No Dinosaurs Here

I’ve read many people’s posts about how 2009 will be better. How they will be better in 2009. Their inspiring plans to improve their lives. And I thought, what will I do? What are my resolutions? I have many, but none that leave the sanctity of my own head.

Sorry.

But! I did find a way today in which I am different than a year ago. A good positive change: my buying decisions.

I have two small children. Small children like chicken nuggets, it’s a fact. Until recently I fed my children some dinosaur shaped nuggets that I found at Costco. I think they were $10 for eleventy million nuggets or something. Then a friend mentioned the sodium content. Copy. Dino nuggets not to be replaced due to high sodium content. Today I wanted to stock some nuggets in my house. While shopping I found some and checked the sodium, too high. I headed over to the frozen organic kids section (the kids are neither frozen nor organic, the food is) and looked at Ian’s brand. I was satisfied with the sodium content but not the packaging. I know that I need more than 2 servings of chicken nuggets (not at once, but in the time before they expire it seems highly likely my kids will partake in the nuggets). So, here I am in the frozen food section trying to figure out what to do. I’m willing to buy the Ian’s – I just want a larger option so I have less overall packaging. (in the end I purchased the 2 serving box and will look for a retailer with a larger offering).

Another example, there are two brands of laundry detergent that I prefer to purchase. Today they were priced the same – I chose the one in the smaller bottle thinking that it’s less material to recycle.

A year ago I would have purchased on price alone. Or price and some other factors, but probably not packaging. And the laundry detergent? Last year as long as it was sans perfume, I was all for it. Now I like my soaps natural and antibacterial-free.

So, there you have it. One way in which I am better at the end of 2008 than at the start: I’m consciously trying to reduce our waste through unnecessary packaging. And I’m noticing manufacturers that are reducing their packaging too. While I am not in the market for carseats I saw that Cosco is packaging their seats in a reuasable plastic cover rather than a ginormous cardboard box. They have the added bonus of getting more seats on the shelf in less space. One company that surprised me with some of their packaging is Method. Their baby hair + body wash has an enormous plastic lid. I am sure it is recyclable, but wouldn’t it have been better to not make it in the first place?

Since I’ve completely abandoned any hope of a coherent post, the Asus Ecobook has a bamboo (rather than plastic) shell. It’s beautiful to look at and a sustainable material.

What packaging has surprised you recently? Did you really expect to buy those brussel sprouts in a clam shell? What packaging is fantastic in its minimalism and recyclability? What have you bought just because of the package?