June 25, 2012

On the Hunt in the Fridge

Have you ever taken note of the abundance of plastics all around us?  From our toiletries to our food packaging, they're everywhere.  As part of a blog tour sponsored by Evergreen, I was encouraged to take a look in my fridge and really pay attention to the kinds of cartons that food is packaged in.
Without looking in my refrigerator, I would have guessed that plastics dominate the packaging in there.  I've thought about (and became depressed) about this before, the fact that we're mostly forced to buy excessive packing materials in our food shopping.

Surprisingly, about half of the food is packaged in plastic, the other in glass.  Starting with the fridge door, I noticed that the condiments are about half glass and half plastic.
The one item that bugs me the most, not just in writing this post but when shopping every week is that the eggs at our grocery store don't come in cardboard cartons anymore.

Inside the fridge, I found a mix of plastics, cartons, and glass.
I like that in my town, glass and plastics #1 and #2 are recyclable.  However, much of our food items are sold in #5 plastics (like yogurt) which we aren't recyclable in our town.

I had no idea that paper cartons can be recycled.  I found out this info from the Evergreen website.  Unfortunately, we can't recycle milk cartons in our town, unlike paperboard.  I was surprised to learn a lot about paper cartons that I hadn't known before.

DID YOU KNOW?
  • Over 41 million households have access to carton recycling, and that number is on the rise. In addition, cartons are made from renewable materials – more than 70 percent of the carton is made from paper, all from trees from responsibly managed forests.
  • Packaging plays a very important role in keeping food and beverages fresh. The environmental impact of a package is just as important as the contents inside. 
  • Cartons are recyclable where facilities exist. The paper fiber contained in cartons is valuable. Recycled cartons are used to make products such as tissue, office paper, wall boards and other building materials.  To learn if your community accepts cartons for recycling, please visit www.recyclecartons.com or check with your local recycling program.
  • Cartons are made with renewable energy. More than 50 percent of the energy used to make the paper in Evergreen Packaging’s cartons comes from biomass.
  • Responsible forestry promotes new forest growth, and these forests help to diminish greenhouse gases. Forests remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it in trees. In the US, due to both increases in the total area of forest land and increases in the carbon stored per acre, an additional 192 million metric tons of carbon are sequestered each year through responsible forest management programs nationwide. This offsets roughly 11% of the country’s industrial greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of removing almost 135 million passenger vehicles from the nation’s highways.
Given the choice, I'd prefer to buy paper cartons in place of plastic since they seem more eco-friendly in their production and efficiency.  Considering that we buy our milk (organic and soy) in paper cartons, since they're unavailable to us in other forms, I wish we were able to recycle them.

You can learn more about Choose Cartons via Evergreen's Facebook and Twitter pages.  For every #ChooseCartons fact you share in a tweet using that hashtag, Evergreen will make a donation to Habitat for Humanity. Win/Win!
Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Evergreen and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

2 comments:

  1. I'd love to have glass "tupperware" for leftovers. I think instead of recycling glass condiment jars, I'll just save them like my grandmother did and use those for leftovers.

    So strange you don't have cardboard egg cartons. That's all we get when we buy our eggs, even duck eggs. Thought provoking post :)

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  2. This is such an awakening to what we ALL have in our fridges! My family and I try to be health and environmentally conscious and like Erin mentioned, we do have some glass containers for our leftovers which work beautifully!

    We're also able to recycle our egg containers and cartons because we bring them to the farmer we get eggs from and he reuses them :)

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