I was recently asked on my opinion on “coffee pods”, and offered my observations to McLean’s for a magazine article http://www.macleans.ca/society/life/coffee-pods-the-new-eco-villain/.
I am not a coffee pod expert, however, there is no doubt they are convenient, have significant consumer appeal, and provide a delicious cup of coffee at a moment’s notice. Even so, I stand by my quote that was used to finish the article: “I would never allow myself to purchase a single-use product like this,” “I modify my habits as to not fall into the trap at all.”
Although the Maclean’s article is specifically about coffee pods, there are a multitude of single use containers and packages that make our daily lives much easier and more convenient. I have previously committed to not purchasing bottled water, I did manage to up hold this commitment for a 10 month period – quite an accomplishment if you consider the number of times you are tempted to run in and grab a bottle of water for a thirsty child or adult while on the road or on the fly. Although I don’t think I kept it to 0 bottles of water for 2014, I think it was less than a handfull. I am happy about this and want to continue this commitment.
And how about when you need a middle of the day “pick me up”, only to realize you forgot your travel mug! If I catch myself needing some caffeine and I have forgotten the travel mug, I have gotten into the habit of asking for a ceramic mug and sitting down to enjoy a waste free coffee! Quite a novality I might add, and this commitment to reduce single use containers might make me take a moment’s rest during a busy day. Not a bad way to slow down and enjoy a coffee and reduce waste.
Take-out food is also a huge source of single use containers and waste. Trying to avoid eating take-out is a great way to reduce waste, and make the right environmental choice. I try and pack my own lunch, meaning a serious reduction in single use packaging or containers – really a no-brainer from a health, monetary and environmental perspective.
Our lives are so fast and hurried, and single use containers make it easy for us to continue our busy lives at a blistering pace. Even so, I quite like the thought of slowing it down a bit and taking the time in advance to consider your packaging options.
The focus on the coffee pods is one thing, but there are plenty of other examples of single use containers and packaging that could be avoided to ensure we live a more waste free and sustainable day.