Less Plastic Challenge Day 13: How Can I Get That Package Free?


 A few days ago I talked about how I minimize waste when getting food on the go. Today I'm going to expand on that in a slightly different way. There are a few comfort food items that are hard to find plastic free in my grocery store and at the farmers market, but that doesn't mean that they don't exist in a package-free form somewhere else. Chips, tortillas, bread and icre-cream are some examples of items that I have to source from individual manufactures. I don't eat these foods a lot because frankly they aren't very healthy; however, I do enjoy them now and again. Who doesn't love comfort food, right? Living zero-waste means being creative--if I can't find something package free right away, I don't give up. There are still ways to eat junk food while living this lifestyle. 


Sometimes I make guacamole and want chips to accompany it. Most tortilla chips are packaged in plastic bags or plastic lined paper bags. Fortunately, there are some pretty amazing Mexican restaurants around here that make their own non-gmo corn tortilla chips. Could I make these at home? Sure I could, but I'm not always in the mood for a huge frying project. It's easy to bring my cloth drawstring bag to the Taqueria and buy some fresh and package-free chips!


Same deal as the tortilla chips, except I bring a clean glass container to the Taqueria and ask if they can please put some corn tortillas in it. I make tortillas at home in the winter because it's super easy; however, it gets so hot in our little cottage during the summer, that I prefer not to stand over the stove cookin' and flippin'.


The grocery store in my area does not have a bakery and thus no package-free bread! Some bread is packaged in waxed paper, but I'm not down for that. My zero-waste shopping motto is, "keep it simple, keep it naked," and bread, in a paper or plastic bag, is simply not naked. To read more about how I shop package-free, take my store tour! Thankfully there are a few cafes with bakeries in my neighborhood, and I'm able to pop by and get bread in my own cloth bag. In the winter, I bake bread at home. It's just too damn hot right now to turn on the oven!

Ice Cream:

 I haven't seen ice-cream packaged in a mason jar in my area...yet! You can totally freeze mason jars (in case you were wondering). Ice cream is usually packaged in plastic or plastic lined paper, which means no can do. If I have the choice between sweet and savory, I'll most likely choose savory, because I'm a salt lovin' girl. Ice cream is however the one exception--its the best! I'm fortunate to have a locally owned creamery in my neighborhood that sources local organic ingredients for it's ice cream. I just bring in my glass mason jar, get it filled with ice cream, take it home, and freeze it for the occasional dessert. It's important to leave a 2 inch margin between the ice cream and the lid of the jar, so that it doesn't crack when it expands in the freezer. Again, I could make ice-cream at home if I really wanted to. I'd probably buy an ice cream maker, which is just one more thing to store in my tiny house. I know I would only use it twice a year, so it actually wouldn't be sustainable for me to buy one in the first place. See how I did that? I just talked myself out of an unnecessary purchase.