Taking out the Trash

We took out our trash today. It had been 3 weeks and we decided it was time to bundle it up and say goodbye. It only filled the trash bag (that we still have from before) about ¼ full. It felt like one of the moments where we could be proud of ourselves. We could have probably waited a bit longer to take it out and try fill up the bag, but our garbage can is so small now that the bag is oversized. There are definitely still things that we need to eliminate from our daily life. It is hard being a vegan household with two kids and changing up our routines to shift into a zero-waste lifestyle. If we were meat eaters or cheese eaters, we could very easily bring our own containers to the grocery store or deli and ask the butcher or cheese-slicer person (!!?) to fill up our containers. However, we are a bit more difficult. After searching high and low in this city, there are no places in a 30 mile radius that sell bulk tofu (without that non-recyclable package) OR a very important staple in our diet: DAIYA. It took many, many years for there to be a vegan cheese on the market that did not taste like vomit or hold up like cardboard under heat until Daiya came along. Melty, ooey-gooey, cheeesy shreds that we have enjoyed completely guilt-free, up until now… We are very reluctantly parting ways with it. At least until they can meet us in the middle and either choose a recyclable package to put their product in or choose to sell it in bulk somewhere accessible. I am planning on contacting them this week and I have already contacted Sunrise Tofu, which is produced here, to see if I can buy some from their factory in my own container. I spoke with someone a couple days ago and they said I could buy it in bulk from their factory, however, it is still packaged. That is not the kind of bulk that I need! AHHH. I wrote a letter to their headquarters to see if there was something that I could do to make this more available to the Vancouver people. Here is what I wrote:

"Hi Dorothy,

We are big fans of your sunrise and soyganic tofu and have been buying it for many years. Recently, we have decided to become more conscious of our waste and our consuming habits and one of the products that we are having a hard time finding a package-free alternative for is tofu. We would love to continue buying your tofu but the package is not recyclable and it is a repeat offender on our trash bin. I spoke with someone at the factory but they have said that they will not sell it without the package. I was hoping to convince your company to provide the option for buying without the package to be able to provide customers tofu who are avoiding plastic and non-recyclable materials. We would really like to continue buying sunrise and soyganic tofu but we will be unable to do this if we cannot buy it without the package. I know a large group of friends and family that are also transitioning into a zero-waste lifestyle and they are also looking for options for tofu without the plastic. Could we open a dialogue about the future possibility for this option? I really appreciate your help in this matter. Thanks!


And this was the response:

“Hello Lyndsey

I will pass along your message and comments to our VP and see if there isa health reason we can not this or if I can find out the reasons behind the decision I will let you know. It may take me a while to get an answer.

Dorothy “

The part where she talks about it maybe taking awhile, I get it. But I will definitely be writing again if I don’t hear in a week or two. If there is a product that you really would like to see in a more eco-friendly package, I encourage you to write to the company. Most companies appreciate their customers feedback (even though they may not actually do anything about it) but to quote an overly used quote:

“A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Do it!

So if you really want to know what is in our trash right now, the main culprits are:

-Daiya wrappers

-tofu wrappers (although we have cut down DRASTICALLY)

-produce stickers

-a piece of tape from a package that was sent to us

-the few little pieces and parts of products that have safety seals, like vitamins and pickles

-chip bag (Jesse is also having a very hard time letting go of the luxuries)

-and we are using up the last of our Q-tips

On top of those things, we have the random item that breaks and we have nothing else to do with it…. broken water bottle lid, broken pen, broken tupperware lid. Ugh. I guess this is where avoiding buying breakable things comes in handy. We are trying our best! This is a journey, afterall.