April 23, 2014

Grocery Store Challenge

Photo by www.tatianaamico.com/
Shopping plastic free...it’s definitely easier said than done! Employees at Save Our Shores have had to become creative shoppers at our local grocery stores in order to avoid making plastic purchases. Finding items without plastic is incredibly challenging if you haven’t tried already! I’ve discovered that the two aisles with the least amount of plastic are usually the produce aisle (minus the produce bags) and where the bulk items are (minus their containers). They’re my favorite aisles to head to if I want to make trail mix or have fresh veggies and fruit for myself at home, but they’re not so great for hosting large events. The price starts to add up quickly if you’re hosting an event of fifteen plus people. Let’s be honest, one bowl of trail mix with chocolate covered goodies and other fun surprises will definitely be gone within the first five minutes. Especially if I’m there! 

On February 26th, 2014, Save Our Shores hosted Marc Shargel as one of our public speakers at the Sanctuary Exploration Center. It was an awesome event to not only learn more about the history of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, but a chance for our staff to celebrate our environment with guests and volunteers too! We had pizza donated by Pizza My Heart, beer donated by Ninkasi, and snack items from Staff of Life. Everything was delicious and for the most part recyclable, except for one item. One little slip-up prevented us from having the title of plastic free…Tortilla chips! They’re such a yummy and easy snack to bring to events, but are incredibly difficult to find without some type of plastic on their bag! Curse you little plastic window panes!

We ended up purchasing tortilla chips in a brown bag (yes! we thought it was recyclable) but with a closer look the bag had a clear plastic window right on front. Later we found out that the bag was recyclable (yay!), but the plastic window pane had to be cut out and thrown away. That’s okay though! This is all just a part of the learning process. After doing some digging into plastic free tortilla chip bags we found that you can order them in bulk from Staff of Life (PLU#131) ahead of time! 

Becoming plastic free doesn't happen in one day. It’s a process that will take time. We will keep track of the plastic that we accidentally use at SOS events and based on our data, we will be able to see which alternative solutions worked and where adjustments should be made. With that in mind, we bid adieu to the tortilla chips with their plastic window pane bags and say hello to whatever clever food combinations we come up with next! 

Plastic-free Food Suggestions for Large Events:
Fruits
Vegetables
Pizza (Homemade or without the white plastic table top in the box from restaurants)
Nuts
Snack Mixes from the bulk aisle 
Homemade pastries or desserts 
Beverages in glass jars (ie. Water, Juices, etc.) 

Photo: Associated Press

-Bronti Patterson, SOS Program Intern

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment!