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I realized something as I was driving through the neighborhood today...the newspapers are even delivered in plastic bags now, at least in dense areas like where I live. The delivery guy just throws the bagged paper out of his car window. I guess maybe my parents would still get theirs put in their box, without being bagged, but they live rurally.

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I blogged about trying to avoid plastic when buying dairy products. It's tough! And expensive!

I'm a little disappointed that you didn't mention the expense of the milk in glass bottled on the blog, because this is one area I have resigned myself to using plastic. As I said up-thread, my family consumes a LOT of milk and so, this is an issue. I am forever trying to get milk as inexpensively as possible (most often at Aldi's or Costco); it is actually a determining factor as to which store I am heading at any given time. If we have several spare gallons of milk, great! I'll go to Harris Teeter. But if we need milk, I'm going to Aldi or Costco so the milk will be as cheap as possible.

 

I take it you are not terribly far from me, as South Mountain Creamery would be the source if I were to get glass bottled milk, too. In my lottery dreams, I imagine always getting SMC milk in the glass, returnable jars. But while we still have a contractor's budget, nope.

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I realized something as I was driving through the neighborhood today...the newspapers are even delivered in plastic bags now, at least in dense areas like where I live. The delivery guy just throws the bagged paper out of his car window. 

 

It has been done like this for ages. This is how we got the paper 15 years ago.

 

Newspapers may not be placed in the mailbox; that is allowed only on Sundays when the postal service does not deliver. 

You would have to mount a separate delivery tube. I have never seen that done here.

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I realized something as I was driving through the neighborhood today...the newspapers are even delivered in plastic bags now, at least in dense areas like where I live. The delivery guy just throws the bagged paper out of his car window. I guess maybe my parents would still get theirs put in their box, without being bagged, but they live rurally.

 

I delivered newspapers 30 years ago and we didn't do plastic bags then.  But yeah I'd walk each paper up to the house and put it somewhere safe from rain.  Often it didn't fit in the mailbox, but I'd put it in the door or something.  But now yeah they just throw it wherever.  Nothin more useless than a sopping wet paper!

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I'm a little disappointed that you didn't mention the expense of the milk in glass bottled on the blog, because this is one area I have resigned myself to using plastic. As I said up-thread, my family consumes a LOT of milk and so, this is an issue. I am forever trying to get milk as inexpensively as possible (most often at Aldi's or Costco); it is actually a determining factor as to which store I am heading at any given time. If we have several spare gallons of milk, great! I'll go to Harris Teeter. But if we need milk, I'm going to Aldi or Costco so the milk will be as cheap as possible.

 

I take it you are not terribly far from me, as South Mountain Creamery would be the source if I were to get glass bottled milk, too. In my lottery dreams, I imagine always getting SMC milk in the glass, returnable jars. But while we still have a contractor's budget, nope.

I feel bad that I am not focusing on money yet.  The glass bottles are more expensive even with the $2 return you get (at Whole Foods).  The milk though tastes delicious!  What I am hoping is that by simplifying my grocery list by not buying prepackaged foods, I'll reduce costs in the end.  But I am not there organizationally.  I am not on a tight budget.  I have some leeway.  But I plan to get to this issue as soon as my little old brain can focus on it.  But I have 2 thoughts:

 

1)  People who can afford the milk in glass bottles should opt for it.  This will create bigger demand and lower the prices eventually!

 

2)  People just have to do what they can do.  If milk in glass bottles isn't in the budget, then focus on other ways to reduce/refuse plastic.

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The newspaper thing is so annoying!  We get free newspapers (full of ads) thrown at the end of our driveway.  All in plastic.  My dh always says, why are people allowed to litter our yards???  One time one of these got buried under a snow fall and broke our snowblower!  Grrr.  

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I feel bad that I am not focusing on money yet.  The glass bottles are more expensive even with the $2 return you get (at Whole Foods).  The milk though tastes delicious!  What I am hoping is that by simplifying my grocery list by not buying prepackaged foods, I'll reduce costs in the end.  But I am not there organizationally.  I am not on a tight budget.  I have some leeway.  But I plan to get to this issue as soon as my little old brain can focus on it.  But I have 2 thoughts:

 

1)  People who can afford the milk in glass bottles should opt for it.  This will create bigger demand and lower the prices eventually!

 

2)  People just have to do what they can do.  If milk in glass bottles isn't in the budget, then focus on other ways to reduce/refuse plastic.

 

Even people with money like to save money.  That's often in part why they have money!

 

I am flat out not willing to pay that much more for milk quite frankly. 

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Yeah, I get it.  Money is important!  It really is!

