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(TreeHugger)   "I now shop for food with a collection of 1-liter glass canning jars in a big basket. When I approach the deli, meat, or fish counters, I hold out my glass jar and politely ask the employee to put it in the jar"   (treehugger.com) divider line 81
    More: Strange, Mason jar, fish counter, glass canning, jars, basket, C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America, grocery stores, collections  
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11505 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Feb 2014 at 8:22 AM (28 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-09 02:41:17 AM
That sort of thing is done in Mexico all the time. If they charge for a plastic bag bring your own. If they are selling soup bring your own container to take it home and save money.

Laundry detergent, windex type stuff, fabric softener, heck re-use water bottles if you want they give you a sticker so you remember to keep it out of the kids mouths.
 
2014-02-09 03:04:50 AM
American grocers are legally required to label all meat products, and have to meet certain packaging requirements. The standards actually got even stricter this year. If you buy your meat off the back of a truck in a dark alley, I'm sure this would work.
 
2014-02-09 03:47:49 AM
Plastic containers would be lighter and easier to carry, or metal if you want something more durable that doesn't stain. The dollar stores are full of cheap steel from China.

This used to be done all the time before the modern supermarket came in during the 1930s and 40s. In the deli section it must work just fine because much of the the food, such as sausages and sandwich meat is weighed before it is packaged. They can dish some of the wetter foods out on waxed paper and put the paper wrapped food into your container without weighing your container, but many cash registers and scales can handle the math nowadays. People used to send glass bottles back to the doctor or pharmacy or to stores to be refilled with soda or what not.

It wasn't long ago in historical terms that floor clerks send cash to cashiers in iron-barred boxes to make change. A pneumatic system propelled the tubes with the chit and cash in it. This was because many clerks did not have the math skills or honesty to handle cash. Today the electric cash register (a Canadian invention) makes modern commerce faster and more reliable because cashiers barely have to be able to count. Before the supermarket, you asked clerks to collect your purchases from the shelves, and many things were only displayed behind the counter where you couldn't get at them until you bought them.

I've learned a lot of this sort of information from contemporary cartoons. It's hard to imagine a world were everything was done for you and all goods were behind the counter or laid out in barrels.

When you realize how economical people used to be, the wastefulness of our hygienic and disposable world is really glaring. You can't even get repairs to expensive electrical equipment nowadays without paying more than a new item would cost
 
2014-02-09 08:30:29 AM
I hate hipsters...
 
2014-02-09 08:30:54 AM
I applaud deep conviction.   I know I could never do that.   But a vanishingly small percentage of the population achieving zero is not as good as millions cutting their waste stream by 10%, 5%, or even 1%
 
2014-02-09 08:32:55 AM

Savage Belief: I hate hipsters...


Cool story, bro.
 
2014-02-09 08:33:47 AM
And then you have to heat a bunch of water and then contaminate that water with soap and detritus to prepare your earth saving container for reuse.  Carry that stuff home in your bare hands if you want to be all green about it.
i.dailymail.co.uk
 
2014-02-09 08:38:12 AM
"Back in January, I wrote a post about the Johnson family, who have reduced household trash to one quart a year."

img.4plebs.org
 
2014-02-09 08:44:02 AM
I carry this.  It's also my "to go" container.
imageshack.com
 
2014-02-09 08:48:01 AM

HotWingAgenda: American grocers are legally required to label all meat products, and have to meet certain packaging requirements. The standards actually got even stricter this year. If you buy your meat off the back of a truck in a dark alley, I'm sure this would work.


Eh, if you're buying it from a counter, it's not pre-wrapped, it's loose and they're going to weigh it. So I could see them weighing it on the tissue paper they use, dropping that in the jar, and then handing her the label instead of wrapping it in brown paper.

