Monday, December 14, 2009

Eating Healthier

Hello All! It's been a while since I posted, and I wanted to provide an update on what's going with me.

I'm still living a mostly plastic-free life, except I've recently made a few important changes to my anti-plastic pledge.

First, in an effort to do some serious weight loss, I've decided to forgo my plastic pledge in the rare occasion that being plastic-free forces me eat food that isn't the best for me.

For example, if I don't have time to make a lunch before work and I have to go to a restaurant to grab something, I have decided to choose getting a salad (even if it comes in a plastic shell) over a less healthy sandwich.

Second, I have also started buying bagged lettuce on occasion. I've been doing this because I want to incorporate more salad greens into my diet and I'm getting pretty sick of spinach, one of the only plastic-free leafy vegetables I can find.

When all is said and done, these few changes will not amount to much plastic used. Maybe one plastic clamshell (or less) and a few plastic bags per month.

Still, I'm unhappy to start using more plastic, but it's something I have to do for myself and my health.

Update: It's several months later, and I'm no longer buying salads in plastic shells or bags. Maybe I'm saying this because it's almost summer and the farmers markets are starting up, but who needs it!

24 comments:

E said...

I'm so sad to hear that, but I completely understand!
I'm lucky enough to shop at a grocer that carries over 6 kinds of plastic free greens.

Something I really try to do is make about 4 'to go' salads at a time so if i'm consistently in a hurry I have something to grab. Also, Kashi's frozen dinners are pretty enviro friendly and the root of all evil - wal-mart - carries them for $2.75 over here. I don't like shopping there, but as a poor college student, I have to pick my battles. ($5.69 at whole foods or dirt cheap at wally world where I only make an every 3 month trip?)

Thank you for making this blog!

trifkin said...

I support this decision! One's health is paramount. You can't take care of others (or the world at large) if you aren't taking care of yourself.

I wish you luck in this endeavor. :D

Anonymous said...

Greetings, Please consider buying glass conatiners with tops on them such as the ones from Anchor Hocking or Martha Stewart and keep them on hand at all times. I keep them in my car and take them when we go to restaurants for leftovers or pick up food orders. You can make a big difference with these and they last for a very long time. I love them! ~ Cecilia

LifeLessPlastic said...

Thanks for your comment, Cecilia. I always bring my own container so I can bring home leftovers, and have been doing so far the past few years. It is such an easy thing to do and I encourage everyone to do it as well.

As for picking up food orders, I haven't gotten that far with my glass jars. Up until now, I have just stuck to sandwiches and the like that are wrapped in paper.

Madz said...

it is kinda sad that you're supermarket doesn't sell unpackaged lettuce heads.

may i suggest growing mesclun salad mix in a pot. the seeds are cheap, it doesn't take long to grow, and you can just snip of leaves as you need.

the other option is sitting down in the cafe/restaurant to have your lunch on a real plate but i know this isn't always practical especially on a busy day.

congratulations on all your efforts so far anyway! i'm only just starting to try and reduce plastic and one major problem here in New Zealand is that milk only comes in plastic bottles or tetrapaks that can't be recycled here.

Madz in NZ

Anonymous said...

It's strange to me that you don't have any option but to buy lettuce packaged in plastic. Do supermarkets seriously not offer just regular ol' lettuce heads in other parts of the country?? I live in Northern California and it was just very recent that the grocery store started even offering prepackaged salads.

MzLibrarian said...

You have made so many changes that are wonderful! Not only do you think -- probably constantly -- about what you're consuming, but you've prompted others to do so, also.

Don't beat yourself up over this. Do what you can -- it's more than most others are doing. :)

Anonymous said...

Don't sweat it. After all, your headline is "Life LESS Plastic", not "Life NO Plastic". We're still cheering for you! :-)

Jim (sans Google acct)

Laura said...

I'd be interested to hear about any solutions you find for healthy, convenient eating with low plastic consumption. It can definitely be a challenge to reconcile everything...
In the meanwhile, have a Merry Christmas!

lerrnst said...

thanks for sharing and... today... merry christmas

Beth Terry, aka Fake Plastic Fish said...

See, I worry that eating lettuce out of a plastic bag is actually not the healthiest choice. We don't know what chemical additives are in that plastic. We don't know what could be leaching out of that plastic container. I'm wondering if there are other veggies that you could eat besides lettuce that don't come packaged in plastic. Not trying to give you a hard time. Just encouraging you to keep it up. I'm not letting you off the hook so easily, lady!

M said...

health and environment wise, the heavily chlorinated pre-washing of the salad in a bag may be of an even bigger concern than the potential of leaching from the plastic bag. You can't wash lettuce and expect it to stay perky that long without quite a bit of doctoring. They oxygen levels in each bag have to be carefully manipulated to preserve diminishing freshness. All this requires extra energy resources. Lettuce sold in a head retains more nutrients too. it might be healthier (and cheaper)to invest in a salad spinner and wash your own. It is made of plastic, but is a one-time purchase and even more in the interest of your health than the adding up of all those bags of chlorinated nutritionally depleted lettuce. Having pointed all that out, I still end up buying them in a pinch since they are better than nothing. Good luck, whatever you do. Your effort is inspiring.

John at Cell Phone Recycling said...