 

But it is where your priorities lie too.  I think when this reaches a real global crisis (which it is approaching) and we realize just how much we are endangering our children from this devastating pollution (right now it is mostly poor kids in poor countries that are getting hit the most), governments will get involved and we'll all have to change big time.  Until, then we do the best we can.  Like I said if you just can't pay that much for milk, you can make sure you are helping out in other ways.  Every baby step, every tiny bit helps!

 

This is an article I saw just today http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/environment-pollution-child-deaths-who/

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Yeah, I get it.  Money is important!  It really is!

 

But it is where your priorities lie too.  I think when this reaches a real global crisis (which it is approaching) and we realize just how much we are endangering our children from this devastating pollution (right now it is mostly poor kids in poor countries that are getting hit the most), governments will get involved and we'll all have to change big time.  Until, then we do the best we can.  Like I said if you just can't pay that much for milk, you can make sure you are helping out in other ways.  Every baby step, every tiny bit helps!

 

This is an article I saw just today http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/environment-pollution-child-deaths-who/

 

Yeah I could do without the guilt tripping priorities speech.  Fact is most people have a limited supply of money.  You say if the demand is shown for glass milk bottles they'll produce more glass milk bottles. I doubt this.  The companies that offer such a thing strike me as smaller operations.  So if you are buying this stuff from smaller operations, how will this translate to the larger operations?  I don't imagine this.

 

I actually don't believe these small things help.  What starts to rub me the wrong way about some of these suggestions (and I don't mean to pick on you...I'm talking about lots of blogs I read regrading this) is this involves the absolute top quality and top cost products.  Stuff that only people with lots of extra money can really afford.  I don't want to double my already high food bill.  KWIM?  I often buy the store brand or shop in stores that are a little less expensive (Aldi).  And places like Aldi package pretty much every single piece of produce they sell.  They don't have bulk bins.  They don't have glass anything. 

 

But the bottom line is I suspect I'm pretty average and typical in this department.  So to me the bigger changes have to happen with stuff like government regulation.  Which...I guess you can imagine where currently that is headed (nowhere). 

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If your concern is saving the environment because you want to alleviate future and current suffering, not eating meat or dairy at all would go a lot farther than getting milk in glass bottles.  Do you know how milk is produced, even for cows who are pastured?  What happens to the baby cows that must be created in order for the milk-giving cow to have milk?  

 

If you are going to holier-than-thou your way through convincing people to give up plastic, you might as well be thorough about it and consider the suffering caused by the products you buy, whether or not they are encased in plastic.

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I dunno, I imagine the weight of the milk is enough to make the weight of the container relatively unimportant.  Having it delivered to your house instead of picking up at a store would make a big difference in gas, though - imagine if we did that individually for everything we ate!

 

 

You know one that always gets me?  (and I don't care that much about recycling, etc. compared to some people).  Trash trucks.  Everywhere I've ever lived, there is more than one trash company.  Now they are doing the same routes, going to the same place, doing the same thing.  Why is that not a public utility?  We do we have to have twice (at least!) the driving done just to do the same thing?  If we all had the same trash company they'd only have to do the route once, and surely that would make it cheaper too?  baffles me.

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I dunno, I imagine the weight of the milk is enough to make the weight of the container relatively unimportant.  Having it delivered to your house instead of picking up at a store would make a big difference in gas, though - imagine if we did that individually for everything we ate!

 

 

You know one that always gets me?  (and I don't care that much about recycling, etc. compared to some people).  Trash trucks.  Everywhere I've ever lived, there is more than one trash company.  Now they are doing the same routes, going to the same place, doing the same thing.  Why is that not a public utility?  We do we have to have twice (at least!) the driving done just to do the same thing?  If we all had the same trash company they'd only have to do the route once, and surely that would make it cheaper too?  baffles me.

 

No I don't think it's unimportant when considering this on a large scale.  Consider, for example, that delivery companies have this stuff down to a science.  They sometimes do stuff like plan routes where they only take right turns and it actually makes a difference! 

 

Here trash is essentially a public utility.  Trash is part of the tax bill.  Where I used to live it was the same AND the employees were city employees.  I do think here they use a private company, but it is basically treated like a public utility.  We don't have options to shop around and there is only one company. 

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That's true, when you think of it in scale it is a lot bigger.

 

Most places I've lived have three trash companies.  three!  Granted they are slightly different - one might do free recycling, another does yard waste, one has the free cans or is more reliable or something.  Still seems stupid, though.

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That's true, when you think of it in scale it is a lot bigger.

 

Most places I've lived have three trash companies.  three!  Granted they are slightly different - one might do free recycling, another does yard waste, one has the free cans or is more reliable or something.  Still seems stupid, though.

 

One town over they have 2 options.  The other company isn't an option here because of the way the city is laid out.  Half of the city puts their trash out in an alley and the other company uses special trucks that don't work in alleys.  So yeah I do get what you are saying.  I'd assume some competition wouldn't be terrible if you can save money, but sure how many trash companies do they need?

