Plastic waste journal

Plastic Waste Journal, January 2019

Here is the youtube account of our plastic waste for last month, if you prefer to watch a video:

I’m not going to rehash everything in the video. But I did want to highlight a few of the important things and share my plan of action to reduce our frozen berry trash in the future.

It’s worth mentioning again that reducing the processed foods in your diet will substantially cut back on your trash. A repeated theme I’ve noticed from other zero-waste bloggers is learning to cook is an essential skill for not only eating healthier, but also for reducing your trash. To save time, I’ve learned how to batch-cook basic recipes elements like sauces. I often enjoy listening to a podcast or watching Netflix while I chop up a bunch of veggies for the whole week. Learning to cook will make reducing your trash seem less daunting. It will build confidence that you can make your own foods that you used to buy packaged–Who knew making mustard and ketchup would be so rewarding?!?

Over winter, we are buying berries in plastic packaging since berries aren’t in season and they are so good for you (If you haven’t read “How Not to Die” by Dr. Greger, I highly recommend it!). For next year, we will go to u-pick strawberry and blueberry farms and pick enough to freeze for *hopefully* the whole year–or at least until our freezer space runs out! We tried doing this last year but way underestimated our berry eating capacity :). One note, we are pretty dedicated to not buying a second freezer. This is where it is important to be a systems-thinker and look at the whole–not just the trash output in our house. When you buy frozen berries at the store, they were likely picked in season and have been stored in a giant warehouse freezer. Keeping things frozen in bulk is more economical from an energy standpoint than everyone using the electricity to run their own 2nd home freezer. We might be able to fit a whole year supply in the freezer attached to our fridge. It helped to go through the freezer and consider what items we really need. We have waaaay more freezer space now that I’m not buying several tubs of ice cream a week! I’m not saying the second freezer is always the wrong choice, just that it is important to look at the bigger picture and not solely the trash.

Thanks for watching/reading! Please comment with any questions below. Check out the local resources tab to read more about how to reduce your trash in Chattanooga!

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