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Old-fashioned ideas to increase sustainability

I was born in the era before plastic. I've been racking my brain to remember the ways we did things and got by. No, I don't envy my mother having to wash diapers and urine drenched clothes when we were babies; I still used cloth diapers for my babies with wool covers at night and plastic pants during the day; my daughter tried the diaper/wool cover route, but caved in under the pressures of fast, easy living. My point is fast and easy living has taken over and created this mess we're in. I'm committed to reducing plastic in my life, but it ain't easy. As I unwrapped proofing baskets for baking my homemade sourdough bread I had to dispose of plastic wrapping. I know, I could have made my own baskets from local willow, but I wouldn't have properly risen bread for a long time. So, you see, I'm on a journey with myself. How far do you take it?

5 Replies

@Walkingwoman70 thank you so much for posting this, and reflecting on the difficulty we all face as we balance ease with responsibility.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I teach sustainability at a small college and get students to think about these kinds of choices.  There are trade offs for every decision we make. But anything we can do to make even a small change is a help.  I think letting manufacturers and retailers know we don't want plastic wrapped and tucked into every nook and cranny on things we buy is important.  If they get enough customer feedback, maybe it will change.  Let me know some of your ideas.  Looks like I'll be teaching online for a while so this will make a great discussion for the students.  

@CloudsMom I started using beeswax wraps in lieu of plastic bags and plastic wrap. I've been impressed that my veggies stay fresh for a while just wrapped in the beeswax...

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Awesome!  I'm adviser to our college beekeeping club and we collect wax and make our own beeswax wraps.  

Hi, I have a few of those wrappers and just received the wax etc to make my own. I plan on using them more. I’m especially interested in finding a way to keep my homemade bread fresh longer and have a way to freeze some without using plastic. It’s a project!