Congratulations for trying still your best to live a plastic-free life. God you are in a dilemma right now. Whatever you choose will give a bad effect, but I must tell you, health is very important and maybe to avoid consuming plastics you can go to the market and buy some fresh vegetables that are not into plastics. How ever, if you can't avoid using plastics then at least you dispose them properly.

Good luck on your weight loss goal.

Brittany said...

Hey!

I don't usually do this, but I have a blog as well and I always wonder who the readers are that cross my web site sooo...
I thought I would say hello, and introduce myself. I was trying to find information about Burt's Bees and whether they were actually a 'socially conscious' company like they claimed, and somehow stumbled across your blog. I read the entire thing word for word in one night, and I was so impressed with your energy and dedication to living your 'life less plastic.' It is seriously awesome. It was also really eye-opening for me, because I had no idea how much plastic we consume in our everyday lives-- I hadn't even thought about it. The next day I went to the supermarket and after reading your blog, I felt like I saw plastic EVERYWHERE, I couldn't get away from it... and it just made me even more impressed with your decisions and your perseverance.

I know that you wrote an entry once about how you wished that more people wouldn't think that living a plastic-free existence was 'weird'- screw them!! It is AMAZING what you are doing. Not only are you trying to reduce the world's dependency on plastic, but you are publishing about it, so that people like me read it and become aware. I now feel so much more conscious about the way plastic is used, and I'm trying to think of ways to cut down my plastic as well.

So anyway, thanks for being such a great inspiration and please continue what you're doing and posting, I really like reading your entries! and I just created a new blog myself and I gave you a little shout-out on one of my entries (http://brittanygoesgloballyconscious.wordpress.com/), so feel free to check it out if you'd like.

Thanks and keep writing!
-Brittany

sainila said...

I am looking to make my kitchen plastic free. any tips on where to buy the canisters, food storage constainers etc? also i am looking for a lunch box plastic free but keeps food hot for my kid. pl any tips? thanks

Herbs and Spices said...

Nice post!
Health definitely takes precedence. If Lays finds a way to give us Doritos without any packaging, that doesn't mean we should eat it.

Also I'm not sure restaurants are a very plastic-free option anyway, individuals can be much more efficient at forgoing plastic.

http://spices4health.blogspot.com/

mrprose said...

Hey, thanks for your comment! I actually went out and found Doctor Bronner's bar soap based on your recommendation in your blog, and I find that it's working fine! My roommates are less happy, but I think that's partially because they don't like putting water in the sink, they just wipe a soapy cloth over dishes under running water. I think hot soapy water is a better dishwashing method anyway, but I told them they are more than free to go out and buy their own dishsoap, I'm not trying to impose my plastic-free existence on them! So far, we're still using the bar... :-)

As for the salad in a bag, your health should come before your plastic-free existence, always! Although I agree with some of these other comments, that it should actually be much healthier for you to avoid the salad in a bag altogether... healthier but much less convenient, I know. We can each only ever do so much, though. Your blog is still an inspiration! Thank you!

Chris said...

It's okay. I think for as long as you're not engaged in wasteful plastic consumption, no one will take it against you. And we can't be too careful with our health too.

jack said...

why not grow your own salads? all you need is a 3"-4" deep bowl with a few holes in the bottom, water, and sunlight.

http://www.containerseeds.com/articles/mesclunarticle.html

Martin said...

If it makes you feel better about the bagged lettuce, I have heard that commercial washing is MUCH more water efficient than washing greens at home.

Frugal Nut said...

I think you're doing a great job, and any effort is better than no effort! Like the others are saying, it's sad that there are no other types of leafy greens for you to get that are not plastic wrapped. Hopefully they get some for you soon!

Julie Wiens said...

It's too bad you can't get lettuce heads in the grocery store without plastic. I don't use the veggi plastic bags from the grocery stores anymore, I just wash them when I get home. Another idea would be to wash your lettuce bag and take it back to the store each time. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

If your serious about your health take a look at the amount of stuff they put on the plastic container-ed salads. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/dangers-of-food-additives-and-preservatives.html

Plus plastics is changing our hormones http://heartspring.net/plastic_xeno_estrogen.html

I enjoyed browsing through your blogs and applaud your efforts to go less plastic... with the gulf oil crisis I know we have to go oil less period.

rosebleed said...

I know you said you're no longer buying the pre-packaged salad, but I wanted to chime in that the reyclable containers of salad (like Earthbound Farm) are probably better than the #7 bags of salad, assuming there is a recycling program in place to collect those containers. It never occured to me until I saw Earthbound Farm on a website about sustainable packaging. That said, the plastic-wrapped lettuce you find at the grocery store is probably wrapped in polyethylene (#2 or #4) bags which are also recyclable, but they usually have a piece of tape on them and I'm not sure about that. I've also seen romaine lettuce at the grocery store with a rubber band around it, and you can always reuse those.

I know what you mean about feeling like you shouldn't sacrifice your health for the sake of not using plastic. I'm constantly faced with this scenario because I don't do any of the shopping in my house and if I want to get proper nourishment I usually end up eating something out of plastic, but it's very frustrating.

to avoid the plastic frenzy next winter, have you considered putting together some winter veggie/fruit storage (freezing, drying, canning)? plus you can always get things like jam in the winter from the grocery store. and I haven't yet figured out if those birdseye boxed frozen vegetables are plastic-free or not (paperboard box with a foil-paper wrapper), so if they are, there's always that.