Go Green to Save Green: buy less packaging
Today’s post may or may not save you money, but I couldn’t finish up Earth Month without mentioning it.
I am being slowly driven nuts by our single-serve society. Apparently it’s impossible for people to buy things and break them down into smaller portions. Many people, including many money-saving bloggers, encourage you to buy like this, but not me!
How do they promote it?
- By encouraging people to buy the smallest sized item with an available coupon. Sure, you might be able to get a bunch of trial size packages for free, but think of all that excess packaging. More often than not, I buy the larger sizes. I’m still getting a deal, I’m just not polluting the earth to get it. An argument can be made that if you travel often, those trial size items come in handy. I say, if you travel often, get some reusable containers–they’re in the same darn aisle as the trial-size stuff.
- By encouraging people to buy heavily-packaged items. For example, there are some really good deals on stuff like microwaveable dinners. Which come in a disposable tray, wrapped in plastic, inside a cardboard box. (At least I think so, I’ve never bought one!) I don’t care how little they cost with an in-store deals stacked with coupons, if I fed my family of six those dinners, the mountain of packaging I’d throw away after one meal would make me sick to my stomach.
- By encouraging the use of un-needed products. If any one of these pet peeves is going to get me in trouble, this one will. What’s an un-needed product? Now don’t hate me, but the first thing that comes to mind is a single-serve coffee maker and all those K-cups or Pods. And it’s not the non-coffee drinker in me talking. I have a coffee maker with a reusable filter. If we’re having company, I make a pot. If my husband wants coffee, he makes half a pot, or a quarter of a pot. It’s not that hard–you use this thing called a coffee scoop. One scoop equals one cup of coffee for our maker. No one needs all that extra packaging for each cup of coffee made.
- I don’t mean to just pick on K-Cups, I’ve seen it all over the place. Do we really need a kitchen appliance that only makes cupcakes? What the hell is wrong with the oven?
- Individually-wrapped cheese slices, anyone?
- Last week I picked on pudding packs and encouraged you to buy reusable containers and buy pudding mix. Well, the same thing goes for yogurt & cottage cheese, too. Why buy single serve when you can buy a tub and dole out what you need?
- Because I knew I was going to write about this some day, I bought some Pillsbury Brownie Mix that made mini-brownies. It came with the dry mix in one package, the “caramel mix” in another, then a disposable baking tray in another, each enclosed in it’s own plastic wrap. At least when you buy a regular brownie mix, you’ve only got one plastic bag to throw out, not 3-4, plus the tray. I could ask my neighbors and friends to borrow a reusable tray if I didn’t have one.
I guess the point of this final Earth Month post is to say that while I love a good deal as much as anyone, I also consider the impact my purchases make to this beautiful earth. On rare occasion, I still buy deals where packaging is excessive, but more often than not I pass them by. And generally speaking, the stuff that is inside heavily-packaged material is not something we should be putting in our bodies, anyway. But that’s a rant for another day.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this month-long series on different ways to save while being good to the earth.