Saturday, 03 January 2015 06:11

Recently, I watched the documentary Dive by Jeremy Seifert http://www.divethefilm.com. It is an eye-opening documentary which shows how much of earth resources are being wasted by the USA food industry. This is a must watch documentary for every one who is relying on their food supply from grocery stores. This documentary will teach, inspire and entertain.  It was produced in 2010, so I decided to go to the back of Trader Joe's and see if after 4 years there was any change in policy and/or actions. Even though some have claimed that Trader Joe's made changes and/or donates a lot food, I did not notice that Trader Joe's is moving towards an Eco-Respectful and sustainable business model.

♦ WHAT I FOUND... in alley behind back of the Trader Joe's:
- They seem to only recycle cardboard.
- A lot of recyclables (plastic wrappers, bags, packages, waxed boxes, bottles, cans) in the trash.
- No composting bins.
- Packaged foods (some bad, but many still good) in the trash.
- A lot of cut flowers and recyclable 3 gallon flower pots (plastic #2, #5) in the trash. In my video below I show you how I got about 60 flower pots, Got Cut Flowers? JOIN the Pot Rescue Team! Trader Joe's Trashing Perfect 3 Gallon Flowers Pots!

food trader joes dumpster ecopeaceful

PROBLEM 1: PREPACKAGED FOODS - The way Trader Joe's sells fruits and vegetables (most packaged in plastic bags/containers/wrappers) creates a lot of toxic plastic pollution and unnecessary food waste, since if one fruit (apple, orange...) in a bag gets bad, they throw away the ENTIRE bag of fruits or vegetables!!! For many, this is another reason to avoid buying prepackaged fruits and vegetable.

♦ PROBLEM 2: NON-REALITY BASED DEPICTION OF REAL FOOD - Trader Joe's also does not have a food scale at the store, which means that all the fruits and vegetables that they sell need to be nearly the same weight/size, which creates waste of produce even before they enter the store, since too small and too big are discarded.
Watch this TED talk to learn more about food waste by Tristram Stuart: The Global Food Waste Scandal Please note: I do not advocate eating animals (whole or parts) or animal secretions.

SOME SOLUTIONS:
A.) sell items for a reduced price when they reach their expiration date. For instance, some stores sell ripe bananas for a discount - even though many people are unaware that brown spotted bananas mean they are ripe! I have noticed that the Trader Joe's in my city does not apply this practice. So, basically, unless the fruits or vegatables ALL look perfect (in their perception) they are thrown in the trash!
B.) Composting bins
C.) Increase recycling by increasing: awareness, equipment (containers, crushers...) and actions
D.) An aware/educated public asking and demanding company policy and action be improved - YES, you/we do have a voice in this matter and YOU can influence! Pass on this article, share the videos, talk to and ask managers and employees.
E.) Boycott (avoid) and BuyCott (support) companies that are aligned with your: ethics, values and vision for a world that support our home planet and all animals.

GOT FUNNY FRUIT STORY? Here is a small funny story about a friend! My friend came the USA from the USSR (Estonia to be exact), many years ago, and when she first was shopping in a regular USA grocery store, she was looking to buy apples and and saw that the apples were so similar in size and color, shiny and perfect as she thought it was just a plastic display like is common in many Asian restaurants. So she actually went to ask the produce manager where she could buy the real apples!!!LOL 

GOT CUT FLOWERS? JOIN the Pot Rescue Team! Trader Joe's Trashing Perfect 3 Gallon Flowers Pots!

I recorded this short video  where I speak about why I do not buy or request other people buy me flowers, and I show what Trader Joe's trashes.
So far over in just a few trips I have rescued about 60 (3 gallon) perfectly good plastic flower buckets, which I will be using to grow my own food, since I do not want to rely on a destructive and wasteful food system. 

trader joes cut flowers dumpster ecopeacefulTrader joes trashed flower pots ecopeaceful

Also, many people do not look beyond the pretty flower pedal colors to see the really UGLY side and tragedy.
While flowers can represent beauty - cut flowers are:  
- Not required: they are a want and not a need.
- Toxic pesticides are used: polluting our water, air, soil.
- Laborers and wildlife exposed to toxins.
- Labor intensive.
- Plastic wrapping and buckets/pots non-compostable and rarely recycled.
- Reusable and recyclable buckets/pots thrown away.

ALTERNATIVES TO CUT FLOWERS
1.) LIVING PLANTS - Long living, air cleaning, oxygen giving rather than quickly dying flowers.
2.) SUSTAINABLE LOVE GIFTS - If you want someone to be romantic and show their love for you, consider suggesting or requesting that someone buy you something that is enjoyable and physically healthy, and also shows love to our home planet. That way you will be around longer in a healthier world for them to love and appreciate! Some people like the term, "Mother Earth", so this additional love for our home planet would be especially appropriate on "Mother's Day"!

GOT SUSTAINABLE OR DESTRUCTIVE GIFTING?
Nature ("mother earth") gives us pretty flowers BUT what do we give back? Plastic pots, wrappers and pesticides? Or compostable, sustainable, healthy gifting?
How to make GREED and IGNORANCE go away?
- Simply share the unseen REALITY about the cut flower industry and their wasteful and destructive company practices!
- Grow your own flowers and food.
- Support sustainable and Eco-respectful businesses.


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