The big issue though, is that you have to use water and soap and bleach to rinse out and sterilize these containers after raw meat has been in them, and fresh water is a limited resource. So are you really using less resources, if you increase water usage for less plastic? That's always the rub with re-useable containers. If you're quickly rinsing out something carrots have been in, probably no big deal. If you're trying to wash out something that needs more water, maybe not.
 
2014-02-09 08:52:33 AM
A thermostat in the 60s is not low, you self-congratulating AW.
 
2014-02-09 09:00:57 AM
For any amount of garbage this smug AW diverts, I'll make 3.

I'm totally on board with waste reduction and recycling but fark this person. I would have to work hard for many hours to deliver something as condescending and self-congratulatory as that trite and nonsensical op-ed.

Who puts sliced deli meat in a mason jar ffs.
 
2014-02-09 09:07:07 AM
Isn't it better to just get your meat paper wrapped, as they do at most meat counters. Not need to clean your jars, which wastes energy and cleaning product, just burn the paper when you're done.

The jars I can understand for bulk, but when they weigh in at the cash it's a pain. Many bulk stores offer store branded containers that are pre-weighed so they don't have to deal with the fuss of weighing your shiatty jars. Some bulk places insist you use their containers.
 
2014-02-09 09:10:46 AM
" . . . using cloth diapers . . . concerving water . .. "

- )-
  ^
 
2014-02-09 09:13:00 AM

inclemency: Who puts sliced deli meat in a mason jar ffs.


And now I'm thinkin'.  What health nut save-the-earther is buying farkin' baloney from the deli counter anyway.
 
2014-02-09 09:14:41 AM
thank god.  i buy everything disposable and probably use about 4-5 bins per week worth of trash.  it's great to know that there are hippies out there working to offset my waste usage.  I've made 11 amazon purchases this week, and I go out of my way to order them one at a time so that there are extra shipping materials used.  someone, somewhere, is making a living producing these packaging materials, and it helps knowing that my binge shopping is creating jobs that these environuts are trying to destroy.  I like how the above comment started in one direction, and ended up somewhere else.  I wrote the damn thing and can't make sense of it.  I'm going back to bed.
 
2014-02-09 09:14:45 AM
My major problem with this is that the packaging that meat comes in is something like 0.0001% of the trash in most households.  Everything else is purchased already packaged so you heave around a bunch of mason jars to save 4 or 5 pieces of paper.  I have trouble believing that this affected her "large amounts of recycling" issue.

However, I do wish more take out restaurants would let me use a re-usable cup.
 
2014-02-09 09:19:05 AM

Alleyoop: "Back in January, I wrote a post about the Johnson family, who have reduced household trash to one quart a year."


Dafuq. I make a quart of waste per day just in scratch paper...

/And two gallons of pee
//Kidneys working fine, thanks
 
2014-02-09 09:19:35 AM
Oh. My. God.  I thought the extreme couponers were annoying.  If this catches on, someone will die.  Horribly.
 
2014-02-09 09:21:08 AM

Savage Belief: I hate hipsters...


What about people so immature that they worry about it?
 
2014-02-09 09:24:31 AM

yakmans_dad: Savage Belief: I hate hipsters...

What about people so immature that they worry about it?


HIPSTER LIKE TYPING DETECTED
 
2014-02-09 09:26:46 AM
Liter of cola.jpg
 
2014-02-09 09:34:31 AM
Worse than extreme couponers.
 
2014-02-09 09:34:36 AM

kwirlkarphys: thank god.  i buy everything disposable and probably use about 4-5 bins per week worth of trash.  it's great to know that there are hippies out there working to offset my waste usage.  I've made 11 amazon purchases this week, and I go out of my way to order them one at a time so that there are extra shipping materials used.  someone, somewhere, is making a living producing these packaging materials, and it helps knowing that my binge shopping is creating jobs that these environuts are trying to destroy.  I like how the above comment started in one direction, and ended up somewhere else.  I wrote the damn thing and can't make sense of it.  I'm going back to bed.


Ambien.  Not even once.
 
