Farmers’ market season is here! I’m even more excited about it than usual because A) They moved it to Saturdays, and that just so happens to be my shopping day, and 2) zero waste success goes up considerably when you can get produce that is unpackaged and un-stickered.
Although I did see individually wrapped cucumbers on Saturday. There were two on top of the pile that were “plain.” I took one of those.
It’s early in the season, so what’s available right now is fairly limited to salad greens, spring garlic, leeks, asparagus (gross), salad turnips, radishes (we want to like them, but we don’t) and chard. As we get into the growing season, this will only get better.
I can’t wait.
I shop the market like I would the grocery store – I bring my produce bags and grocery bags and a jar just in case, and go for, say, the loose salad mix instead of the bagged sort. Almost everything else comes in bunches that are bound by rubber bands or twist ties, but I just take those off at the stall and hand them back right there. The vendors have assured me they can reuse them.
So the market aspect is going swimmingly.
The grocery store … well, we took a couple steps back this week.
So here in the Pacific Northwest, all we hear about is the Cascadia subduction zone earthquake and how we need emergency kits. I don’t have a huge stockpile of canned and packaged goods, but I do have some because, well, it seems stupid NOT to … and as we have to rotate those out on a regular basis, this means restocking. So four packaged items went to that. That I can justify.
I let Johanna get two packages of organic mac and cheese and a couple of cans of soup. I got myself some oatmeal (in place of my usual carton of yogurt, but still packaged). We got a box of cereal and a package of bread – those are on Abby’s and Eric’s “bye” lists, at least – and our usual gallon of milk. And then – and this is really bad, you guys – I had gotten fresh cilantro at the market and wanted to make salsa, so I got a package of tortilla chips because Chips and Salsa.
And then forgot to get extra tomatoes so I’m an idiot. But the girls are jacked. Chips are scarce on the ground these days.
I feel sheepish having to admit that I did this. I mean, sure, I can recycle most of it … but that’s not the point. This is a zero waste year. So the goal is zero. And yeah, that’s intimidating and depressing and scary, but I signed up for it. I’d beg for points accumulated, but I’m not sure it works that way. If I allow myself to slip, how will I ever get to (near) zero?
Constant vigilance! That’s the key.
(Sorry. I will do better next week.)
Next up: I have a couple of Walker kitchen staples to share.