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Please recycle. June 11, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in gardening, homesteading, wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. Sunday’s local paper, the Allentown, PA Morning Call, featured an expose of one of our most iconic groceries, Wegman’s. I can clearly recall my colleagues at work raving about how thrilled they were when a Wegman’s store opened up in our area, with, from what they said, the freshest, most organic, most fabulous foods on earth.

I was skeptical, given the prestige of shopping at a premium-price store that most of us couldn’t afford. I figured that, since the folks who ranted and raved about Wegman’s were in the high-income advertising bracket rather than my own low-paid editorial bracket, it was all about being able to pay for high-priced groceries rather than the goodness of the groceries themselves. Far better to go to a farmers’ market, when I was unemployed, or grow my food myself. Think growing your own food is easy and fun? Try it and get a clue!

But I must say, my sadly infrequent visits to our local Wegman’s have been wonderful. I buy vegetarian sushi, I buy fabulous whole-grain bread, I buy organic greens, I buy cheeses, I buy international sauces I can’t get anywhere else. Their plants are expensive, but so wonderful they’re worth the occasional indulgence, like all the rest of the stuff I buy every 6 months from Wegman’s.

Unfortunately, the news about Wegman’s using plastic clamshells and not recycling them, instead forcing even environmentally conscious consumers to trash the plastic if they want to enjoy a meal while shopping at Wegman’s, has horrified me. I’ve always viewed Wegman’s as the ideal of high-end, variety veggies, fruits, cheeses and breads. They also do a damned good job making fresh sushi, rolls, and dumplings, and have plenty of veggie options for folks like me. And their Indian and Chinese options are excellent.

These days, there are plenty of other options to plastic, including containers made of corn or bamboo or paper. Why Wegman’s would choose not to recycle its plastic containers makes no sense to me. Why it wouldn’t switch to recyclable containers made from compostable materials makes no sense to me. How hard would it be for them to recycle?

Please bear this in mind if you shop at Wegman’s or any other place that gives you plastic clamshells and no place to recycle them. Take them home and recycle them yourselves. Ditto for plastic and paper plates and plastic utensils. Americans use and trash 40 billion tons of plastic utensils every year. 40 billion tons?! No wonder the environment is in trouble! Shame, shame on us!!!

Better yet, bring your own non-disposable containers (like the glass containers made by Anchor-Hocking and available in every grocery store, or Corning’s Corningware) and insist on putting the things you’re buying in them rather than in non-recyclable, potentially toxic junk. The earth will thank you.

‘Til next time,

Silence

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