Today, as part of my efforts to reduce the amount of plastic I am sending to landfill, I tackled the biggest culprit in my trash can. Chicken feed bags are not recyclable in my area, and there are only so many bags needed by people who upcycle them into totes and purses.
Unfortunately that means my trash can is brimming over with plastic waste that will at best sit in a landfill releasing carbon into the atmosphere, and at the worst, kill wildlife.
Luckily there’s a simple solution, put feed in paper bags instead of plastic—at least so I thought.
Although there were stacks of paper wrapped alfalfa and other feeds, there was only one chicken food wrapped in paper—for nearly triple the price.
$70 would buy me two forty pound bags of food, which when poured out looked like both more than scratch grains. Compared to the disappointing trickle of food that scantly covered half a trash can, I later bought 150 pounds of food for $50.
This sticker shock angered me like few other things. We should not as a society be priced out of environmentalism. A paper bag can’t possibly be that much more expensive than a plastic one, if it even costs more at all.
Most of the changes I have made in my life, after the initial investment, are cheaper. Flip off the lights, save on your electricity bill. Line dry your clothes, and save both energy and wear and tear on clothing. Use (and line dry) those cloth diapers, and save hundreds.
I don’t have the space or the time to grow enough food for my chickens all to avoid a plastic bag. I am not getting rid of my pets, pest control, fertilizer creators, and solution to veggie waste because I can’t grow enough food for them. This is a single use item I can’t avoid, and it just peeves me that there’s no plastic free (preferably recycled) options that aren’t ridiculously overpriced.
So what’s up feed companies? Will any of you make a change for the planet and bring back paper? Inquiring minds want to know.
I’ll be emailing companies all this week asking that very question, and I request that you do this too. You can also leave a comment here and I can forward them on to the feed companies as I write them. (Just let me know it’s fine to do so.)
Emailed payback feed. You can also email them here.