2014-02-09 09:35:55 AM

simusid: I applaud deep conviction.   I know I could never do that.   But a vanishingly small percentage of the population achieving zero is not as good as millions cutting their waste stream by 10%, 5%, or even 1%


Very much this. While zero waste is a great goal, it's just not realistic for most families. I'd like to see someone giving reasonable suggestions to reduce waste without having to resort to what most of us would deem to be silly measures.

Crazy stuff like this makes average people go out of their way to NOT be associated with you & your cause, which might cause them to stop entirely considering waste in their purchasing decisions.

For example, re-usable shopping bags instead of plastic (plastic ones around here to so cheaply made that they stretch and rip with more than 2 litres of milk anyway)

Or pizza boxes that come apart and are re-formed to be a container for leftover slices.

Hell, just encourage people to buy products that create less waste (like bagged milk instead of plastic cartons...though I've heard the bagged milk is only a Canadian thing. Any American Farkers care to clarify for me?)
 
2014-02-09 09:42:23 AM

Gortex: simusid: I applaud deep conviction.   I know I could never do that.   But a vanishingly small percentage of the population achieving zero is not as good as millions cutting their waste stream by 10%, 5%, or even 1%

Very much this. While zero waste is a great goal, it's just not realistic for most families. I'd like to see someone giving reasonable suggestions to reduce waste without having to resort to what most of us would deem to be silly measures.

Crazy stuff like this makes average people go out of their way to NOT be associated with you & your cause, which might cause them to stop entirely considering waste in their purchasing decisions.

For example, re-usable shopping bags instead of plastic (plastic ones around here to so cheaply made that they stretch and rip with more than 2 litres of milk anyway)

Or pizza boxes that come apart and are re-formed to be a container for leftover slices.

Hell, just encourage people to buy products that create less waste (like bagged milk instead of plastic cartons...though I've heard the bagged milk is only a Canadian thing. Any American Farkers care to clarify for me?)


Bagged milk is as Canadian as drinking maple syrup for breakfast in your igloo conveniently located next to the Tim Hortons hockey rink owned by Celine Deon.

If possible, I'd say the best solution is to deal with a dairy/creamery directly with glass jugs, if you're in to that sort of thing.
 
2014-02-09 09:46:53 AM
TFA blithely States that even a small amount of recycling or waste is "unsustainable"..

Um, no it isn't.
Maybe these wackos have some special definition for the word sustainable, bit we could keep doing what we are doing now for a very long time. The world is a big place. It is a complete myth that we are running out of landfill.
 
kth
2014-02-09 09:46:58 AM

offacue: inclemency: Who puts sliced deli meat in a mason jar ffs.

And now I'm thinkin'.  What health nut save-the-earther is buying farkin' baloney from the deli counter anyway.


This.

With a tiny bit of planning, you can make it yourself cheaper and without all the crap that goes into deli meat to make it so smooth/slimy.

Buy turkey breast (or roast beef or whatever), season, roast, slice, freeze what you won't use this week. Do this on Sunday and you have sandwich meat for at least a week.

Plus, this way you can use the local artisanal free range turkey who has been fed by hand by vestal virgins who only listen to world music or whatnot.
 
2014-02-09 09:47:18 AM
Put the lotion in the jar...
 
2014-02-09 09:50:37 AM
Zero waste, but at the extra expenses related to cleaning those containers on an increased basis. Extra water, fuel used to heat the water, soap, and all that extra dirty water goes down the drain as .... wait for it .... WASTE. Just because it's not in a pile you have to carry out, doesn't mean you've achieved zero waste. There's no free lunch hippies / hipsters.
 
2014-02-09 09:52:41 AM
I know this is slightly off topic, but my great grandfather was a farmer in Matchedash township, near Coldwater, Ontario. I remember my grandmother telling me they never ever wasted any type of foods. What they didn't eat, or went over or was left over all went to the pigs. The pigs were the compost pile in those days.


