How to make your dairy use waste free

English: milk bottle showing cream at the top
Image via Wikipedia

There are lots of ways to reduce habitual waste – banning plastic bottles, choosing Tupperware over disposables, bringing canvas bags to  the grocery store… but what about what’s in that bag? How many containers are being wasted at every grocery trip? Think there’s no way around it?

Think again! When it comes to wasteful grocery shopping, you have choices! Much of the plastic waste that comes from your food is sitting in  your fridge filled with dairy products. And when every yogurt, sour cream, and whipped cream refill you buy comes in a new container, that excess packaging really adds up.

The trick to banning plastic from your dairy purchases is just the opposite of that – it’s not a trick at all! The place to start is simple, with your milk. Milk in grocery stores comes in plastic bottles, which cannot be taken back and refilled because they are bottled at a different location. However, most towns have local dairies that package and sell their milk in refillable glass bottles, so every time you want to buy milk, they’ll fill up your own glass container for you. For more information on where this happens in Rochester, check out Pittsford Dairy!

Then from there, the rest happens right in your kitchen. With ingredients and equipment that you most likely already have, you can have  all of your favorite dairy needs and treats at your fingertips. Learning to make your own whipped cream, cream cheese, sour cream, and yogurt  can be easy, and often as quick as it would be blend a smoothie or make a pot of coffee.

Then all that’s left to do is package your fresh products in reusable glass or plastic containers, and you are good to go. Not only is this  a big step in reducing your ecological footprint, but the costs are significantly lower than purchasing all of your dairy products individually,  and it gives you control of exactly what goes into the products that you eat, making you healthier!

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