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Well and you'd think that if it were all just one trash company, at least gas and the driving hours would be reduced, because they have to go through every street anyway (the next door neighbor uses a different company, for instance) so essentially they're doing twice the driving for the sake of competition, but if there were only one company, the driving would be cut in half and surely costs would go down.

 

sigh, if only I ran the world

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I feel bad that I am not focusing on money yet.  The glass bottles are more expensive even with the $2 return you get (at Whole Foods).  The milk though tastes delicious!  What I am hoping is that by simplifying my grocery list by not buying prepackaged foods, I'll reduce costs in the end.  But I am not there organizationally.  I am not on a tight budget.  I have some leeway.  But I plan to get to this issue as soon as my little old brain can focus on it.  But I have 2 thoughts:

 

1)  People who can afford the milk in glass bottles should opt for it.  This will create bigger demand and lower the prices eventually!

 

2)  People just have to do what they can do.  If milk in glass bottles isn't in the budget, then focus on other ways to reduce/refuse plastic.

 

I appreciate what you are doing, and  your concerns on this issue.   But by not focusing on money, and not addressing the added cost of things such as milk and yogurt in glass bottles, you may alienate a part of your intended audience.   I have a pretty decent grocery budget. But I don't shop in stores where I even have the option to buy dairy products in glass bottles.  So I am pretty sure I'm not going to be buying it if I come across it on a once-in-a-blue moon trip to Whole Foods.  When you brush off the cost difference with comments like "it tastes delicious!" - well, I think that's just not helpful to people with a tight grocery budget.   

 

Again, I appreciate what you are trying to do.  And maybe middle-class people are not your intended audience.  

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We have a Sam's club membership. They sell these gigantic insulated bags right by the check out. I think they range from $5-$8? The blue bags have a white interior like the kind you see in a lot of lunch bags. My purple bag has a silver lining and I think it's supposed to be better for keeping in heat or cold. Dh deliberately leaves the bag in the trunk when we're at the store. I brought them to him once and he said he didn't forget them, he likes to bag them once he's at the car lol. So I guess if you don't care about bagging in the parking lot, you just have to remember to put the bags in the trunk. They also sell the Clever Crate which is our new best friend. It folds flat. I use it when I don't want stuff rolling all over the trunk space and/or use it to carry things into the house. Depending on your local options you may have to pay more for that type of bag or that type of crate, but I know I've seen the crate on Amazon.

 

(ok all these items have a plastic element I think with the insulation portion and of course the crate, but they are reusable)

 

I have never noticed milk in glass in Whole Foods, but I haven't really looked. If I am buying for myself I get lactose-free milk and I prefer the small shelf stable cartons because of the size and storage options. That's cool that you can get $2 back when you return the glass bottle. I don't really understand how they can afford to do that. I literally have not seen my milk closer than a 30 mile radius and my nearest Whole Foods is an hour away. I have been a handful of times.

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If your concern is saving the environment because you want to alleviate future and current suffering, not eating meat or dairy at all would go a lot farther than getting milk in glass bottles.  Do you know how milk is produced, even for cows who are pastured?  What happens to the baby cows that must be created in order for the milk-giving cow to have milk?  

If you are going to holier-than-thou your way through convincing people to give up plastic, you might as well be thorough about it and consider the suffering caused by the products you buy, whether or not they are encased in plastic.

 

Not eating animal products would certainly go a long way for the environment.

But the biggest environmental impact each of us creates, aside from being alive ourselves, is bringing children into the world.

 

So where do you stop?

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If your concern is saving the environment because you want to alleviate future and current suffering, not eating meat or dairy at all would go a lot farther than getting milk in glass bottles.  Do you know how milk is produced, even for cows who are pastured?  What happens to the baby cows that must be created in order for the milk-giving cow to have milk?  

 

If you are going to holier-than-thou your way through convincing people to give up plastic, you might as well be thorough about it and consider the suffering caused by the products you buy, whether or not they are encased in plastic.

 

I've not read anything "holier than thou" in this thread.  Just a nice conversation.

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The mention of possibly changing our diets to become more environmentally friendly reminded me of a study which I believe I first heard about here on the WTM boards.  It was a land-use study which concluded "that under a range of land use conditions, diets with low to modest amounts of meat outperform a vegan diet, and vegetarian diets including dairy products performed best overall. " 

 

Here is the study in case anyone is curious:  https://www.elementascience.org/articles/10.12952/journal.elementa.000116/  I haven't read the details, just the abstract and the conclusion.  And I'm not saying this study is the be all and end all of the debate.  But it also wouldn't surprise me if reality was a bit more complicated that simply "go vegan".  (And then there's the whole issue of what kind of diet is healthiest for the human body, but that's a discussion for another time and place.)

