Thursday, November 15, 2007

down with plastic bags!

The internet is both wonderful and embarrassing. On another, unnamed (and ahem, unlinked) site not unlike this one, I have maintained a blog type thing for over six years now. Six. Years. Now, most of it is locked and tucked away just in case some old friend stumbles upon it and wants to read my deep thoughts on the world and cute boys at house parties. Sorry, pal. While there is some embarrassment to looking through these old entries, a scant few stick out as being...okay. Such as this rant against plastic bags, written five years ago. I'm posting it unedited.

today the girl at the grocery store did not ask, "paper or plastic?" and before i knew it my $30 worth of groceries were in SIX PLASTIC BAGS. that's six more plastic bags that i can add to my ever growing pile of plastic bags. they invade my closet and even though i reuse them as trash bags, i cannot keep up with the influx of bags. they suck because unlike paper bags, they cannot be easily recycled along with normal paper products, nor can they be used as wrapping paper, or any other useful purpose one could think of. they are so flimsy that baggers often feel the need to DOUBLE BAG, which makes the whole situation worse.

the worst is when you buy something like a tube of toothpaste and the evil earth-hating clerk attempts to throw it in a bag as you dig for change in your wallet and in the midst you notice and say, very frantically, "no, that's ok, i don't need a bag" and they look at you as if you are insane because EVERYONE ON THIS PLANET LOVES FLIMSY, IDIOTICALLY STUPID PLASTIC BAGS THAT SERVE NO PURPOSE OTHER THAN TO TRANSPORT ITEMS TO YOUR NEXT DESTINATION. and although they are sometimes necessary for that, that doesn't mean i won't continue to abhor plastic shopping bags for as long as i both shall live. the end.

Why this trip down memory lane, you wonder? I'm thinking about getting some reusable produce bags. And it got me thinking about plastic bags in general, and how even though I'm using envirosax pretty religiously these days, I still feel a bit weird about it in some places. Although maybe this means I need to stop shopping at stores like Target and only go to the co-op, where my reusable bag sparks a conversation with the cashier. But really? Some things never change. I still hate plastic bags just as much as I used to, only now I have many more options to deal with it.


tim j said...

I have to admit my newest strange object collection: the reusable grocery sacks. Stores around here sell them for $1, and I can't say no! I should have stopped when I got 5 from Stop & Shop; then I got 2 more from Shaw's, Hannaford and a big durable plastic one from Price Chopper. When Shaw's introduced an insulated variety, I got two -- one for each car. (when the grocery store is 15-20 miles away, those come in handy.) I now collect them from different stores -- I even swapped one out with my mom's local store when I went to visit. It's a weird habit, I know.

We went to Super Walmart (shhhhhh don't tell anyone) last week, and we used re-usable bags for the groceries. The cashier gave me a weird look, and was obviously upset that she had to use them to bag, even though Walmart now sells these bags to use in their store.

Those produce bags look awesome -- but I have been tending towards not even using any bags for some of the bulkier things like peppers, onions, zucchini, etc. People who use a bag for one giant butternut squash...confuse me. I will certainly consider getting some produce bags.

Can you get milk in glass bottles out there? (with a deposit) Just curious.

e said...

Hah, do you actually use all the bags you collect? I have 5 envirosax, and one of them I haven't used at all yet.

Ech, Walmart. They're one of the places that think more bags = better service, I bet.

I mostly use produce bags for greens and cilantro and such. Anything with a skin doesn't need to be bagged. Wait, that's a lie...cause I bag apples and peaches sometimes too. Ooops. But NEVER bananas.

I haven't seen milk in glass bottles....though I would love that. I feel like glass bottles are more romantic. Ha.

tim j said...

Yes, I (think) I do! It's easier when there's a household to shop for. I do have this great tendency, though, to bring them in the car, and then leave them in the car. We do our shopping about once every 2 weeks (aside from a quick stop for eggs or cream) so we'll have a lot of bags. Did you notice that envirosacks actually hold about 10 times more stuff? That part is great too.

And -- no lie -- I once went to Walmart and got 3 bags for 3 items. It was a pair of slippers, a jug of apple juice, and a loaf of bread. I rebagged it all in front of her while she gave me a dirty look. I'd rather not shop there, but it's honestly our only option! It sucks.

Greens definitely need bags, but yeah, the general rule of thumb is skin means no bag. We usually go to a produce market where you can just throw everything into your basket and then pack it up in an old produce box.

And you're completely right -- milk, cream, and other dairy in glass bottles is much more romantic. Washing the bottles is no big deal, and you get your dollar back when you return them. I remember when I was a little little kid, we actually had a milkman. This was 1983, however.

e said...

I want a milkman! A milkman who brings me local milk in glass bottles! My apartment building actually has these little doors that were specifically for the milkman, but they're all locked up now. :(