I try to give this blog a positive touch. In my weekly diaries, in my other posts, I try to focus on the good things. This way everything is and stays fun. But I like to challenge myself too. And as a privileged person in Netherlands, I feel like I am obligated to do whatever I can to live an eco-positive lifestyle. Now, even though I share a lot of good things, I’d like to share my challenges too. As I said, I like those. Today I’ll share my challenges when it comes to plastic.
Sustainable food choices
Last week I wrote a guide on how to buy sustainable food. As we saw there, buying package free is not the most sustainable thing you can do. If you have to choose between unpackaged meat or packaged vegan food, you choose the vegan food. The best way to decrease your negative impact when it comes to food is by going vegan. That being said, this does not mean that I don’t try to live zero waste any longer. I still try! The very best I can. But, I know that it’s less important than the other criteria I mentioned in the guide on how to buy sustainable food. I try, and I learn every day.
Even though I think my zero waste game is very strong, I have some challenges. Today I want to share the plastic challenges with you. Maybe we can help each other! If you have any tips, let me know. So, here’s my list on things I don’t buy plasticfree (yet):
- Meat substitues
Okay, so, if I haven’t said it enough already: a plant-based/vegan diet is the most sustainable diet. Period. I’ve been vegan for more than 1.5 years now, I think. I’d never say going vegan is hard, never. But, I am tempted by meat-replacements all the time. It’s like the perfect thing. The taste of meat without all the disadvantages of meat. Perfect! Well, except for the plastic packaging then. But, eating these meat replacers every once in a while makes me feel like I don’t miss out on anything. And if that keeps me vegan, it’s totally worth the waste to me. I don’t think I’ll ever change this exception. If there will be things available in compostable or recyclable packaging, then I’ll switch. But I just won’t give up meat replacers. American Fillet, pasty, sausages, anything is available vegan! I can’t live without these things, they make life good. I do try to make it special when I eat them, I think I eat them once a week now, not daily. This way it stays fun and special to me! Also, I do try to make more tofu, tempeh or seitan. These things are available in glass in my city.
2. Any seaweed product
I am a sucker for seaweed! If you said that to me 4 years ago I would laugh at you. I hated sushi. But now, everything has changed. I loooove sushi. I try to lower my intake on nori blades by only eating sushi in a restaurant, where they probably buy it in bulk, which is more efficient. But, I still use them for my vegan tuna salad a lot! I just love that fishy taste nori blades have. And here we have it again, vegan is still better than any animal product that is unpackaged. So, these nori blades in plastic are fine. Also, I just love seaweed salad, I could eat that every day. I guess it’s like an addiction, just like I have with sushi. I haven’t found nori blades nor seaweed salad plasticfree or organic. If I would refuse to buy these things I would be an unhappy person. So, I make the exception here.
3. Dairy substitues
Maybe I could’ve put this in the same category as the meat replacers, but I think there’s a difference. My point of view is the same. If these things keep being vegan fun, it’s the best option. But the difference is that I can do some improvement here. I used to buy vegan cheese, but now I buy nutritional yeast flakes. This is more efficient, because the packaging lasts me waaay longer. It’s still not plasticfree, but better. Same goes with soy cream for cooking, I can use coconut milk. But I haven’t found a replacer for soy yoghurt. So, I guess I’m still in the learning phase here. Nevertheless, I am not perfect. But that’s okay, since I’m doing the best I can.
After having written this, I am quite proud of myself. I have gotten down to just three things I don’t buy plasticfree. And all of these are conscious choices! I now see that they’re all related to my plant-based diet as well. That makes me happy. I hope I still have things to improve, but we’ll see how it goes. For now, these three are my guilty pleasures when it comes to plastic.
What are yours?