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Yeah, I get it.  Money is important!  It really is!

 

But it is where your priorities lie too.  I think when this reaches a real global crisis (which it is approaching) and we realize just how much we are endangering our children from this devastating pollution (right now it is mostly poor kids in poor countries that are getting hit the most), governments will get involved and we'll all have to change big time.  Until, then we do the best we can.  Like I said if you just can't pay that much for milk, you can make sure you are helping out in other ways.  Every baby step, every tiny bit helps!

 

This is an article I saw just today http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/environment-pollution-child-deaths-who/

 

 

My husband and I talked about this when we made the switch from conventional to organic produce.  It is more expensive.  We are not rich, we don't feel as if we have money to just spend thoughtlessly.  But we are solidly middle class, and we have the ability to prioritize that particular expense.  Believe me, I realize that not everyone has that option!!!  But that's exactly why we felt that we should do it:  because we do have that choice available to us.  And maybe, just maybe, by more people like us choosing organic over conventional, the demand will rise, and the cost will drop.  But even if that doesn't happen, like you said: baby steps.  Every tiny thing we can do helps a little.

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My husband and I talked about this when we made the switch from conventional to organic produce.  It is more expensive.  We are not rich, we don't feel as if we have money to just spend thoughtlessly.  But we are solidly middle class, and we have the ability to prioritize that particular expense.  Believe me, I realize that not everyone has that option!!!  But that's exactly why we felt that we should do it:  because we do have that choice available to us.  And maybe, just maybe, by more people like us choosing organic over conventional, the demand will rise, and the cost will drop.  But even if that doesn't happen, like you said: baby steps.  Every tiny thing we can do helps a little.

 

But it is by no means clear that buying organic produce is more environmentally friendly than, for example, buying non-organic produce that is grown locally.

Organic agriculture is big business. Organic lettuce is packed in plastic boxes and trucked across the country.

Organic farming needs 25% more land to produce the same amount of food.

And, contrary to popular belief, organic farming does use pesticides.

 

There is a lot of emotion attached to organic, but the issue is more complex.

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I do get you want to encourage and promote small changes, but spending 3x as much on staple items is NOT at all a small change. That's a significant hit to the budget.

That, and efficiency and paying less for something *does* conserve resources. If I have to spend 3x the money to buy something, those 3x resources have to come from somewhere, right? So the glass saves something, but I have to use energy to earn the extra money. It's just that the resources and energy used come from a different place in the "cycle".

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But it is by no means clear that buying organic produce is more environmentally friendly than, for example, buying non-organic produce that is grown locally.

Organic agriculture is big business. Organic lettuce is packed in plastic boxes and trucked across the country.

Organic farming needs 25% more land to produce the same amount of food.

And, contrary to popular belief, organic farming does use pesticides.

 

There is a lot of emotion attached to organic, but the issue is more complex.

 

 

Most of these issues are a lot more complex than they appear on the surface!  I was aware that organic is not as pesticide-free as we would like to think, though I was not aware of the issue of increased land use (isn't surprising now that it's been pointed out - I just never thought about it).  Local produce, I have no doubt, is best.  I live in such a dry climate (desert southwest) that what can be grown locally is limited by that, and requires lots of irrigation.  Others live in places with short growing seasons.  It isn't always easy to buy local, but I certainly agree that it's ideal.

 

So let me ask your opinion on this.  There is a service available here that brings a cooler full of organic produce to your door.  The produce is local when possible, regional when local is not possible (ETA: which means usually regional:  CA or old Mexico - I'm in New Mexico - which is where the stuff in the stores tends to come from as well).  It is, as you'd probably guess, expensive!  Which is better overall:  for me to drive to the nearest market and purchase organic but not local produce, or for a delivery truck to bring me local-ish organic produce?  

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I appreciate what you are doing, and  your concerns on this issue.   But by not focusing on money, and not addressing the added cost of things such as milk and yogurt in glass bottles, you may alienate a part of your intended audience.   I have a pretty decent grocery budget. But I don't shop in stores where I even have the option to buy dairy products in glass bottles.  So I am pretty sure I'm not going to be buying it if I come across it on a once-in-a-blue moon trip to Whole Foods.  When you brush off the cost difference with comments like "it tastes delicious!" - well, I think that's just not helpful to people with a tight grocery budget.   

 

Again, I appreciate what you are trying to do.  And maybe middle-class people are not your intended audience.  

 

Yes my blah blahing is an attempt to explain the mindset of some regular ole people.  Even those who might want to do things differently often feel for various reasons they can't or they actually can't. 

