As I was packing my kid’s lunches in wax paper bags, I was feeling good that the contents of all the “bags” in the lunch boxes were healthy, home-cooked food. Okay, except for the granola bar. (I do make my own power bars but they fly out of the kitchen so fast it’s hard to keep up!) I proudly posted a picture of all the healthy food on my personal Facebook page and got quite a lot of comments. People seemed as excited about the wax paper packaging as the healthy food wrapped inside.
Go to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s – places you expect to find healthy food. Every shelf is neatly lined with packages of foods. I love shopping in these places because of all the colorful enticements inspiring and pulling me in as I walk down the aisles. But the truth is everything is in a container or box, wrapped in more plastic. Then you go to the register and get another package to carry them home in. What might these shelves look like, what would shopping be like, if these companies banned plastic?
In my early 20’s I lived in London and Australia. At the time, markets did not have plastic or paper bags. Everyone brought their own. The food was not in containers. Lettuce was a head of lettuce. Beans were loose and dry. You picked the various ingredients, bagged where necessary, packed them in your reusable bags, took them home and made your food. It worked just fine.
Packaging needs to slow down. We might love cool packages that tell all the wonderful experiences that lurk inside. But think. Why have we chosen to buy this? Is it because we are enamored of the pictures or colors? Does it make us feel more manly or more appealing Or is it because of what’s inside that we can combine with other ingredients and create a wonderfully nutritious plate of home-cooked food to be enjoyed?
Perhaps we can start by slowing down the quick meal movement, as well. There is nothing fast about cooking. It’s a fun and often sweet process of chopping, dicing, sautéing and serving. Kitchen meditation. Then dishes, pots and pans, and counter clean up. It’s about doing something wonderful for yourself and your family. Supporting everyone’s good health. (Except maybe the plastic industry.)
In the end, the packaging just isn’t as important as the quality of the product. We all want to be convinced that a drink called “Relax” or “Invigorate” will truly make us feel that way. Why do we waste so much time energy and money on plastic and other packaging, instead of focusing on the value of the product within? Take the time to slow down and read the ingredients. You might be being sold something just because you’re a man.
Diane Lemonides of Verve Marketing And Design works with business owners to identify growth opportunities in addition to putting strategies in place for meaningful change. Located in the Brandywine Valley of South Eastern Pennsylvania. Verve Marketing & Design works with clients nationally and internationally.
phone 610-399-1003 email: firstname.lastname@example.org