Sunday, January 4, 2009

Testing the Waters...

When you go swimming do you inch your way down the steps, arms akimbo, or do you dive right in? I'm a toe dipper, myself. In many ways that's my usual approach to life. I tend to ease into things and in keeping with that modus operandi, I'm going to start off this potentially controversial blog with something easy -- reusable bags.

Until fairly recently, I, like many Americans, brought home several plastic bags with each trip to the grocery store. Even though I use at least one a day when I scoop the cat's litter box, and occasionally re-use them for other purposes, I still ended up with vast quantities of these bags stuffed in a kitchen cabinet. There is no place to recycle them here in our little town so I was at a loss as to what to do with the surplus.

I knew that many of my online friends, particularly those in the PNW, had been using reusable bags for their shopping for quite sometime but none of our local stores sold these (they do now, I'm pleased to report). In discussing this on an email list, a friend offered to send me some. She sent me three from Trader Joe's and one from Whole Market. And I will refrain from expressing the envy I feel for those who live close to either of these markets. At least in this post.

I began taking these bags into the grocery store with me and foregoing the paper or plastic choice at the register. I got some confused looks at first but I would just smile and say I was doing my part for the environment. I was generally pleased by the responses I usually got and now I rarely get questioned about it at the small grocery store I usually frequent. It was a relatively easy habit to get into and I can't imagine going back to all the plastic. My kitchen cabinet no longer overflows with plastic bags and the reusables are so much easier to carry anyway.

If you are already using reusable bags regularly, kudos to you. If you have a few and use them when you remember, that's a good start -- just try to make it a regular habit. If you've never tried a reusable bag, I challenge you to give it a try. It's a new year and a good time to try new things. Make at least one of those things something good for the environment. Our planet will love you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dee, I love my canvas bags, I do get some funny looks at different stores, and one casher would not touch them, I just unbaged her bags put my purchases in my bags and spoke to the manager.