Freedom from Single-Use Plastic
Annie and LJ are a fictional couple introduced to the readers of the Healthy Healing Eats blog in January 2020. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.
Kaboom! The fireworks exploded into a glittery cherry, then a silvery cascading shower of sparkling lights. As Annie and LJ watched the display, they looked at each other and smiled. They were watching it at the annual family picnic. This year’s gathering, though smaller than previously, was even more joyous due to months of social isolation. There were cries of delight as family members arrived; many with their own water bottles as instructed by the invite that declared this year’s picnic is plastic-free. The day started early; they had risen to harvest tomatoes, watermelon, and basil from the garden. Their contribution to the picnic included an Heirloom Tomato Salad with Basil Sea Salt and a Strawberry-Watermelon salad with Basil-Cayenne Syrup. Annie found the recipes in the Afro-Vegan cookbook by @Bryantterry. As they began prepping the veggies, Annie said, “Everything looks so good, LJ. We harvested these beauties at their peak of freshness, so the watermelon and strawberries are super sweet, and the basil is seriously fragrant.” “You’re right, they do look and taste good. How about bringing the extra basil to share? We can package them in Bee’s Wrap, which supports the goal of a plastic-free picnic. Also, let’s transport the salad ingredients separately in the re-useable silicone storage bags and assemble them when we get there.” “Good idea we can use the recycled storage bowls, and because they have lids, it will help keep the salads bug free and fresh.” After packing the food and supplies, they got dressed and walked over to the park. The picnic was so much fun! As usual, the meal was incredibly delicious, the relatives really brought their A-game with their homemade contributions. Each dish was fresh and mostly homegrown. Not to mention, beautifully presented in the same bright green recycled food storage containers Annie and LJ were using. “Rita, I see you found the storage bowls, tree-free napkins, and compostable cutlery at Grove Collaborative, said Annie. “Yes, and thanks, cousin, for introducing me to Grove Collaborative. I am so glad to learn about the company and its philosophy to do no harm, treat the planet with care, and plant tomorrow’s forest. Is it true they are in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant one million trees by 2022?” “Yes, and what’s more, Grove products are 100% plastic-neutral now, but the company plans to be plastic-free by 2025. I see that some of the toddlers are drinking from their cups using bamboo straws. It is great to see these young parents taking the issue of global warming seriously and doing their part to slow it down. We are running out of time, especially when you realize that plastic grocery bags were only introduced 40 years ago. And, if we, don’t stop using them, by 2050, those bags and other discarded plastic bottles, plates, forks, spoons, and straws will constitute a greater mass than the earth’s marine life. We are choking the planet by using plastic products once and then throwing them away.” “That is an alarming statistic! I really appreciate that you and LJ are helping us pay more attention to protecting our planet, and equally, the importance of having a plastic-free picnic.” After the fireworks show, everyone started packing up and leaving. The good-byes were accompanied by elbow bumps, Wakanda salutes, and promises to share recipes. The mellow atmosphere of the picnic enveloped the couple as they slowly walked home. Annie mused, “I had such a good time, and it sounds like the young ones are serious about not using plastic. I noticed that most of them brought their own plates, and a couple of them had bamboo cutlery in a carrying case. I asked Tara where she got hers. She bought them off Grove Collaborative’s https://www.grove.co/referrer/80890595/ website too. She is impressively focused on saving money as well as the planet. Tara says she will raise her children in a world that has clean water and air. Now I have hope for the future.”