Thursday, February 15, 2007

Make it Normal to be Sustainable

I've started carrying my own containers with me everywhere I go. I keep a bag of them in the car so if I realize I need to stop to get something, I don't find myself needing to use non-reuseable packaging. I keep 3 cloth bags in my purse (they roll up really tiny and I keep an elastic band around them, which I pop into the bag when in use), and some tupperware containers in my trunk. At first I was asking places if they would mind if I brought my own containers "next time" and wasn't getting very favourable answers... "We can't, as it could contaminate our product, which we guarantee", etc. So now, I just waltz into any store carrying my own containers and as I place my order, I just hand over my container like I've done it a thousand times. Much more favourable results! The sales people are a little unsure, but I think my confidence that it is just fine affects them! More times than not, I get my food, in my own container, without much hassle.
I get some looks from other people in the store -- especially at the deli where they're all standing around waiting their turn, watching what other people are ordering. But if they see it a few times, maybe they'll consider doing it themselves!


Andrea said...

So what kinds of things are you buying this way? Just things at the deli?

Mary-Sue said...

I don't buy much meat because we only eat the organic chickens we keep in our freezer (direct from the farmer -- these ones from your neighbour, A!) and bison that we get direct from our extended family who raise them. But when I do want something different, I buy it this way. I've had them put it in my own containers at Butcher Boys, Save-On-Foods (before the renovation -- now everything is prepackaged and I haven't been in there for months), Helmuts (on a reguar basis, for sausage and lunchmeat). I have bought coffee this way at The Bean Scene (I actually really like reusing the coffee bags that beans come in, tho, they make the perfect small gift enclosure!)
Basically, the smaller the store, the more likely they'll let me bring in my own containers. Like I bring in my own old coffee tins when I buy nails at Fishers Hardware. I haven't even tried at the big hardware stores.
At Butcher Boys too, we've asked if they have any cookies that aren't already wrapped up with plastic wrap and styrofoam. And the one time we asked, they did!

Mary-Sue said...

I've also taken my own food in for take-out and brought food home in my own containers when we eat-in.