We don’t need a few people doing zero-waste perfectly, we need millions doing it imperfectly.Lauren Singer*
Swap: Instead of buying pre-packaged baby carrots, save money and some plastic by buying loose carrots, peeling them, then slicing them into sticks, coins, etc., whatever your preference.
You might be thinking, Well if I’m buying loose carrots don’t I have to put them in one of those plastic produce bags, anyway? Not necessarily! You can bring a plastic bag from home to reuse or just place the carrots in your cart bagless. Remember, not only will you wash your produce before use, but for this particular item you’ll also be cutting/peeling off all the parts that touched surfaces before consumption.
Rick is magical, but prefers prepackaged baby carrots for snacking. I do what I can- this is about effort, not perfection, after all! When I buy them, though, they often end up getting slimy before the bag is finished, even if they’d been transferred from the open bag to an airtight container.
I’ve found that carrots I’ve peeled and chopped myself last much longer, and loose/bulk carrots can also be rejuvenated! If they start getting wrinkly and sad in your vegetable crisper they can still be used in a hot dish, but they can also be given an ice water bath and perk back up for raw consumption.
I like to buy loose carrots for recipes, and being able to buy the exact number of needed carrots is also a great way to not over-buy. If you do have a surplus from your carrot bunch, coined or diced carrots are great to go into the freezer for easy use in future soups, curries, and stir fries. This also eliminates the plastic from bagged frozen vegetables. Loose carrots are also great to wash, peel, cut, and purée into baby food.
If you’re buying loose carrots for snacking, don’t throw them in the crisper and count on yourself to do the work when you’re in the moment of looking for a snack. If they’re not already cut up, it’s much easier to reach for something prepackaged, which not only indicates waste, but is likely something not as healthy. Instead, as a part of your grocery unpacking process, go ahead and wash and chop your carrots so they’re ready when you are.
One small consumption change for you, one small improvement for our environment.
*Lauren Singer is an environmentalist who does not generate any waste(!). You can shop her store, Package Free, online or at the brick and mortar store in Brooklyn post-pandemic. Read more about Lauren here, and watch her Ted Talk here– she’s inspiring.
Once a month I share a sustainability tip or an easy swap in consumption routine to better care for the planet. Environmentally conscious change doesn’t always have to be expensive, laborious, or extremely time-consuming.
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