Updated: Apr 25, 2022
I want to talk to you all about beer... OK mostly kidding. Look at this beer carrier I bought (with beer attached, of course) last year when I was in Florida. It's made of cardboard. Happy dance, anyone?! How many of you have purchased a 4 or 6 pack of cans and they are held together by something plastic? We've all seen the horrifying images of ducks being strangled by those plastic rings that sometimes still come around a 6 pack of soda.
What I actually want to do today is challenge you all to pay attention to packaging.
I listened to a podcast called Waste a couple months ago by some of my favorite dudes. It's a great episode in general, but one thing they discussed was buying power with their guest Shelia Morovati of Habits of Waste. We as consumers do indeed have power to influence how companies behave. There are so many areas of life we can apply this empowerment to, but let's keep it relevant to the beer for now...
Whenever possible, look at what you're buying at the grocery store. What is the packaging made of? Is there a more biodegradable/recyclable alternative? Here are two things I'm going to challenge you with this month. They seem like common sense but they are harder than you might think with the way our culture packages food.
ANYTHING vs. plastic. Alright, I confess. I basically buy a container of Jalapeño Ranch every time I go to the grocery. But luckily, the brand I love offers both plastic AND glass bottles! In most communities, glass recycling is much more effective than plastic so I always go glass when possible. And bringing it back to the beer once more... anytime you can buy beer, soda, water, etc. in something OTHER than plastic, please do. Cardboard > glass > metal cans > plastic.
Bulk vs. pre-packaged. This is an ongoing battle that I fight also, so just know that you are not alone! I am guilty of buying bagged salads but I always buy other veggies in bulk so I can use my own reusable produce bags. Some examples are mushrooms, carrots, brussel sprouts, and bell peppers.