To go along with copious plant-based recipes from Raddish Kids this month, one lesson plan was about not just eating green but shopping green. Unfortunately, some of the suggestions are impossible under current coronavirus regulations. But the gist of the lesson wasn’t lost on Travis, even with a little improvisation.
This actually was a two-part lesson, spaced a week apart, and we began after my weekly foray to the grocery store last Sunday.
Travis helped me unload the bags so we could look at how much waste we were generating. We laid out all the boxes, metal cans, and plastic bags full of fruits and vegetables. Travis helped tally up the total in a chart, including 21 boxes (!), 8 plastic bags of produce, and 7 metal cans.
I also had purchased some items with the intent of showing him how we could improve. Which did he think was better for the planet: a single-serve peanut butter pouch or the whole jar?
Bottled water (which we normally never buy!) or the filter in our fridge? Individually wrapped snack bars or a bag of chips? Fruit that came in its own wrapper (a watermelon rind!) versus pre-packaged and chopped? I could see his eyes widen with realization a few times as we talked through all this.
The following week, it was time to see if we’d improved! Travis’s hypothesis was that our cost would have gone down, too.
Again we lined up all the groceries and tallied on our chart. The biggest difference was in the number of boxes: only 5! We’d also purchased way less produce in plastic bags, choosing items deliberately in their own “packaging” like bananas, oranges, and avocados.
Of course, as mentioned, there are certain things we just can’t do right now, like bring reusable shopping bags, buying from the bulk section, or bringing along our own glass jars.
But we’re newly motivated moving forward! As a finale to the lesson, he watched an online read of Michael Recycle by Ellie Bethel.