I think I need to pick up the pace of this green tour… we’re still at the entry. The entry plays a big roll in one of the most important steps we’ve taken: getting off of plastic bags.
That Was Then
Many years ago, when I was a nanny in Takoma Park, MD I went into a secondhand store in the area. I bought a large handbag and a shirt. When the cashier asked me, "Would you like a bag?" I automatically replied "Yes please." She said "Are you sure you can’t just put the shirt in the purse?"
This is Now
Today I can barely believe that was me. Now, I…
- …bring reusable bags on all planned shopping trips (including produce bags).
- …carry an oversized handbag that has extra space for purchases OR
- …carry a foldup nylon bag when using a small purse.
- …tell the cashier “I have my own bag” or “no bag please.”
- …only buy what I can carry if I forget a reusable bag.
Get in the Habit
After several different failed attempts at making sure I had reusable bags when I needed them we decided to use a hook on the back of our front door as the home base for all the reusable bags. Now we always see them on our way out and we’ve gotten into the habit of putting them back after emptying them so we always know where they are. I see so many of my friends and family getting plastic bags all the time, and I cringe every time but (mostly) keep quiet since I would prefer to be an example instead of a lecturer. If you can get a system that works for you and get in the habit of bringing your own, it’s really not a hassle, I swear!
Why it Matters
I recently wrote about why I don’t want to use plastic, which includes both health reasons and environmental reasons. I see over and over again that the two most important steps we can all take to make a huge impact on plastic pollution is to stop buying bottled water and stop taking plastic bags. I just saw a new online resource by GrowNYC that says “New Yorkers discard nearly 2,000 tons of plastic bags every week.” Every week! (Source).
Please, Give it a Try
It may be impossible to never get another plastic bag, but you can have a small celebration in your head for every plastic bag that you avoid. Okay, maybe that’s just me. You could also try to set a goal for the year and see if you can stay under it. That’s what Val of Greenfeet does, and she knows a lot about plastic bags.
Now don’t go throwing away the plastic bags you already have! Head over to Some of My Best Friends are Plastic Bags! on Fake Plastic Fish to find out why.