My point, is we should just buy some pigs...or something. F*ck, I forget the point.

s2.quickmeme.com
 
2014-02-09 09:55:11 AM

brantgoose: You can't even get repairs to expensive electrical equipment nowadays without paying more than a new item would cost


That's because modern electronics don't lend themselves to repairablity. Good luck fixing a component on a System on a Chip without using very expensive equipment, if it is even possible.
 
2014-02-09 09:57:19 AM
My 1 liter mason jars are all busy with vodak infusions.
 
2014-02-09 09:58:53 AM

Gortex: Very much this. While zero waste is a great goal, it's just not realistic for most families. I'd like to see someone giving reasonable suggestions to reduce waste without having to resort to what most of us would deem to be silly measures.


I'm not sure that zero waste would even be desirable.  But massive reductions are possible before we even need to discuss zero.

We used to have glass bottles for milk.  They were reusable.  The plastic jugs are not.  As a matter of fact, any plastic used for food contact must be virgin and not recycled.  I know it takes water to wash the jugs, but water is itself recyclable.  Same with beer, soda, etc.  But non-recyclable containers are much more convenient and it's that convenience that increases sales.  I don't recall the amount of oil consumed by plastic milk jugs, plastic water bottles, and plastic soda bottles (and I'm too lazy on a Sunday to look it up) but it's staggering when taken in total.  Decreasing our consumption would be very easy.

However, when it comes to things like meat packaging, getting a steak at the counter,  having the butcher put it in a glass jar, and then using it while still fresh works.  I buy my beef by the quarter, I raise my own hogs, lambs, chickens, ducks, and turkeys.  My freezers are always full.  It is impractical to package that quantity of meat in reusable containers.  Butcher paper may be more environmentally friendly than heavy duty vacuum-sealed plastic bags, but it leaves the meat more susceptible to freezer burn and doesn't keep as well.  So I have a goodly amount of plastic waste in a year from all of the meat we eat, not to mention what I cause by selling it to my customers.

So while I agree with you that waste reduction is a good idea and it is quite easily achievable, I don't think the goal of zero waste is even desirable.
 
2014-02-09 09:59:55 AM
Is this some kind of annoying performance art?
 
2014-02-09 10:04:02 AM

bighairyguy: Zero waste, but at the extra expenses related to cleaning those containers on an increased basis. Extra water, fuel used to heat the water, soap, and all that extra dirty water goes down the drain as .... wait for it .... WASTE. Just because it's not in a pile you have to carry out, doesn't mean you've achieved zero waste. There's no free lunch hippies / hipsters.


They've simply converted waste from one type to another. If they are connected to a sewer system, that water is being cleaned and recycled. They may be using solar/wind/hydro electricity to heat their water, shifting fuel waste to more-centralized manufacturing waste. They are probably spending more than they should on some things, too. The waste they see that leaves the house may be very small but they've shifted most of their waste production to other places.
 
2014-02-09 10:10:19 AM

Alleyoop: "Back in January, I wrote a post about the Johnson family, who have reduced household trash to one quart a year."

[img.4plebs.org image 250x272]


i produce a quart of garbage about once an hour....lightweights. need to be more bootstrappy.
 
2014-02-09 10:12:02 AM

foo monkey: My 1 liter mason jars are all busy with vodak infusions.


Get a whipped cream dispenser. Your infusions go from days to minutes. I made a liter of orangecello for the Super Bowl and it tasted fantastic, especially towards the end when it had finally gotten cold. Have the simple syrup ready beforehand, put zest and Everclear into the dispenser, charge, wait and shake for 1 minute each, release the gas, and strain.
 
2014-02-09 10:22:44 AM

Tobin_Lam: bighairyguy: Zero waste, but at the extra expenses related to cleaning those containers on an increased basis. Extra water, fuel used to heat the water, soap, and all that extra dirty water goes down the drain as .... wait for it .... WASTE. Just because it's not in a pile you have to carry out, doesn't mean you've achieved zero waste. There's no free lunch hippies / hipsters.

