Day 1 – A ‘Sustainable’ Trip to Shaw’s

On the eve of my first day without a landfill, I walked to Shaws with my Osprey backpack to get some eats for the week.  I plan to try out a bunch of different food shopping options throughout the month to see which one fits my no-landfill requirement best.  Stay tuned.

I figured that as long as I brought a few tupperwares and only bought food that came in recyclable containers it would be a breeze.  The first stop was the fruit and veggie section.  My third “damn” of the day came from not being able to use the clear plastic vegetable bags.  This was mostly because they didn’t have recycle symbol on them so figured they weren’t legit.  So I just put all of my veggies in my cart which was kind of crusty and gross-looking.  I guess I have to make sure I wash them well before I eat them.  Either way I’m probably just boosting my immune system anyways by exposing myself to whatever bacteria is lurking there.

Next I went to the a la carte section to try and get some chicken, rice, and other food.  I told them what I wanted and handed them my tupperware which they vehemently refused.  I talked to 3 different employees, one of them being a manager, and all of them refused to put the a la carte food in my personal tupperware.  They simply refused without providing an explanation.  They kept saying, “no we can’t do that” and “no we don’t do that here”.  I would have been happy with any kind of explanation but blatant refusal without reason just irritated me.  I was so flustered I didn’t even think to check whether or not the containers they provided were recyclable, I guess I’ll check next time before I bash Shaws too badly on their sustainability.

I then went to the deli/butcher area and asked the guy for some burgers and gave him my tupperware.  He simply zeroed the scale and put in two patties and commented on how it was a great idea to bring my own box, “Good for you dude”.  He then just put the barcode sticker on my lid, no big deal (except that I’ll probably have to throw out the barcode sticker at some point, or I could just keep sticking barcodes on top of barcodes on top of barcodes).  I’m not sure why the a la carte section didn’t play along.

I bought apples, bananas, cucumbers, carrots, hummus, OJ, and cereal.  Unfortunately I didn’t realize that the cereal would have a plastic bag inside that may or may not be recyclable.  I’ll have to read up on that.  Also I’ll have the issue of composting to deal with because I’m sure it’ll only take a few days before my roommates will want to kill me for leaving my temporary compost materials in the kitchen.  If you have any suggestions please let me know because I really only have a few days to figure this out before things get gnarly.  KThanksbye.

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3 thoughts on “Day 1 – A ‘Sustainable’ Trip to Shaw’s

  1. Probably the reason Shaw’s wouldn’t put food in your tupperware is it violates health code. If they put the spoon in there and then put it back in the main source there is a contamination potential, because they don’t know if/how you cleaned it. You should see if the containers are reuseable, then you wouldn’t even need tupperware. Just because you don’t put it in a recycling bin doesn’t mean that you can’t reuse it.

    • That was my thought too. It’s just too bad they couldn’t articulate that to me at the store. Good thought about reusing the container over and over, but that’s probably the same health issue only now I’d just be stealthy about it because my “tupperware” would blend in better.