Daily staples ... Bread and milk. If you're at least as old as me, you will remember the days of the milkman, when most people received milk delivery to their doorstep in returnable glass bottles. What a great system. Of course, now people's working patterns mean we have totally moved away from this 'old-fashioned' practice, and most people buy milk in disposable plastic containers from their local supermarket. What can be done?
The milkmen are, in fact, making a comeback, and it is definitely worth looking into milk deliveries in your local area. This way, you can eliminate the plastic bottles, support your local economy and be contributing to a more sustainable system. I hope this also includes a better deal for dairy farmers than our big supermarkets seem to have been offering them in recent years.
Unfortunately, when I last looked into local milk delivery, the switch would have tripled our household milk bill, which my husband was not prepared to do. I don't drink milk at all, but my husband and four sons do, so we get through a lot of milk in our household. It might be worth me looking at again, though, as options in this area seem to be increasing all the time. Definitely worth considering.
With more and more people switching to a dairy free diet, the other thing some people are doing is making their own nut or oat milks. Recipes are readily available online. I tried making almond milk once, but not being a milk drinker anyway, it was not for me. Worth a try, though.
I know at least one person who is able to go and buy raw milk from a local farm. I guess it depends where you live. At the very least, if there is no option but the plastic, try to buy the biggest containers you can, so as to be discarding as few as possible. Not an ideal solution.
Bread is another daily source of plastic frustration to me. It always seems to come wrapped in a throwaway plastic bag, even if I buy it fresh from a bakery counter. I remember living in Turkey for some years where, in each neighbourhood, there was a bakery where people could buy freshly baked bread daily - even dough to make into other baked goodies. It was so good!
Although this is no longer the case in this country, it is perhaps not such an impossible thing to imagine. There seems to be something of a resurgence in artisan bakeries. I was delighted to discover a local job-creation project, providing training and employment opportunities to refugee women, a lovely bakery producing fresh sourdough loaves - without any packaging. Hooray! Once they are up and running, I am looking forward to placing my weekly order.
Maybe you'll find similar start-ups close to where you live. Or, even better, maybe you could start baking your own fresh bread at home?