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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Yes, I Really Do Use Reusable Shopping Bags

I'm not an environmental nut by any means, but we do a few things that are green to offset what isn't.

For example, we (meaning my husband)  replaced our low water front landscaping with nearly xeriscape.  But we put in a pool.  But our water bill is less than at our old house where we had grass.

When we built our new home, we opted for the energy efficient package.  But we built a new home.

We are looking into adding solar to our home.  But we are doing it so we can use more in the summer and not feel guilty.

We recycle most of the water bottles we use.  But we use disposable water bottles.

I like to think that we take a little here... put a little bit back there.

I hosted an event for clients a few years back at our local nature preserve.  I was worried the presenter would talk about wearing hemp clothing and turning off your lights at 6 pm. 

He didn't.  He said "Hey, if we all reduced our consumption by 10%, taking into account world growth & development, that would be all we each needed to do.  You don't need to go off grid and grow your own food.  If you have to drive the soccer team, get an SUV, but then use reusable shopping bags."

So that's the big change I made.  We really do try, but the reality is, we are big ol' earth consumers.  We do more than most but not enough.

But something is better than nothing.

The shopping bags have really been the easiest thing to do.

The funny thing is, that unless I'm at Whole Foods, it's always a thing.

I remember using them at Target and the cashier kept trying to ring them up.  Then he put them IN a plastic bag and put the light on for the manager to come help.  After I tried to explain that they were my shopping bags - "I know... cool"... he kept trying to find 'the code.'  They said ALBERTSONS on them.  Should have been a clue.  I honestly think he was stoned.... I also think that may have been his last day.  I was laughing too hard to complain, but I think the manager didn't find it quite as humorous as I did.

I also find that while at Whole Foods they will fill them to the max- because they hold a LOT- most grocery store baggers will only put a few items in them, as if they were the cheesy plastic bags. I always say "You can add more...." "Oh, I don't want them to be heavy."  "That's fine- I actually prefer to carry less bags... well alrighty then... guess that one cantaloupe is fine all alone..."

My dislike of baggers is pretty intense by the way.  Bananas with canned goods will actually make me yelp.

I know this because I did.  "Well they are both heavy."

I've NEVER left the grocery store with unbruised bananas, unless, like a crazy woman, I've carried them out on my own.  Throw my kids in the bag but do not mess with my bananas.

But back to the bags....

It is quite the conversation starter.

"How do you remember to bring them?"

Well, I have lots of them.  I keep a stash in the trunk of the car.  It's really just part of the routine.  I forget them about 10% of the time.

"I would never remember them."

Put them in the front seat?

"Those are so cute!  Where did you get them?!"

Here.  They are right there for $1 behind the cashier.

"Oh look- it's those bag things!"

I think they are called bags...

"Hey wait- you get a discount because you use your own bags?"

Yes.  So you are kinda buying those crappy plastic bags every time you shop. 

"Don't they get dirty?"

Yes.  But we have a magical potion called soap & water that cleans them.

"That's so cool that you do that!"

Sure.  I am cool.  I am super hipster chick.  Not.

But I truly am surprised at the attention they garner.  They are bags. My friends in NYC always had their own.  It's really not a big deal.  Most foreign countries use them as well.

They are bags.

Today I found out that I get extra perks on the gas bonus points!  Woo hoo!

So my eco-friendly bags help me fuel my V-6 AWD car.

Again, the balance and irony of my life continues.

Today I was at a store I don't frequent and I commented that with the gas perks, I was surprised that more people didn't use them.  The clerk as me where I was from  so I replied "Whole Foods."

But to be honest, I am surprised that more people don't use them.  I don't know if people aren't aware that most stores give you a 5 cent credit-- which isn't much, but it also means you are PAYING 5 cents for those crappy bags (and I say crappy because when we do get them, I use them for pooper scoopers when walking the dogs).

I'm not preaching- I'll save that for putting the carts back in their place-- seriously, people, what the hell?  put the freaking carts back in the corrals-- but if you have a few bags that you've accumulated, I highly recommend making it part of your shopping routine.

Yes, it's supposedly eco friendly, although I don't see how big a factor it makes (20 bags a week will not reverse climate change) but honestly, they are so much easier to use.

They don't sever your arteries when you have 3 on your arm as you walk in the door, purse falling off your shoulder, dogs jumping on you and your family asking "Do you need help?"  They hold a ton more crap making it easier to carry in your groceries.  You can save a little money.

They are also, apparently, a great way to start up a conversation with strangers who will think you have your crap together. 

Anything to perpetuate the myth, sounds good to me!

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