1) There is plastic in things you don’t think there is. Such as tin cans.
2) We will always forget about straws. Whenever we went out to eat (which wasn’t often), we got straws in our drinks. We forgot every time to remind the server that we didn’t want them. If it’s not straws, it’ll be something else.
3) Superstore is not a good place to shop plastic-free. Our favourite alternatives in Winnipeg include: Organic Planet for produce; De Luca’s for produce and deli; and Scoop n’ Weigh and Bulk Barn for bulk foods (bring your own bags!).
4) Shopping plastic-free is fun, and some people are really excited to help you do it.
5) Shopping plastic-free is difficult, and some people have no idea why you’d want to do it.
6) It is healthier. Plastic-free makes for cooking real meals rather than grabbing something quick, which can be frustrating. But it can also build skills and ensure healthier eating.
Most importantly, this experiment has allowed us to reflect on and observe our relationship with our food and our planet. We now have a better understanding of how much waste we personally create, and how much less we create without the plastic. It has allowed us to seek alternatives we may never have thought of. And it has helped us build habits that we want to continue for the rest of our lives. I may still want to buy almond milk and bread, but I know now that I can make it myself (I definitely want to get better at the bread-baking). Since we’ve been almost exclusively buying organic produce, we want to continue this healthier and much tastier option (trust me, organic carrots taste like carrots, rather than the big bagged ones that taste like they remind you of carrots).
While we will now consume some plastic, I hope that we will always keep it in mind, and seek to find alternatives (the occasional bag of chips may be our biggest downfall). This Lenten time has been the most challenging, and most enlightening of any fast I’ve done. I hope to continue to build skills and find alternatives in order to create a healthier life for me, for my family, and (though ambitious) for the world.