Thursday, May 10, 2007

One plastic bag at a time

Ikea is no longer putting the things you buy in bags. Plastic bags to be specific. If you want a plastic bag you can buy them. I think they cost like 5 cents a piece. The food store at the end of my block has a bin where you can recycle your old plastic bags. In fact I’ve seen that at many food stores and that’s been going on for a couple of years. It’s a good place to start.

Suddenly in the news there has been many stories about how people can go green. A cover story in Time, a story in USA Today, reports on the major network news broadcasts. Slowly but surely the information is getting out there on what each one of us can do to help this planet last a little longer. One important thing about all of these stories is that there are little steps that people can do to make things better. Too often in the past the message has been there has to be this huge drastic change in everyone’s life style or else the world is doomed. Yes and wouldn’t it be great if tomorrow stores didn’t have any sort of bags; you’d have to bring your own. But that’s not going to happen. There needs to be many options for people to choose from. There has to be the option of a great leap but also the option of taking small steps.

Am I going to go out and buy a cloth bag to do my shopping in. No probably not. I use the plastic bags to throw out the deposits from the cat box. But what I have done is be more careful about when I get a bag. Many times after I work out I get a bottle of chocolate milk to drink. I don’t need a bag for that so I don’t get one. Most of the time when I do the grocery shopping I use the self service lane for checking out. I make sure the bags are well packed. I also don’t put the laundry detergent or a container of milk in a bag because they have handles on them. Many times when I’m shopping especially if I’m coming home from work I have my backpack and put things in that.

Now if you want to save on plastic how about using less of it to seal stuff in. Ever try to get into a CD. It is in a plastic container that is then sealed in plastic. Why??!!!! And then there is that damn annoying strip of plastic at the top. Why not just use the plastic strip at the top. In fact I think in most other countries that’s what they do. I once bought a family pack of paper towels. There were 12 rolls in a big plastic package. Once you opened the package each of the individual rolls were also in plastic. Again why. By just some simple common sense steps think of how much we can conserve. And it starts with one plastic bag.

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