Social sustenance is a concept that is very important to me and is really the driving force behind Village Bread. Taking care of, nurturing and sustaining one another is what it's all about. But what about taking care of the planet? What about environmental sustainability? You might think, "whoa, slow down there buddy! That's kind of grandiose thinking isn't it?"
I was recently asked about Village Bread's packaging. Since just before starting Village Bread I have used plastic bread bags purchased in bulk online. 200 of those bags cost me under 20 dollars and lasted me over a year. But now with production and sales up, I'm going through these bags much faster. And that is a problem for the environment. And while I can't completely solve environmental issues, I can make an effort to stop making the problem worse. Though I have been told that these plastic bags can be recycled with other grocery store plastic bags, I'm not entirely certain what that means. Also, I know that plastic isn't great.
I met with a few friends and tried to brainstorm some solutions. Environmentally friendly linen or muslin bread bags are expensive and they don't keep the bread as fresh. Reusing them or waxed bags poses potential problems with mold, dirt and difficulty in keeping them fresh, clean and dry. Wrapping the bread in parchment paper like the bakeries of the Old World seems quaint. Until you attempt to wrap a loaf and end up with flying slices, squished bread and foul language. Paper bags are both inexpensive and environmentally friendly. Could they be the answer? I'm looking into it.
I obviously don't have a solution, but I wanted you to know I'm thinking about it. And if you have any thoughts or ideas, please shoot me an email!