If you read my last post, you know that I was inspired to reduce my trash output, especially plastics. That means changing patterns of consumption, of shopping and eating out.
It’s hard to avoid trash in Seoul. The other day Ji and I went out to a cafe to work on our laptops for a change of scenery and to enjoy the free heating. We ordered some amazing but simple bread we compromised at one drink and refilled the plastic cup with their free water. After cutting the bread and aking to eat it in store they still tried to put all the cut pieces inside of a plastic bag that was going to be useful for how many minutes? 15 or 20? Pointless.
We went to Emart, our local superstore. We have to eat and giving up all things abruptly would likely cause some shock. But I did spend less than normal since I wasnt tempted by so many things. I really liked dried cranberries in my cereal, so we got those, we cant get fresh milk so we got that too along with a few other things.
But today is where the real breakthrough came. Back last year Ji and I stumbled upon this noodle guy un the Namguro Market. He had these big bundles of various types of noodles wrapped in recycled paper. They went for about 4 bucks so we helped support a small business and got fresh noodles with less packaging.
Today I went to get some of those noodles. One thing we have been saying is that using what we have until it runs out is the best thing to do in the short term. So, instead of going out and buying fancy glass jars to store things in and bags to shop with I just brought some tuperware and some plastic shopping bags we had at home already.
My first score, which was easy in korea; two Kilos of rice, trash free. As I made my way to the end of the market hoping to find the right street where the noodle guy was eying all of the butchers; hardly any chicken anywhere. There were two dedicated chicken shops. There were no package free chickens but I bet if I could speak Korean it might be possible. Better get studying.
I swore the noodle street was a sort of dark and narrow with a lower ceiling than the main road. Idid two laps back and forth looking before being lead to a road that was under construction. It looked good for taking a picture; a side mission for my trip since I brought my film camera.
Under a slightly open roll-up shop door I noticed the distinct rolls of brown paper with their black marker writing. I stood there, behind the red and white caution tape, wondering if i should cross, if anyone was even in there. The door lurched upwards and a surprised korean man and I looked at eachother not knowing what to say. I motiond if I could cross the caution tape. Seemed ok so I crossed and grabbed the pack I wanted “Seon Kalguksu” (hand made knife cut noodles).
On my way out I had two more items to get, mushrooms and garlic both of which are also easy to find package free here. usually old ladies sit along city sidewalks peeling garlic while selling other vegetables and fruits. while looking I spotted dried cranberries by weight, meaning No plastic! And next to that shop I found loose eggs. I can bring my empty carton and buy as many as i need.
I can do this… if I can find cereal by weight.