To me, the only real solution is to stop consuming. Hopefully, if enough people stop buying plastic packaging, the industries will stop manufacturing it and creating this throwaway society. And this toxic buildup of plastic that's going to be real ugly for our future children.
As you can see, I've been giving it some thought. Last month our city celebrated Earth Day, which created a lot of hype—and positive action—here. A wonderful sign. I started reading about "one small change" —another popular and practical, if small, movement. And there are hopeful signs everywhere of a growing, grassroots community committed to sustainable agricultural and environmentally-friendly industry. This is tremendously exciting.
My big beef is the grocery store. (Yeah, yeah, har, har. Actually, I get my big beef from a farmer south of town). —The grocery store must be one of the worst offenders, with its continuous turnover of plastic packaging, and the ratio of packaging to product is enormous—just think how much plastic is required to cover a handful of crackers. Then the box that covers the plastic that covers the handful of crackers!
In view of that, I've been trying to implement a few small changes of my own, with surprising results.
It's a humble beginning, but mayo is one item I'll never have to buy again!
The males in my house adore mayonnaise. If you knew the turnover rate of plastic mayonnaise containers around here, you'd be worried about the environment too!
It was making me sick every time I bought it—first, the ingredients. I would walk up to a jar of mayonnaise on the grocery shelf, determined not to read the label, but something would just make me. soybean oil, dehydrated egg, sugar, blech! I would quickly put it back. Then Will, with the desperation of an addict, would buy a jar later in the week. With worse ingredients. Secondly, all those ingredients are sitting in warm plastic, absorbing it. Nice.
So to soothe my ruffled conscience I began making my own; and to my surprise, everyone prefers it! And no wonder, with all its fresh, real-food ingredients. Here's the recipe, for you to try:
blend 1 minute in blender on highest speed:
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 Tblspn Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
without turning off the blender, slowly drizzle:
2 cups of grapeseed or light olive oil
As you can see, it's very wholesome, though rich, so a little goes a long way. There are no sugars to lure you into spreading it too thick. The flavour is beautiful; I've started tossing in a garlic clove, just to get that garlicky goodness into my picky little eaters.
See those peaks? See how stiff and creamy? It's real mayo, man!
And that was the start of my pledge *not to buy any condiments from now on. (*except soysauce, oils, sriracha, lemon juice, and that gourmet something-or-other, if they come in a glass bottle. I don't mind tossing glass into the landfill to break down into sand. But I'm done with plastic.)
And this is only the start. I'm looking for ways to start making everything from scratch—moving beyond soup and bread to those little luxuries we thought we couldn't do without.
I'd love to hear what you all are doing! Just don't tell me that you gave up shampoo. (You did! I knew it! Damn. I've been reading the lovely Herbwife's ideas and tips—she makes it sound so easy.)