Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Bag Lady

Paper or plastic? Actually.... neither. I have my own bags, thank you very much. Yes, I'm one of those people that carry canvas bags to the supermarket. My son (who is a bagger at our local market) calls me one of those 'hippie freaks'. But I am not a tree hugger. I have been recycling for over 20 years. It really is a simple thing, once you get used to it. Where I live now, we have curbside recycling. Which is okay.... but it has actually cut down on my recycling.

When I lived in upstate New York, we had to pay for trash pickup. Jim and I were living in our first home. Money was tight. He had a pickup truck. The dump was about ten miles away. It was just logical that we would haul our own trash to the dump. Our dump had a great recycling center. We recycled newspaper, plastic, aluminium, tin, glass, styrofoam, junk mail, plastic, cardboard..... And the more you recycled, the less you paid to dump your trash. I had an entire recycling center in my basement. I recycled everything possible.

Then we moved to Florida in 1994. Curbside recycling. Awesome! They gave us a little plastic container. What the heck? Oh, wait a minute. I can only recycle plastic, aluminum, and newspaper? That's it? Oh well.... And Texas is the same way. Oh sure, I could go find a recycling center, but I don't. I recycle everything that is picked up at the curb. But we don't have a truck, I don't have a basement, and so that's it.

About those grocery bags.... I do recycle plastic grocery bags. I would stockpile them and then drop them off in the bin provided at the store. When I would remember them. And they make great pooper scooper bags when you walk your dogs, too. But I really do hate those plastic bags.... It is such an obvious waste. So when our supermarket starting offering these nice big canvas bags for sale, I bought one. Each week, I would add another. Now I have five. Enough for a grocery order. And I love them mostly because they are sturdier than the plastic bags, so I can pack more groceries into them. And I can sling them over my shoulder and carry the stuff into the house when no one is around to help.... and I don't have all those plastic bags accumulating. So it's a win-win situation, right?

I do worry about the environment. I try to do my part, but I'm certainly not about the give up my air conditioning, and I don't want the government to start regulating stuff which is going to cost lots of $$$s to people who can't afford it (including me). But I do little things... and I'm doing more of them. Now, if only manufacturers would go back to cardboard boxes instead of those awful plastic shells that everything you buy is packaged in!! Puhleeze..... they are a pain to open, and I can only imagine the mountains of plastic in landfills from packaging.

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