I’m not smarter than you and I’m sure I’m not more organized than you or more concerned for the health of our planet and it’s inhabitants. I’ll bet you look at pictures of landfills full of plastic and the plastic “islands” floating in the ocean with as much horror and sadness as I do. So please don’t think I’m bragging or showing off. I’m simply mystified…
I stand in line at the local natural foods store every week and see people spending a lot of money on healthy organically grown food — and then carry it all home in plastic bags. Their produce and bulk grains and beans are all in plastic bags, too. Why is that?
I read that in Ireland (or was it San Francisco??) they got people to stop using plastic bags by charging a nickle a piece for them. Holy cow! Having to pay an extra 20 or 30 cents for a grocery order was incentive enough to change the way people behave – but all those pictures of dead turtles and whales and birds didn’t do it! We humans are a very strange lot, aren’t we? I’m sorry if that sounds condescending and snarky, it’s really more that I truly don’t understand – because I know people sincerely care about our planet. I know most people care a lot. You all love and care for your kids and your pets and are kind to strangers and love growing things. Most people work at being unselfish and loving and wouldn’t think to throw trash out their car windows.
For more than 30 years I have been carrying cloth bags in my car along with nylon produce and grain bags (all pretty easy to find and buy these days). I have a couple very old squashable nylon bags that I carry in my purse because they are really light and take up hardly any room and I always have them with me, just in case. Getting ready for a shopping trip means getting my list together and an appropriate number of bags. It only takes a minute.
I remember not that many years ago it was challenging to use my old canvas bags because checkout people made grumbly noises about how hard they were to fill – they just wouldn’t stand up… they were a hassle. I smiled and apologized and brought them anyway. Now – check out people take cloth bags in their stride, and they often smile at me. So why do so few people use cloth? It’s not the cost, because you can buy big sturdy bags from every big store for only a dollar or so. Why, then, do the checkers in our natural foods stores still ask “paper or plastic?”??
I’m not trying to shame you – if you are someone who hasn’t yet quit the plastic bag habit. I’m just mystified…
Here’s a dead whale story, if that helps….