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Big Things Come in Small Packages

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I remember this saying being popular years ago, but today it could/should be resurrected. Have you ever stopped to look at the way things are packaged nowadays? If you have children, you know what’ it’s like on Christmas morning when they want you to open that toy that not only has a box that needs opening, but also many twist ties that often cannot be undone unless you have a strong pair of scissors.

Recently, I was thinking about packaging of food at the grocery store. I was feeling good, choosing to buy some organic salad mixes, but when I got the salad home, I wondered why it was packaged in a plastic container.  Sure the plastic see-through box is handy for storing in the fridge,but  it’s not right type of plastic that can be recycled where I live. More garbage.

Then I look at the egg cartons. While protecting the eggs is a must, the Styrofoam egg cartons really get me going. We all know that Styrofoam doesn’t breakdown and will last in the landfills longer than I will be alive, so why must egg users choose that material (probably cheaper). So I’ve started looking for the cardboard ones, which can be recycled.

There are uses for discarded packaging. For example, cardboard egg cartons are good for starting seeds in the spring (you can plant the whole thing as the cardboard will disintegrate), and I could reuse the plastic salad container, but after awhile these cartons and containers start adding up and I wind up throwing them away.

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And don’t get me started on those plastic produce bags. I’ve been reusing them from shopping trip to shopping trip, but am also appalled when I see bananas being placed in these bags (come on bananas have their own packaging). And then there’s the meat products. Recently, the cashiers have been asking me if I want the meat I’m buying wrapped in another plastic bag – um why? Don’t they already have plastic on them?

While packaging does a few things -marketing the product and keeping it safe while being transported – it just seems to be a lot of waste that gets produced and ultimately winds up in the garbage.

I am trying be more conscious as I shop at the grocery store. I think I’m going to start buying my eggs locally from a farm so I can reuse my cartons. But in the mean time, I think I’m going to start remind people that big things that come in small packages make a heck of a lot more sense for everyone.

Do you have any suggestions? Do you reuse some of your packaging? Share your thoughts and ideas here.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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