It's that time of year. Time to rehash 2008 and make promises and predictions for 2009. I'm jumping on the bandwagon and am going to propose that, this year, we kick our bottles and cans to the curb.
And not in a recycling bin.
Which is often downcycling. And is often done in some rural Asian village submerged in a toxic soup.
No. I'm talking about dumping single use containers for good. They are wasteful, unnecessary, cheap-looking, and oh soooo last year. Let 2009 be the year we all enter into a long term, meaningful relationship with our food and beverage containers.
- If you haven't already, invest in a quality reusable water bottle. At $20 or so a pop, it is an investment but one that will pay back itself when you can stop wasting money on bottled beverages and refill at will. Don't settle for a cheap knock off that tastes like aluminum and is lined with BPA. Go for a Kleen Kanteen or a Sigg. As a mother of two young'uns, I prefer Kleen Kanteens. Unlike our Siggs, the Kleen Kanteens have withstood the hard knocks of childhood lunches while retaining their youthful appearance.
- Bring your own coffee cup. Many stores give a small reward but you'll feel your own reward when you put your lips to a well loved coffee cup instead engaging in a one-cup stand with some styrofoam.
- Repackage yourself. Kiss individually wrapped packages good bye. Now that you've taken the plunge, you no longer need those itty bitty wrappers and can put your crackers and carrots in their own reusable container for lunches and snacks.
- Hook up with containers that can be returned for reuse. You know the ones. The shapely glass milk bottles that remind you of your parents' childhood. The solid, reliable yogurt crocks that belong in a glossy European kitchen.
In It For the Long Haul
- Bulk up. It happens to the best of us. We get into a long term relationship and, well, the pounds just suddenly appear. In this case, bulk is a good thing. Take some ziplocks or reusable bags to the bulk section and forgo the packaging all together. You can often find nuts, dried fruit, beans, grains, flour and maybe even something crazy-green like beeswax.
- Make your own . . . granola bars, crackers, yogurt. It's not as hard as you might think and then you can package however you like.
- Make date night a regular thing. Don't find a sitter for those reusable containers. Bring them with you for restaurant leftovers and give the styrofoam take out containers the cold shoulder.