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Friday, February 1, 2013

Don't Forget Your Bags!

I try, as much as possible, to "do my part" where the environment is concerned.   The parable of the man on the beach, tossing starfish back into the sea runs through my head when I think of how overwhelming the attempt to be environmentally conscious is with huge corporations, unenlightened (or unwilling) countries and behemoth automobile owners undoing everything that I do in less than a second.

Having gathered several reusable grocery bags over the last few years, I made an attempt in 2012 to really commit to using them.  Here are a few of my strategies to make sure I follow through:

1:  I have a bad habit of forgetting my bags in the car.  I used to just say "Oh well, next time."   But next time, became next time and then next time... and I'm sure you get the picture.  My youngest son took Tai Kwan Do and every time someone was late for class, they had to do push-ups.  It wasn't punishment, but a "reminder exercise."  So my "reminder exercise" for forgetting my bags is to walk back to the van and get them. Simple enough.  Unless I've already started putting groceries in my cart.  Then my "reminder exercise" becomes a little more complicated.  At that point, I have to make a pact with myself that I will not use any bags at all.  I will load my groceries in the cart and transfer them to my car a la Costco!  I've gotten some weird looks and have given in to the cashier's pity offer of one bag if I have lots of small items BUT it's one bag instead of seven.

2:  Don't bag your milk.  At my grocery store, the cashier sometimes asks if I want my milk in a bag.  I always say NO!  Because if they bag it, they're not just going to put it in one bag, they're going to put it in TWO bags because gallons of milk are heavy and cause those little handles to rip right out of your hand and no one wants to clean up after a busted milk jug.  So, I actually keep two bags out of the landfills instead of one when I JUST SAY NO!

3:  Recycling the bags is a great option, unfortunately, if I take the bags home, they get used.  Mainly, for trash bags for my little garbage cans.  I've been struggling with this one because trash is, well... gross and I don't want to have to touch it.  The most logical thing would be to not use the grocery bags in the small cans, then empty those into my large kitchen garbage.  I researched this (ie, typed it into the google box) to find that some even suggest not using can liners for the large kitchen can either.  At that, I simply closed my eyes and repeated "I saved that one, I saved that one," not letting the OCD monster take control.  Anyway, I think I might be able to get away from the small can liners (grocery bags) by running the small cans through the dishwasher once a week (month?) or so.  Now to convince the family...

4:  Another weak link in my reusable bag effort is getting the bags back out to the car so that they're available if I do, indeed, remember them at the store.  Nothing's worse than accomplishing something like remembering your bags and opening the back door only to realize that all of the bags were dumped on top of your washing machine after the last grocery trip.  I began putting the bags right beside my back door, under my keys and am training myself to see the keys and look for the bags.  Intentional, intentional, intentional!

Some of these things may be second nature to a lot of folks out there and they probably would be to me too if I didn't have one thousand and one other things that I have to think about and execute every day!
I LOVE these!

So, join me and Don't Forget Your Bags!  Lots of places sell cute bags so you don't have to go into one grocery store carrying the competitor's logo AND you'll be Environmentally Chic!


Find these at Baggu.com for only $9 or less if you buy more than one.


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