Cut Plastic Out With Homemade Yogurt

Making your own yogurt is cheaper than buying it. (Photo: Cartela/Shutterstock)

I've been engaged in a low-grade war against plastic for the last year or so. I've tried to be conscious about where plastic enters my life so I can cut it out if possible. I'm pragmatic about it -- it's nearly impossible to live a modern life without plastic, but I have found a lot of ways to slash my impact.

I traded bottled shampoo for a bar version that is made in the next state over and packed in paper. I use a big bottle of Dr. Bronners that I refill at Whole Foods for body wash. I don't buy bottled water or soda anymore, and there has been more than one buying decision made in the grocery store that was determined by the amount of plastic used in the packaging.

I couldn't get around yogurt containers though. One of my favorite meals is yogurt mixed up with fruit, granola, and maybe the odd cube of cheese. I bought it in the larger containers in an effort to be less wasteful, but it seemed I was doomed to a long life of putting my plastic pints to the curb every week.

Well, those days are behind me, thanks to No Impact Man, Colin Beavan. Mr. Beavan is well-known in the green world for having spent a year living in Manhattan under a set of austere rules meant to limit his impact on the world. He (and his amazing wife and daughter) didn't use electricity, didn't drive, buy anything new, or eat food that wasn't grown local to the city for a year.

Yesterday Colin wrote something on his blog rehashing a post from 2007- "Do a dance for yogurt that isn't in plastic tubs" that has a stupidly simple recipe for yogurt that basically breaks down to "boil milk, let it cool and mix in a bit of yogurt". I fired up the stove last night, boiled half a gallon of milk, added in some Brown Cow yogurt once it had cooled enough, and let it sit overnight. I woke up to a big jar of yummy yogurt. I added in some maple syrup and found it to be just as good if not better as anything bought in a store.

And it's WAY cheaper. For about a dollar a quart and literally five minutes of effort, you can make your own yummy homemade yogurt. I had no idea it was so easy.

Swing over to No Impact Man for the full recipe. If you're a fan of yogurt, do yourself a favor and try it out.