Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bring your own Bags

One relatively easy way we could improve our lives and the situation on the planet is to always bring our own bags and containers when shopping for food or anything. It is unfortunate that we have allowed ourselves to be trained to go to the store with the assumption that we can just get all our bags there.

The majority of people are more or less aware that plastic bags are an unnecessary source of ugly pollution and waste, but it seems far too few of us have resolved to address this problem.

The consequences of this pervasive source of pollution are certainly far worse than we dimly imagine. Let's not sit back and wait for the government to ban plastic bags. We have been tempted and led into depending on them them, but our voluntary use of them makes us the cause of the pollution. The stores will never stop offering plastic bags as long as we keep taking them. Saving and reusing all the bags you accumulate is no solution. Since the power to solve the problem is really in our own hands, let us gladly strive to put an end to our personal reliance on these trashy bags.

The solution to the problem is really simple. The habit of going to the store without any bags or containers needs to be replaced with the habit of always carrying your own bags and containers. None of us leave for the store without wallets, keys, clothes, or even phones. Why would we leave without bags to carry the items we are going to buy?

To change this unconscious bad habit, we must mentally establish that there is no possibility of shopping for anything without bags and containers to carry it, just as you would not expect to be able to buy anything without bringing some acceptable form of money. Go out with the assumption that there are no bags or containers in the store.

It is a good idea to have a supply of attractive carrying bags made of natural material. By keeping them in likely places such as the pantry and in your car, you make it easier for yourself to remember to bring them with you.

It is very helpful to make a list of what you plan to buy before you go shopping. The list will give you an idea of how many bags and food containers you should bring for everything plus a few unplanned items.

As an aside, carrying heavy bags on foot for long distances can be a strain. I have seen but have not yet tried those pushcarts. As long as it was well-made, it seems like a good investment, particularly in a city.

It is really well worth it to make the small effort to retrain yourself and get rid of the unconscious habit of relying on plastic bags. From a common sense and ethical perspective, the concept of plastic bags is insane. We are all free to take away our zombie-like support from the plastic bag industry. Lets bring our own bags for carrying our stuff.

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