Although Jim usually does the grocery shopping we both went this time to make joint decisions and so I could take some photos.


  1. Girl Scout Cookies: Upon entering the store we were met by several Girl Scout cookie sellers. The packaging around the cookies couldn’t be avoided but it seemed almost immoral not to support the Girl Scouts. We took one for the team.
  2. Lettuce: Jim, a super-conscientious consumer, thought ahead and brought some of our used plastic bread bags to put the head lettuce in. You gotta love this guy. SUCCESS
  3. Days 365+48b Jim w carrotsCarrots: He started to buy the bagged carrots because he said they’re usually cheaper than the loose ones. Upon closer examination, however, we discovered that this time they were the same price so we put the carrots in another plastic bag from home. SUCCESS
  4. Apples and other loose fruit: We bought some individual apples and bananas despite knowing that those tiny oval labels on them are not recyclable. They’re so small, I’m not worrying about it. (I’m trying not to be OCD about this.) We made an exception for a bunch of apples bagged in plastic netting. It’s not recyclable but since we make our own applesauce I figure this balanced out the jars or cans we might have bought. MIXED
  5. Days 365+48b bottled water aisleApple slices & Water. FYI they sell apples already sliced in small plastic bags. I was horrified. Are people so lazy that they can’t even bite their own apple or slice it themselves? In this same vein, I’ve long had a crusade against unncessary bottled water. This aisle of bottled water just made me sad. We didn’t buy apple slices or water but just gawked. DISTRESS
  6. Orange Juice: We drink a lot of OJ – usually the concentrate packaged in cardboard cans. We recycle the lids and plastic tear off strip. After a call to Minute Maid this morning, however, I found that the coated cardboard container is not recyclable. I was tempted to switch to the plastic jugs because I could recycle them but decided that the petroleum used to make the jugs plus the extra weight to transport them probably outweighed the tradeoff. MIXED
  7. Days 365+48b mushroomsMushrooms: We found two packages of mushrooms for the same price. One was packaged in recyclable cardboard, the other wasn’t. I thought we should buy the recyclable one, but Jim, sharp shopper that he is, said that the mushrooms in the plastic container were clearly fresher. Complex choices. We got the fresher ones. DISAPPOINTMENT
  8. Meat: It’s pretty hard to buy fresh meat without it being packaged in Styrofoam. We bought some chicken and sausages. The purists would say if we were vegetarian we wouldn’t have to compromise on this. I’m not that pure yet. DISAPPOINTMENT
  9. Milk: We usually buy organic milk that comes in a waxed cardboard carton. After talking with our city recycling manager, I was delighted to learn that Covington accepts cartons like this. SUCCESS
  10. Home again, home again  jiggety-jig.

    Home again, home again

    Spices: We bought a can of pepper corns. The can be recycled but we realized that it would be cheaper and less packaging to buy spices at a health food store but that would take extra gas and time to drive there. MIXED

We bought other things too but the packaging was generally not an issue since it was basically cans or recyclable plastic. In a perfect world we would even reduce our use of recyclable containers, thus pre-cycling. We’re not perfect yet.