Thursday, October 12, 2006

I-Don't-Need-a-Bag Lady

[climbing up on the soapbox]
Yes, I am a tree hugger. I care about the air we breathe and the water we drink, and I want to be able to appreciate the beauty of our natural surroundings for years to come. Those of you who know me know that I recycle obsessively, but a lot of people forget the reduce portion of the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle equation. It's harder for us to fathom this since, unlike many other nations, we are never asked to pay a nominal fee for items like plastic bags and ketchup packets, but reducing the amount of things we consume means less energy is used to produce more, and there is less waste - how many of you have seen plastic bags blowing in the wind? It kinda looks like urban airborne jellyfish.

There are really simple changes to behaviors to reduce consumption. Next time you go to the grocery store, try not to take a produce bag for items that don't need it. If you are walking around the corner, ask the clerk not to double up shopping bags on non-heavy items. In fact, bring already-used bags, a cart (they're trendy now!) or a sturdier, reusable bag. I saw a lot of people in Sydney with green canvas totes specifically for this purpose. Refrain from taking plastic cutlery with your take-out if you have reusable forks and knives handy. If you're getting a drink at a fast-food restaurant, try to drink it without a straw and a plastic cover. If you buy one item at a store and you already have a bag to put it in, chuck it in your existing bag sans new shopping bag (word to the wise - make sure you take the receipt!).

Repeat the mantra after me - I don't need a bag.

Thanks for listening.

[dismounting from the soapbox]


shanna said...

Well, duh. :)