April 26, 2012

Reusable Containers at the Seafood / Meat Counter

Last week I finally got rid of my last use of plastic bags at the grocery store - for purchasing seafood.  In previous posts I noted how we eliminated trash bags, plastic shopping bags, and plastic produce bags.  Big thanks to Sprouts Market for the help in cutting the cord on ending this disposable habit.  If you have a Sprouts in your area I highly recommend them for their great selection of produce, bulk items, and organic products.



A couple of years ago Amelia purchased a set of glass containers to use for packing lunches for work.  I had an old set that were plastic, but we were in the process of reducing the use of plastic in our home (especially in the kitchen) and wanted something that worked better.  The plastic set had become discolored over time and had picked up some smells from past uses.  We've had the glass set for over two years and they have been awesome.  Easy to clean, haven't retained any odor or colors, and have a snap-lock lid that seals really well.  Other than washing in the sink as with other dishes, the only extra cleaning step has been to boil the lids every 6 months or so since they are a bit harder to clean in the lid grooves.
Makin it happen - one fish at a time

I'd been encouraged by how easy it was to stop our use of disposable grocery and produce bags while shopping but had been stuck on how to end our use of the paper and plastic wrappings for our seafood purchases.  Then a few months ago I read about using containers at the meat counter and was excited to give it a try.  I took in our largest size glass container (about a half-gallon size) and asked the gentleman behind the counter if I could use it to make a purchase of 1 pound of haddock.  He responded that was no problem and put the container on the scale to measure the empty weight, then added my fish and totaled the cost.  He even cut the 1 pound into four smaller portions so it was ready for cooking without additional prep.  I asked if a lot of people brought in their own containers and he said I was the first in over a year he'd worked there.  So I suppose that's not very encouraging but maybe I can start a trend.  (Hint, hint . . .)

It was really easy and quick to use my container, and my car (and trash can) didn't pick up the smell from the fish and wrappings.  I take Eva to the San Diego Zoo on the way home from the weekly grocery trip since it's on the way home, so this could sometimes be an issue depending on how warm the day was and my particular selection.

As always, I'm excited to make our lives a little less disposable and do our little part to help make the planet a little greener.

Suggested action steps:

1)  Purchase a set of glass containers with tight, snap-lock lids
2)  Put one or two with your reusable grocery and produce bags in bicycle basket or vehicle trunk
3)  At grocery store, ask seafood / meat counter attendant to place your order in your container
4)  Enjoy the lack of odor in refrigerator, ease of cleaning, and reduced impact on the environment

In related news: 

Solana Beach became the first city in San Diego County to pass a plastic bag ban with a unanimous City Council vote on April 25, 2012. Cheers on helping to reduce the 100 billion plastic bags (Wall Street Journal estimate) Americans produce every year, many of which end up in the oceans.  Please consider supporting similar measures in your community to make our country and planet a more healthy place to live.

After all, if Rwanda has had a national plastic bag ban for years already can't we make a similar effort with our ample resources?


  1. Wow what a nice post i am really so inspired here could you more share here i will be back to you as soon as possible
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  2. Amazing, I never thought of using a glass container...always those plastics..thanks for a wonderful info

    Reusable Containers