You know how every so often you have an idea that you cannot believe you didn't come up with it earlier? Well I had one of those a couple of months ago.
I like to imagine that I'm pretty environmentally aware for the average person*. I use modern cloth nappies. I've always been committed to recycling as much as possible. While I still have too many clothes, I tend to wear things until they're really dead (which makes the whole refashion from my own wardrobe thing a bit complicated). I try to buy things that have a lower environmental impact than some of the alternatives, in terms of processing and packaging. I've boycotted Nestle since first year uni (which has it's challenges - they keep buying brands without me realising, grrr). But there's still a whole lot of room for overhaul, as I am regularly discovering!
Like butter. Until recently, we used an olive oil based margarine for all of our spreading requirements. Then I had an epiphany. Marg comes in plastic tubs that I assume can be recycled, whereas butter is wrapped in a small piece of greaseproof paper. Which I assume is also recyclable. So aside from the recent research suggesting that butter is not as evil as we'd been led to believe (and marg is far more so), it's a much better choice from a packaging perspective.
Implementing the change was easy. I toddled off to the local homewares shop and bought a mini casserole dish for $5 which seemed far more suitable than the official, much larger and much more expensive butter dish. It doesn't fit the whole block, but that's a good thing around here because we're notorious toast crumb leavers! This way it gets cleaned out regularly ;-)
*I'm in the process of re-evaluating this self-perception in light of the genuine low impact live-ers floating around blogland.