They've simply converted waste from one type to another. If they are connected to a sewer system, that water is being cleaned and recycled. They may be using solar/wind/hydro electricity to heat their water, shifting fuel waste to more-centralized manufacturing waste. They are probably spending more than they should on some things, too. The waste they see that leaves the house may be very small but they've shifted most of their waste production to other places.


I'm sure they would argue that this is offset by their reduced consumption of containers which also require a significant amount of energy and materials (waste) to produce.  It would not be just about the trash leaving their house, but also the production, transportation, display, etc of the containers and the eventual output of similar resources and energy in recycling them, if possible.

Most waste-reduction efforts should be applauded but the author should also understand some people do not have the time or resources to fully commit to every single measure possible, and that some health regulations do exist for reasons that may escape her.  Just because she thinks cross-contamination is unlikely with her reused containers doesn't mean other people are as careful or thorough.  All it takes is one diseased person dipping a jar in a bin instead of hovering a scoop (which in itself may still not be sanitary if handled wrong) and a lot of people get sick.
 
2014-02-09 10:28:27 AM
Recycling and garbage trucks simply remove waste from our sight, but it all has to go somewhere.

But water, detergents and bleach that you use for sterilizing your containers don't?

And, of course, you never could "see" CO2 emissions, so the amount of that you're producing while you wash and haul your heavy glass containers doesn't count, either -- at least if you've convinced yourself to look the other way.

I'm 100% on board with waste reduction, apparently in a broader sense than TFA's author. My objection isn't that she's trying to reduce waste, but that she's adopted an excessively narrow view of what constitutes "waste". Washing things, especially in a low-volume home setting, costs significant water and energy. Time, too; it's clear that this person gets some personal reward from spending extra time with reusables, but for many of us, that time itself is a cost.
 
2014-02-09 10:50:37 AM

jbrooks544: TFA blithely States that even a small amount of recycling or waste is "unsustainable"..

Um, no it isn't.
Maybe these wackos have some special definition for the word sustainable, bit we could keep doing what we are doing now for a very long time. The world is a big place. It is a complete myth that we are running out of landfill.


You are the reason people like her exist.

Extreme stupidity breeds extremely stupid reactionaries.
 
2014-02-09 10:54:31 AM

HotWingAgenda: American grocers are legally required to label all meat products, and have to meet certain packaging requirements. The standards actually got even stricter this year. If you buy your meat off the back of a truck in a dark alley, I'm sure this would work.


Yep. This ^^^.

Botulism for the contaminated meat and cheese products, and tuberculosis for the raw milkers.

You know what's been making people live longer? Regulated food supplies and preservative technology.

Go ahead and ignore it though, it'll work out great for me.
 
2014-02-09 10:55:27 AM
Well intentioned maybe, but impractical, and not particularly sanitary.   Yes, I think limiting packaging in general is a great idea.  I often skip the plastic bags when I buy small amounts of certain kinds of produce that won't wilt.  The jar concept is just getting into counterproductive territory however.  If they let one person use jars, the next person is going to want to use that ratty old scratched Tupperware.

Wasting water to sterilize the jars has been mentioned.  The store doesn't know if you last stored raw chicken in that jar, or peanuts, nor do they know if scratches in the interior of the jar are harboring bacteria.   Let's add pollution byproducts to manufacture and transport all these jars.

Deli:  It's pain in the butt for an employee to tare the container/scale fore each different jar, then return the scale back to the standard tare.  They're also going to use that little plastic slip anyway, so they don't get their scales dirty.   (I worked in a deli when I was a kid.)  Other than cheese I suppose, there is absolutely zero sold at a deli that you should be eating on a regular basis.  Mmm, delicious fatty, salty expensive meats susceptible to spoilage from contact to air.  If the product has been unwrapped in the case too long, they have to cut off that dried end slice and throw it away.  Storing the product in an oversized jar is going to let too much air in as well.  It's not going to last half a day in a jar in your fridge, better eat it as soon as you get home.

