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Your Board

Hi, I'm Your Board

Outpost's Board of Directors will use this blog to discuss issues the board is exploring as it envisions Outpost's future. Can't make it to a meeting? Check here frequently to read what the Board is up to. Outpost's Board of Directors. From left...
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Your Board

Learning to BAG IT: Giving up plastic, one bag at a time

Sounding Board
Outpost's Board of Directors will use this blog to discuss issues the board is exploring as it envisions Outpost's future. Can't make it to a meeting? Check here frequently to read what the Board is up to. By Your Board on June 12, 2012

 

It’s been nearly a month since I attended the Outpost screening of the movie Bag It.  And I have to hand it to Director Suzan Beraza.  Choosing Jeb Berrier as the focus of the movie was absolutely brilliant.  He’s a believable "everyman” whose experience with plastic isn’t so different from every one of ours. He’s not an avid environmentalist or a radical.  He’s just a guy in a world filled (increasingly) with plastic.  Best of all, he has a sense of humor about it, which makes the movie engaging and genuinely entertaining.

 

Which isn’t to say that the movie is all fluff. In fact, it’s one of the few documentaries of late that actually got me thinking about making some serious changes in my life. 

 

Bag It is a great film in that it gives a very complete snapshot of our increasingly plastic-filled world – including an overview of the history of plastic, information about what plastic bags are made from, what happens to plastic bags after they’ve been discarded, and what potentially harmful chemical additives used in the plastic-making process. 

 

Of course, the best part of the film is that it proposes some ways each of us as individuals can reduce our plastic usage.

 

In addition to using cloth bags when we grocery shop, which I’ve been doing for a while, here’s some of the ways I’ve reduced MY plastic consumption since seeing the movie.

1. I happily put down my deposit for glass bottles of Crystal Ball Farms milk.  And I’ve made it a point to develop a system so that I don’t forget to return the bottles to Outpost to be reused.

2. I’ve given up my plastic water bottle for a stainless steel model. Fortunately, I had a few laying around the house already, so there was no cost involved!

3. I’m TRYING to remember to bring my glass jars with me to Outpost when I’m shopping for bulk goods (the service desk can give me a tare weight on the jar so I’m not paying extra for its weight at the checkout).

4. I’ve renewed my commitment to replacing all of my “Tupperware” containers with glass or stainless steel containers.

5. When I do buy products that come in plastic containers, I’m making an effort to save them and try to reuse the containers for as long as possible.

6. I picked up my first package of re-useable produce bags at Outpost.  Sure, they’re $10 for a package of 3 bags. But, I should be able to use them for years before they’ll need to be replaced.

7. I buy more bread from the bakery. Most bakeries package in paper, so I’m avoiding plastic, one bag at a time.

8. I’ve started using cloth napkins more often. The upside is that dinner always feels like a special occasion!

9. I’ve committed to buying refills for our home cleaning products (when we don’t make our own), instead of buying new bottles.

10. I’ve been reading all the tips, tricks, and information the Bag It web site, which hopefully will inspire me to make even more changes in the months ahead.

 

Have you given up some of the plastic in your life?  What steps are you taking to create a more “plastic free” world?

 

Lori Fredrich, director

Comments

I bought reusable cloth sandwich bags for my kids lunch last year. Also rinse and reuse bread bags and the Ziplocs from my CSAs--to think I used to laugh when my grandmother did this! Love your idea about bringing a container for bulk purchases! Posted by: I Wilkerson | June 16 at 5:25 PM
Thanks for bringing up this topic and sharing your ideas. I, too, have been reducing my use of plastic. Iâ??d like to find alternatives for the plastic bags I end up with in the bulk section and also in the produce section. Bringing glass containers seems difficult â?? they are heavy, not always completely empty when I go shopping etc. The produce bags are pricey. Iâ??m wondering if we could find and share some ideas for home made re-usuable bags. Perhaps we could make muslin and/or nylon bags? What would be good materials? And how would we close the bulk bags? Iâ??ve made stuff sacks for camping which would work for produce, but Iâ??m not sure how to securely close bags for things like flour and coffee. Posted by: RealFoodAnne | June 17 at 11:47 AM
Inger and Anne - Thanks for weighing in! I do think that carrying around glass jars can get heavy. But, I like the idea for when I just have one or two things to pick up... then it's more manageable. I also like the idea of making bags. Maybe something as simple as a cloth tie or rubber band would do to ensure the bags close thoroughly enough to keep goods like flour and sugar. I know many others are more savvy than I am -- so keep the ideas coming! Posted by: Lo | June 18 at 11:16 AM

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