 

I grew up very poor.  I have to convince myself every time I go shopping that it's ok to not buy the absolute most cheapest things.  Growing up it was always the cheapest (and often lowest quality) thing because that is what we could afford.  Like seriously sometimes I eye the bag of fake cheese shreds because it's so cheap.  Might sound insanely ridiculous because I can afford the real cheese, but that mindset really does not completely die.  So now someone comes along and tells me I'm killing the planet if I don't choose to buy milk that costs more than 3x the regular milk.  Uhhh.....You lost me there.  I can't wrap my head around buying milk that is that much more expensive because it comes in different packaging.  And the line about the store gives you $2 back for the bottle.  Uh no they don't.  They charge you a deposit here and then give you the money back when you return it, but you must return it to the exact store you bought it from.  So nobody gives me anything for nothing.  And goodness forbid I break the damn bottle, guess what?  I'm out an additional $2. 

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Most of these issues are a lot more complex than they appear on the surface!  I was aware that organic is not as pesticide-free as we would like to think, though I was not aware of the issue of increased land use (isn't surprising now that it's been pointed out - I just never thought about it).  Local produce, I have no doubt, is best.  I live in such a dry climate (desert southwest) that what can be grown locally is limited by that, and requires lots of irrigation.  Others live in places with short growing seasons.  It isn't always easy to buy local, but I certainly agree that it's ideal.

 

So let me ask your opinion on this.  There is a service available here that brings a cooler full of organic produce to your door.  The produce is local when possible, regional when local is not possible (ETA: which means usually regional:  CA or old Mexico - I'm in New Mexico - which is where the stuff in the stores tends to come from as well).  It is, as you'd probably guess, expensive!  Which is better overall:  for me to drive to the nearest market and purchase organic but not local produce, or for a delivery truck to bring me local-ish organic produce?  

 

It wasn't until recently that I knew about the organic stuff not being pesticide-free.  This is rather disappointing to me.  I honestly sometimes feel like the organic label is in large part a marketing ploy.  Ok, maybe not a ploy, but it's big business.  Cost is based ABSOLUTELY in part on the demand of people with the money to spend on it and not just that it costs more.  Of course I wish better practices overall, and healthy foods, and less/no pesticides.  But I wonder if I pay 2x as much if it's worth it...REALLY.  I simply do not know the answer to that.  I thought of course it was better, but the more I learn, the more I am not so sure.  It's like the potatoes in my local store that are organic are individually wrapped in plastic with three stickers on them.  What?!  I mean..WHAT?  I don't get this.  And I don't get why people think this is so great.  It's not great.  Much of the organic produce is packaged in this ridiculous way.  Probably to keep the more expensive stuff separate.  But to me this really runs counter to what I would assume people who think about these things would really want.  So then what is it?  Is it real care and concern?  Or an illusion that one is doing something that's better for their health, better for the environment, etc. 

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It wasn't until recently that I knew about the organic stuff not being pesticide-free.  This is rather disappointing to me.  I honestly sometimes feel like the organic label is in large part a marketing ploy.  Ok, maybe not a ploy, but it's big business.  Cost is based ABSOLUTELY in part on the demand of people with the money to spend on it and not just that it costs more.  Of course I wish better practices overall, and healthy foods, and less/no pesticides.  But I wonder if I pay 2x as much if it's worth it...REALLY.  I simply do not know the answer to that.  I thought of course it was better, but the more I learn, the more I am not so sure. 

It's VERY disappointing!  Another thing is that the quality of organic produce varies widely.  When I buy conventional produce, I usually have a pretty good idea of how it's going to taste.  It may not be the most flavorful, but it usually isn't bad either.  It's consistently good but not great.  With organic produce, that may be the best strawberry you ever tasted, but on the other hand it might be completely bland, or worse yet it may rot/mold before you get a chance to eat it.  And nothing is less environmentally friendly than wasting food, right?

 

 

It's like the potatoes in my local store that are organic are individually wrapped in plastic with three stickers on them.  What?!  I mean..WHAT?  I don't get this.  And I don't get why people think this is so great.  It's not great.  Much of the organic produce is packaged in this ridiculous way.  Probably to keep the more expensive stuff separate.  But to me this really runs counter to what I would assume people who think about these things would really want.  So then what is it?  Is it real care and concern?  Or an illusion that one is doing something that's better for their health, better for the environment, etc.

 

I was stunned the first time I saw those.  Ridiculous!

 

I think you're right, a lot of this is about marketing and making things appealing to us for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with eco-friendliness.  I do try to avoid things that are wrapped which don't need to be (buy the carrots that are bunched together with a twist-tie instead of in a plastic bag) but in some cases you have no choice (is there any way to buy berries other than in plastic containers?)

