Plastic Fast: Market Day

A lenten ritual for me will be going to the Wolfville Farmers’ Market every Saturday in order to buy bread, baked goods, milk and meat with as little plastic as possible. Some look forward to this experience, as evidenced by the crowds packed into the market hall.

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For me, Saturday is the only leisurely morning I have and even then, only occasionally. Usually you will find me snuggled in bed watching tv or listening to music until 10 or 11.

But off to the market I went. It was a lovely, if cold, morning which made it a bit more encouraging. (Though I think I still look as though I needed a lie-in!)

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The market was already heaving by 10, but I had my agenda so I made my way to the German baker. There I found amazing breads, croissants, and other pastries, all locally handmade and best of all, sold in paper bags. Then I headed to one of the local farmers who sells meat, wrapped in butcher paper…so I thought.

As he placed the ribs on the paper on the scale, and I asked him for some ground lamb, I clarified that the frozen meat wasn’t packed in plastic. He paused and looked at me and confessed that all the paper is freezer paper which has a thin plastic lining on it. There is plain butcher paper but he didn’t have any with him. He also indicated he would happily put the meat in my own containers. But by then the meat was on the paper so we went with it. We had a great chat about plastic, and the increasing number of customers he has  asking for plain paper. As I left he said, ‘I really respect what you’re doing. Keep at it! The first ‘R’ has to be ‘refuse’.’

I rounded the corner to a local milk and cheese farm stall where I was able to buy a glass bottle of milk that I can return next week for refills. The downside is that the milk is whole milk (4%) and the lid is single use plastic. Still, less than what I’d normally buy in a regular carton, I think.

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I’d like to believe that I will keep up this routine when lent is over. But in our house I’m not the regular food shopper and my other half isn’t keen on a crowded market on a Saturday morning.

However, this cinnamon sticky bun from the German Baker may just have encouraged us both to consider it. It was amazing! So much for lenten restraint!


Lord, give me the fortitude to remember that repentance isn’t just for lent, but for everyday. Teach me that the effort to change isn’t just for a day or a month, but a lifetime. Amen.

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