Posted by Tim Stobbs on March 13, 2009
So is it just me or did people finally wake up to throwing away a few billion plastic bags each year can’t possible be good for the environment? I mean the Walmart by me now is accepting their bags back for recycling. Then I’m seeing just about every store has some kind of reusable shopping bag for sale. Heck some places have banned them while others have fees on them.
So the question is with all this critical mass on getting rid of them can I live a life without them? I decided for the last week to give it a try. Previously I had not used plastic bags for most of my groceries but I still got the occasional one during a shopping trip. So far so good I have yet to use a bag for a week now, but I have learned a few important lessons.
- You must tell the clerk you don’t want a bag. I mean just about everyone I see puts stuff in a bag before you can speak, so you have to make sure to say it right away to avoid a plastic bag.
- You must make sure using reusable bags are easy for you. I personally got a second set of bags so I can leave one by the front door of my house, one in the car and one in my bag I take to work. I notice I used to tend to get plastic bags when I kept forgetting to take my reusable bags with me.
- Make sure you have some washable bags. I used to keep thinking I needed some plastic shopping bags when I get the odd thing that is potentially going to make a mess when I transport it. Then I realized if you have a bag or two you can wash you really don’t need a plastic bag for potentially messy jobs. If a mess happens just toss it in the wash.
- You have to make the change of habit. More than anything else I just have to get in the habit of not using plastic bags. I know that half the battle is in my own head.
Now some people like to say “Oh, but I NEED a plastic bag for X.” Really? So what did people do before we invented plastic bags? My point is saying you “need” something is just avoiding getting creative on finding another way to deal with the problem. I’m not saying it is going to be easy, I’m just saying you likely have another way to avoid that bag.
So how about you? Do you still use them all the time, do you try to use reusable bags or are you a full blown plastic bag free existence?