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So let me ask your opinion on this.  There is a service available here that brings a cooler full of organic produce to your door.  The produce is local when possible, regional when local is not possible (ETA: which means usually regional:  CA or old Mexico - I'm in New Mexico - which is where the stuff in the stores tends to come from as well).  It is, as you'd probably guess, expensive!  Which is better overall:  for me to drive to the nearest market and purchase organic but not local produce, or for a delivery truck to bring me local-ish organic produce?  

 

Very difficult question. People are studying and analyzing this, and these are questions with lots of variables. 

 

Driving around in a pickup truck with coolers full of small quantities of food, or for that matter, the farmer driving his pickup truck full of produce to the farmer's market in the nearby city uses a lot of fuel per lb of produce because that is not an efficient delivery way.

Bulk delivery to a store may have lower fuel cost per lb of produce, depending on where it is shipped from. And trains are a lot more energy efficient than trucks - so food from much further away might have a lower energy impact for its travel.

But then it depends on how far you have to drive to the store, whether you can combine this with another trip, whether you have a fuel efficient vehicle.

 

Then it depends on where stuff is grown. One example I saw is that for a Swedish consumer, it is better environmentally to consume Spanish tomatoes than Swedish ones, because you need a lot more energy to grow tomatoes in Sweden than in Spain. OTOH, growing produce in an arid region has the water issue, which will be significant for you in the SW. So local produce may be a problem because of irrigation, and produce from a more humid region might have the lower impact.

 

Another aspect, unrelated to fuel, is the question of food waste: I want to select which fruits and vegetables I want, not take a box where somebody else decides what I should get. I imagine in the latter scenario, food waste would be higher.

 

So, I think it is virtually impossible to decide what is the "right" choice because things are complex.

And there are other factors than the environment.

I buy at the farmers market because I want to support local farmers and the community, even though none of these farmers are certified organic.

I buy my eggs from a farmer whose chickens can run around in the yard and eat bugs, not from an organic hen factory where hens sit in cages, because of the treatment of the hens.

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Well and then I wonder about other factors. For example, transporting milk in glass bottles is probably significantly heavier. Wouldn't that then require more fuel? And doesn't that also contribute to a strain on resources, pollution, etc.?

This was the reason Honest Tea started bottling their beverages in plastic (and they were bought by Coke). I felt a bit betrayed when they went plastic, because I wanted to buy them in the glass bottle. But this is the reason - it costs more in every way to do glass because glass is heavier and there is more loss from breakage.

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Well and you'd think that if it were all just one trash company, at least gas and the driving hours would be reduced, because they have to go through every street anyway (the next door neighbor uses a different company, for instance) so essentially they're doing twice the driving for the sake of competition, but if there were only one company, the driving would be cut in half and surely costs would go down.

 

sigh, if only I ran the world

A friend of mine said once, she wondered why the whole neighborhood couldn't just decide on one refuse and recycling company for their neighborhood. This is exactly the point she made. Every day, trucks rumbling through the neighborhood, picking up three cans, instead of one day picking up all the cand.

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I feel bad that I am not focusing on money yet. The glass bottles are more expensive even with the $2 return you get (at Whole Foods). The milk though tastes delicious! What I am hoping is that by simplifying my grocery list by not buying prepackaged foods, I'll reduce costs in the end. But I am not there organizationally. I am not on a tight budget. I have some leeway. But I plan to get to this issue as soon as my little old brain can focus on it. But I have 2 thoughts:

 

1) People who can afford the milk in glass bottles should opt for it. This will create bigger demand and lower the prices eventually!

 

2) People just have to do what they can do. If milk in glass bottles isn't in the budget, then focus on other ways to reduce/refuse plastic.

I hear you. For myself, it is not just my overall grocery budget, it's that I live with other people, one of whom earns by far the lion's share of the money that comes into our household. DH does not give a hoot about plastic milk jugs and he doesn't care one jot about "organic" or "grass-fed" or if the cows were treated kindly. So, I feel I must give deference to the man who has held most of the earning financial responsibility on his shoulders for the past twenty years. If he saw even *one* gallon of organic, grass-fed milk in a glass bottle in the friedge, he would be all kinds of livid about it, no matter if I did also manage to trim other budget areas because I didn't buy Cinnamon Toast Crunch and made homemade Oatmeal Raisin cookies instead of buying Oreos. He would only (rightly) say, however little I actually spent, I could have spent less by buying ordinary milk in an ordinary jug.

 

I don't think buying glass-bottled milk will ever become a trend that the mega-milk producers will hop on simply because some people, even a lot of people, buy those. It is a specialty food product. It's bound to remain a specialty food product, filled by niche marketing.

