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‘Unpackaging America.’ Taking a Step Beyond Recycling

Hot & Cool Food Trends

Does your recycling bin fill up as fast as ours does? We get curbside pickup every two weeks, but there’s no way we can make it that long without a trip—or two--to the recycling center. It’s amazing how much food packaging we go through—and we’re a household of two.

For Liz Brown Morgan, recycling just wasn't enough. After noticing her recycling container was overflowing with cardboard and bags that would take energy to be recycled, she began bringing her own containers to grocery stores to purchase bulk food and avoid packaged items.

As Brown Morgan puts it, it was part of her effort to "unpackage" her food and reduce her negative impact on the environment.

"I just feel so much better about it than if I'm opening a box that I know I'm going to recycle. That just makes me feel bad to eat out of that thing now."

Now, her efforts have become a business endeavor. She's created a product called TareWare -- pre-printed, durable and decorative labels for containers. In the industry, the term "tare weight" refers to the container's weight. People can write the weight on their labels and avoid packaging in a more convenient way.

TareWare is part of Brown Morgan's plan to "unpackage America." She hopes that consumer demand for bulk foods forces grocery stores to pay attention and demand an expanded selection of bulk products.

"The hope is that bulk-food sections will get bigger. You know, some stores have really great bulk-food sections now, and you can get crackers and cookies--and I hope that will increase."

Through efforts such as TareWare, Brown Morgan also hopes she can encourage others toward more sustainable lifestyles. As a self-described "backyard agrarian," she is part of a growing movement to transform cultural and lifestyle habits away from toxic practices and toward health and rejuvenation – for both humans and the planet.

"Part of my lifestyle is having a positive impact on the world. So, I believe in having a really big impact on the world, but a good one, and not just reducing my negative impact."

More information about TareWare and the Backyard Agrarian movement is available at backyardagrarian.com.

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