January 26, 2008

Continued Adventures in Going Green: No Paper No Plastic

I have taken one more step to go green: I have ditched paper and plastic supermarket bags in favor of reusable sacks. I was apprehensive at first. I thought that reusable grocery bags were the province of granola heads. However, here in Southern California, one has to go pretty far to be a granola head. I'm talking powering your toaster with your bicycle, growing dreads down to your waist, and rubbing your armpits with pumice stones for deodorant. Reusable grocery bags are very popular among all kinds of people here.

So I took the plunge some months ago and bought two bright green reusable grocery bags at the Ultimate Yuppie Palace, Whole Foods. The bags only cost $1.99 each. I received a third bag, made of canvas, at a green business event.

I'm really happy with the switch to reusable bags. The bags, which don't look that large, easily expand to hold many items, are very strong, and are very easy to carry. One benefit that I hadn't thought of is that every supermarket I take them to gives me a discount of at least five cents for each bag. The bags have already paid for themselves. I know this is important to Republicans, who don't like to do anything to save the planet unless it's pocketbook-neutral. One trick I use is to give all three bags to the cashier no matter how few items I have, so that I get a fifteen cent discount every time.

A second effect of switching to reusable bags is that I have become very aware of all those paper and plastic bags stacked up and being used by others at the checkout counter. I think about all the trees being cut down for the paper bags, and all the oil being used for the plastic bags, as well as thinking about where all those bags eventually end up. I'm glad that I am no longer contributing to the problem, and I'm convinced that the reusable grocery bag trend makes sense for everyone and will continue to become more popular.

As Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes says in the film "The Aviator,"

Wave of the future. Wave of the future.


At 5:29 PM, Blogger Aileen said...

Come to think of it, I'm getting tired of the dozens and dozens of plastic bags shoved under my sink, and in cabinets...waiting to be used again.

Sounds like a sensible idea to me.

At 8:18 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

Another benefit!

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Barbara said...

I actually bought 10 bags at Trader Joe's at $1 each. Now I just have to remember to take them in with me. Inevitably I am in line to check out when I realize they are in the car or worse yet back home waiting to be loaded back into the car. It's just another routine to establish. You've inspired me to get this going.

At 7:38 PM, Blogger Chrystina said...

My friend Laura "creatively recycled" her burgeoning pile of plastic grocery bags into a new, reusable one. Check it out! Plastic crochet!


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