I could write forever about the joy and peace that has come from spending time with friends in the mountains this weekend. I just unzipped my suitcase, and the most amazing smell of pine came over me...the smell of our incredibly beautiful cabin on the side of a mountain overlooking a vast array of colorful trees and continuing mountain tops. The trip was rich and beautiful in all aspects...well, almost all.
Not consuming plastic this weekend was no small challenge and did not feel beautiful or rich, however looking back now, I think it truly could be described as such. Our first meal, at a local barbeque place, was served on plastic plates with styrofoam cups. It was hard for me to realize this, and after I had already placed my order, head back up to the counter to try to figure out if I could use the sandwich box for my barbeque pork plate. I described why I was making the request as a "project," and the older gentleman rolled his eyes and said that my "professor" sounded like "Al Gore." Interesting. I do not even feel like going into what happened with the cup, but in the end, I think it may have gotten thrown away. It was such a disappointment, but I was determined not to let that throw me off my course. I sat down and ate barbeque with my fingers.
Syrup and half and half proved to be my only significant challenges during our shopping trip. Not being able to find coffee creamer of any type without plastic was an incredible disappointment. Coffee with creamer when I got home today has never tasted so good! I am so grateful for the Private Selection organic creamer (Kroger brand) with no plastic spout. The syrup aisle adventure was all of us handling syrup bottles to try to find glass at a decent price. I decided to just buy the maple syrup in the glass bottle we usually use, but since it cost lots more than the Mrs. Butterworth types, I would purchase it separately and take it home (since we were splitting the cost of groceries). Thank goodness, Julie pointed out that the top on the maple syrup was plastic. Back on the shelf it went and in went the cheap plastic stuff into the cart. I used butter and honey I brought from home on my pancakes the next morning, which was a wonderfully yummy discovery. Buying the canned cinnamon rolls with the plastic icing container and the break and bake cookies wrapped in plastic was not anywhere near as hard as when they were baking and I was having to get mentally prepared for not eating any. Toast with butter was not the same, and I sure did appreciate the compassionate sigh I got from my best friend sitting on my right as she realized why I was eating toast (bread I brought from home).
So...I am doing it! What a great accomplishment. I am making small differences. As I ate my pretzels and corn chips and almonds and bread with peanut butter and honey this weekend, all bought locally (without plastic), I thought about how not buying plastic has led me to spend my money in ways I value greatly as well as making a lighter impact on the environment and the lives of others. Of course that is more beautiful and rich than eating sun chips and lunch meat in deli ziploc bags and cinnamon rolls with my friends.
Oh...and watch out for the roumelade sauce with your crab cakes...it's probably coming on the plate in a plastic cup. Also, keep silverware with you. Plastic forks are everywhere and even just eating a piece of cake with your hands will attract those people who clearly have a "why doesn't that woman get a fork?" look.