read about that in the UPDATE to the CTWW post. While it wasn’t such a transgression as to send me rushing off to confess on […]

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