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Yeah really I have the luxury to even have time to think about this stuff.  My husband DOES NOT think about this stuff anywhere near as much as I do.  He spends most of his day working.  He comes home and wants to eat food.  He tinkers with his hobby stuff until he falls asleep.  And here I am blah blahing about plastic wrapped potatoes and glass milk jugs. 

 

 

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Wow!  I love this conversation.  I am very sorry if I am coming off as holier than thou.  I am in no way holier than thou.  I am a wastrel trying to get my head around how to live better.  If people choose to opt out of dairy and meat, more power to you!  I am just someone trying to start awareness because I am worried about the future of our planet for our children (my children really!).  I've read some stuff that really frightens me.  I recognize that the issue is complex.  If you can't do glass milk bottles, don't!  My thing with plastic is IT DOES NOT GO AWAY!  To me that outweighs other concerns but maybe as I get more educated that will change.  

 

In terms of budget I do think is that avoiding plastic can really just be part of being frugal.  Don't do take out - cuts out lots of plastic.  Don't buy single serving convenience foods - cuts out lots of plastic.  But I am sure people do all sorts of frugal things and still are stretching the budget.  I get it.  I am not trying to guilt anyone, just saying we just could each try to do our part, whatever we can at this moment in our lives.  I am just going on a personal journey of giving up plastic for Lent.  I am reading Beth Terry's book, Plastic Free; How I kicked the Plastic Habit and in one section she talks about people around the world trying to do this same thing.  In fact a priest from Cambodia started this whole thing of giving up plastic for Lent.  I got so thrilled when I read that.  Hey!  Someone else thought this up too.  In Cambodia!

 

So if the costly milk thing gets you mad, just ignore it!  I like supporting local dairy that feeds the cows grass.  And I can do it, so I will. 

 

Thank you for the great consciousness raising conversation.  You are all teaching me a lot.

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Well since we're talking about groceries and budget, just throwing this out there if it applies to anyone, there's a Kroger Mega Sale going on. I'm about to hit it up. Gotta buy items in sets of 5 to get $5 off. Doesn't have to be five of the same thing, just five from their giant list. I'm a bit overwhelmed, gonna poke around and see what products we normally buy are included. I've never done this, just heard about it recently. http://www.krogerkrazy.com/2017/03/buy-5-save-5-kroger-mega-sale-full-inclusion-list

 

Yes, it's very sad that organic doesn't necessarily mean pesticide-free.

 

If it's the environment we're worried about, I really shouldn't even drink almond milk. I've tried rice, hemp, cashew, etc. Dh bought banana milk recently but I didn't try it. Apparently it was really high in sugar, though. I really don't consume that much milk at least.

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Very difficult question. ....

 

Thank you for such a thorough reply. Man, this stuff is complex. I've read that a huge amount of food ends up being wasted, just thrown away. And I know that this an area where I definitely have room for improvement! Maybe that's the best place to focus my efforts for now: reducing food waste.

 

The company that delivers produce to your door does give some choice: choose ten items out of a possible 20-25-ish. Some weeks the selection is definitely better than others! And the most desirable items have an additional charge so it does end up being quite expensive.

 

If I knew someone with chickens from whom I could buy eggs, I would do that too, organic or not!

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Thank you for such a thorough reply. Man, this stuff is complex. I've read that a huge amount of food ends up being wasted, just thrown away. And I know that this an area where I definitely have room for improvement! Maybe that's the best place to focus my efforts for now: reducing food waste.

 

The company that delivers produce to your door does give some choice: choose ten items out of a possible 20-25-ish. Some weeks the selection is definitely better than others! And the most desirable items have an additional charge so it does end up being quite expensive.

 

If I knew someone with chickens from whom I could buy eggs, I would do that too, organic or not!

 

You and me both (trying to cut down on waste).  I try very very hard, but I still end up throwing stuff out.  It does not help that during certain times of the year the produce in the store is already just old...  And if I really want to not throw as much out, probably shopping more often would do it, but then I'm shopping more often and that's another source of issues! 

 

There is a service that advertised at my husband's work place that delivers produce to their work.  Sounds somewhat similar.  The convenience sounds nice, but they didn't offer a choice for the base items.  There are just some items I'll never use that they almost always send (onions is a big one).  So then I'd end up throwing stuff out.  That didn't seem good.  I really do prefer to have a choice.  They also had an option to add on some special items (also quite expensive). 

 

 

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A friend of mine said once, she wondered why the whole neighborhood couldn't just decide on one refuse and recycling company for their neighborhood. This is exactly the point she made. Every day, trucks rumbling through the neighborhood, picking up three cans, instead of one day picking up all the cand.

I didn't even realize this was an issue in other places! Here, the city picks up both trash and recycling curbside.

