I started my shopping adventure in the produce section. I would say that this is the least intimidating section of the grocery store, plastic-wise, so it was a nice way to ease myself into my oh-so-difficult task. While I was there, I picked up some green peppers, baking potatoes, ginger, squash of various sorts, and a few yellow onions, and of course, I didn't put any of these veggies into plastic produce bags.
I also bought some lettuce, though, and I would say that was the only tricky part in the veggies department. The lettuce was a bit wet so it was kinda weird not to put it into a plastic produce bag, but I just rolled with it and put it on top of one of the cloth grocery bags in my cart that I had brought with me from home. It worked out fine.
Note on produce: I was a bit peeved that the squash and green peppers I bought had big plastic stickers on them. Down with plastic stickers on produce!!
After buying my veggies, I went to the deli counter because I wanted some ham. Before I put my order in, I asked the woman if she could pack my ham into butcher paper and she said they only had butcher paper at the meat counter. Alas, I didn't get any ham. At the meat counter, I ordered some ground beef for the chili I'm making this week, and I asked the meat counter man pack it into butcher paper. He thought it was just weird that I didn't want a styrofoam tray or a plastic bag for the meat, but I just told him it would be fine that way. And it was.
My next mission was sweets. My boyfriend and I live together and he has quite the sweet tooth so he insisted that I buy cookies and ice cream. For cookies, I found Pepperidge Farm cookies packed in paper and foil. For ice cream, my b.f. needs the lactose free stuff so I had to buy Breyer's, which is packed in paper, but has a plastic safety seal. Bummer.
And now, the scariest part: toilet paper. I found three brands of toilet paper that were not wrapped in plastic, but as expected, they were all individually packaged. I ended buying both the Scott and Marcal brands to test them out. According to the label, Marcal is made from 100% recycled paper, presumably office paper (e.g. someone's TPS Reports). I haven't opened either brand yet, so I'm still deathly scared that they're both going to be horrible. Again, wiping with office paper? Ouch!
Other Stuff I Bought
During my shopping adventure, I also bought:
- eggs in a paper carton
- tuna fish in aluminum cans
- milk in a glass bottle from Oberweiss Dairy (has plastic spout...darn)
- El Milagro tortilla chips in a brown paper bag (has small plastic window...double-darn)
- Natalie's salsa in a glass jar
- Pepperidge Farm goldfish in a paper bag
- diced tomatoes in aluminum cans
- generic tampons in a cardboard box and individually wrapped in paper
- Coke Zero in aluminum cans
- q-tips (need to look elsewhere)
- cereal (maybe I can find this at a bulk food store)
- yogurt (it's ALL packed in plastic, but that's okay because I can make my own)
- bread (only really expensive bread is packed in paper, but I can make my own bread, too)
- deli ham (just need to try another store)
So that's a summary of my plastic-avoiding shopping experience today. The only plastic packaging I ended up with was the small window on the tortilla chips, the plastic safety seal on the lactose free ice cream, and the spout on the milk bottle, so I think it went really well. And I must add that the cashier didn't even notice that I didn't use plastic produce bags and didn't think I was weird for bringing my own bags. As I was walking back to my boyfriend's car with my cart, I really felt good about what I did today. I felt empowered. It was great.