The purpose of doing a challenge is to stretch our thinking and to initiate lifestyle changes for good purposes. For that reason, I’m not too legalistic with my rules. The idea is to make good and logical choices. I have decided to make a small change in my shopping habits for the remainder of this challenge.
I’m adding 100% recyclable packaging to my list of approved things to purchase. Why? Because it’s near impossible to live this way. I could do it, but not with a full-time job and being a full-time single mom. It’s not sustainable. There are parts of it that are sustainable though. This process is all about how to make some simple lifestyle changes that have a positive impact on our lives, the lives of others and our resources.
I’m going to use my extreme coffee habit for an example of what I mean. I have two options.
Option 1: Buy my own ingredients and make my own lattes. During this challenge, that’s been difficult with the milk packaging.
Option 2: Go to a coffee shop and bring my own cup.
Why the shift makes sense:
- Original packaging. So, if I can’t buy a gallon of milk because of the plastic jug, where is the milk in a coffee shop coming from? A plastic jug. Not only do I save money, I can also guarantee that plastic jug will be recycled.
- Packaging choices. I can choose only packages that are 100% biodegradable or 100% recyclable. The coffee shop has a profit margin to worry about, and possibly investors to please. They’re going to go for the cheapest, not the most environmentally friendly.
- Casting my vote. By buying (Ooo, byebuy.com would be a cool domain) products that are healthy and environmentally friendly from a company that supports fair labor practices and ethical operations, we are casting a vote for good.
This change is still extremely difficult when it comes to shopping, especially grocery shopping. Most packaging is not labeled in any way as to whether or not it’s recyclable. Some of the things that are labeled are really difficult to see without a search. It takes label reading to a whole new level.
If nothing else comes out of this, maybe I can convince the government to establish a simple system of icons so people can easily make good choices like this. That little raised plastic icon, barely visible, on the bottom of the milk jug is not good enough. It’s raised so little, even a person that reads brail could not decipher it. C’mon people, work with me. 😉