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But when it comes to us, every single individual item is packaged in vacuum sealed plastic.  Every individual steak, every single pound of ground beef, all of it.  My freezer ends up being FULL of plastic.  The farmer uses a local processor so another local small town business getting the work, which is also great.  But there's really not any other option for packaging all that beef that I can come up with and even if there was, it's not like I can request that they do it some special way just for our cow.

 

I suppose that the one good part is that there's no styrofoam tray.....

 

Are there any other processors local to you? 

We get a beef every year and our processor (while they still use plastic, and I don't know if freezing a whole beef is feasible if you don't) offers packaging options like two pound as opposed to one pound packages of ground beef, and there are multiple steaks in a package, not one, etc.  So it might cut down on the plastic a little. 

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Wow!  I love this conversation.  I am very sorry if I am coming off as holier than thou.  I am in no way holier than thou.  I am a wastrel trying to get my head around how to live better.  If people choose to opt out of dairy and meat, more power to you!  I am just someone trying to start awareness because I am worried about the future of our planet for our children (my children really!).  I've read some stuff that really frightens me.  I recognize that the issue is complex.  If you can't do glass milk bottles, don't!  My thing with plastic is IT DOES NOT GO AWAY!  To me that outweighs other concerns but maybe as I get more educated that will change.  

 

In terms of budget I do think is that avoiding plastic can really just be part of being frugal.  Don't do take out - cuts out lots of plastic.  Don't buy single serving convenience foods - cuts out lots of plastic.  But I am sure people do all sorts of frugal things and still are stretching the budget.  I get it.  I am not trying to guilt anyone, just saying we just could each try to do our part, whatever we can at this moment in our lives.  I am just going on a personal journey of giving up plastic for Lent.  I am reading Beth Terry's book, Plastic Free; How I kicked the Plastic Habit and in one section she talks about people around the world trying to do this same thing.  In fact a priest from Cambodia started this whole thing of giving up plastic for Lent.  I got so thrilled when I read that.  Hey!  Someone else thought this up too.  In Cambodia!

 

So if the costly milk thing gets you mad, just ignore it!  I like supporting local dairy that feeds the cows grass.  And I can do it, so I will. 

 

Thank you for the great consciousness raising conversation.  You are all teaching me a lot.

I'm going to be honest with you -- I'm not planning to give up plastic. :)

 

That said, I really appreciate how graciously you have been responding to the posts in this thread, and you have provided a lot of information for us to think about. We have occasionally had similar threads in the past that haven't ended well because someone got mean or judgmental or overly defensive, and it's so nice to see everyone here being so accepting of the fact that we all make different choices for our families.

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Are there any other processors local to you? 

We get a beef every year and our processor (while they still use plastic, and I don't know if freezing a whole beef is feasible if you don't) offers packaging options like two pound as opposed to one pound packages of ground beef, and there are multiple steaks in a package, not one, etc.  So it might cut down on the plastic a little. 

 

Although ideally you get these packaged in the quantity you'll actually use for a meal and not enough for several meals unless you plan to eat the same thing for several meals in a row. 

 

I tend to buy large packages of meat, but then I come home and repackage it. 

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It has been done like this for ages. This is how we got the paper 15 years ago.

 

Newspapers may not be placed in the mailbox; that is allowed only on Sundays when the postal service does not deliver.

You would have to mount a separate delivery tube. I have never seen that done here.

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The cost of the pads is actually quite high when you consider there are only 14 pads.  This wouldn't last for even one period for most people.  I'd probably need three packs.  I do like the idea of a cotton covering. 

 

The hair bar.  Hmmm.. wonder how that works for people with a lot of hair.  Or those who need a dandruff shampoo.  I don't think I'd be willing to even try it, but I'm interested to know how you end up liking it.

 

Tooth powder wouldn't bother me.  I actually hate toothpaste.  I don't like the foaming.  I don't like the mint flavorings.  Although I wonder if just using some straight up baking soda would do the trick.  That nearly always comes in a cardboard box. 

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Hmm, I meant to quote a post from reguntrude (sp?) a page or two back. Stupid phone posting...

Yeah, they have a separate box for the paper. Or at least they did, I haven't paid attention recently. It was for The Washington Post, and I remember all the neighbors having them. Several people had more than one, I guess because they received several different papers.

Edited by kap728
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Yeah, they have a separate box for the paper. Or at least they did, I haven't paid attention recently. It was for The Washington Post, and I remember all the neighbors having them. Several people had more than one, I guess because they received several different papers.

 

They aren't common where I live (separate newspaper boxes).

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I blogged about a few personal hygiene products and I tried to include prices! http://strewing.blogspot.com/2017/03/slaying-plastic-dragon-personal-hygiene.html

Bravo!

 

Preserve also makes a cartridge-style razer, which I use. This is not, or course, plastic-free, but changing just the blade head is less waste than throwing away the whole razer again and again.

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