Bulk grains: The loose bulk food sections at the two grocery stores I go to sell 30 kinds of oversweetened granola and candy covered dried fruit, and I suppose that one healthy kind of granola.  They're all self serve.  Can you trust the average customer to learn how to tare the scale for the container weight?  Or do you have to find a deli/meat employee who knows how to work the scales and interrupt their work flow?

Raw meat and fish:  I suppose the fresh meat and fish counters would work for those heavily marinated overpriced bins of soaking meat.  Un-marinated meat and fish behind the glass case?  I just prefer immediately wrapped raw meats to keep the air away from it, the color is better, it's less dried out and probably cleaner.

Maybe this would work at the local co-op, but I can't see the big stores risking the liability.

TLDR version: Ick
 
2014-02-09 11:02:22 AM

SFSailor: A thermostat in the 60s is not low, you self-congratulating AW.


She's Canadian, so she's using Celsius. You really shouldn't be calling other people names.
 
2014-02-09 11:05:37 AM

some_beer_drinker: Alleyoop: "Back in January, I wrote a post about the Johnson family, who have reduced household trash to one quart a year."

[img.4plebs.org image 250x272]

i produce a quart of garbage about once an hour....lightweights. need to be more bootstrappy.


Step away from the snack-pack sized Cheetos and move towards the Costco Pup Tent O' Cheetos!
 
2014-02-09 11:07:29 AM
I've been proud of myself for all the stuff I've been putting into the recycling center, but TFA says I'm bad because I'm recycling too much?  Oh wait, I just remembered I'm doing the reduce, reuse, recycle thing at a moderate rate, so I don't care what hipsters think.
 
2014-02-09 11:08:28 AM

indarwinsshadow: I know this is slightly off topic, but my great grandfather was a farmer in Matchedash township, near Coldwater, Ontario. I remember my grandmother telling me they never ever wasted any type of foods. What they didn't eat, or went over or was left over all went to the pigs. The pigs were the compost pile in those days.


My point, is we should just buy some pigs...or something. F*ck, I forget the point.

[s2.quickmeme.com image 342x342]


Never turn your back on a man with a pig farm...
 
2014-02-09 11:12:13 AM
I do this exact same thing.

Except I carry the jars in fur-lined asbestos bags and, when I'm done with them, I smash the jars on the rocks by the creek in the nearby wildlife sanctuary where I also make wind sculptures out of the plastic rings that hold six packs together and I snag birds by hanging the sculptures from trees that I periodically slash and burn using uranium-infused kerosene that I manufacture by hard-pressing vegans' souls in a device made from the bones of bald eagles, which I catch in webs made from dolphins' veins when I'm in my boat that has a hull carved from redwood and sails made from American Indians' skins.
 
2014-02-09 11:14:05 AM
I view all trash cans as Double Dare challenges. It's up to me.
 
2014-02-09 11:16:13 AM

FarkingReading: I do this exact same thing.

Except I carry the jars in fur-lined asbestos bags and, when I'm done with them, I smash the jars on the rocks by the creek in the nearby wildlife sanctuary where I also make wind sculptures out of the plastic rings that hold six packs together and I snag birds by hanging the sculptures from trees that I periodically slash and burn using uranium-infused kerosene that I manufacture by hard-pressing vegans' souls in a device made from the bones of bald eagles, which I catch in webs made from dolphins' veins when I'm in my boat that has a hull carved from redwood and sails made from American Indians' skins.


This thought occurred to me when I saw her $75,000 designer kitchen in the background.  Because nothing says earthy crunchy like surrounding yourself with thousands of pounds of manufactured goods when you re-use your glass jars.
 
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