Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Granolas are Good For the Earth

Operation Hottie by July is going swimmingly. I managed to follow a strict diet and exercise program over the past two weeks and as a result I have lost two pounds. I did manage to gain two monster zits on my chin but at least they don’t appear to weigh much.

On a totally different subject, I recently began shopping with re-useable canvas bags. Yes, canvas bags; just like the tree-hugging granolas that my roomates and I used to make fun of in college!

The irony; it is not lost on me, I assure you.

So, why am I using reusable bags, you ask. I experienced an epiphany of sorts during a program at my woman’s club meeting several weeks ago wherein it was presented to us that the average shopper disposes of ten non-biodegradable plastic bags per shopping trip. Those bags go into our landfills where they spend eternity, never biodegrading, and all.

Eternity. Thats like...forever.

And, since I consider myself to be an above average shopper; I calculated that I dispose of at least fifteen bags per shopping trip which, when averaged over the course of one shopping trip per week, four per month, fifty-two per year, etc., etc., meant that I was personally responsible for….a whole hell of a lot of plastic bags going into the landfill each year and I asked myself, is this the legacy that I want to leave for my children? Yeah, not so much.

So, I purchased five canvas bags from papernorplastic.com and I have been using them exclusively ever since. At first, it was a challenge simply to remember to grab them from the back of my car before I entered a store but, now; it is like second nature.

And, in all honesty, the hardest part of the whole experience was convincing the cashiers at the Hellmouth to bag my groceries in the canvas bags. However, once I volunteered to do the bagging for them, they were a lot more enthusiastic.

I know; imagine that!

That’s ok, though because, now; I know that I will not return from the market to find my bread pinned underneath my bananas or my tampons bagged with a leaky package of chicken breasts (true story). In addition, the canvas bags hold more groceries, they are easier to carry and I never have to worry about them splitting down the side; spilling my oranges into the parking lot and forcing my off-spring to scramble about madly underneath parked cars in an effort to reclaim them before they become orange juice (also a true story).

In short, I have embraced the reusable bags like a long lost lovah and I would encourage you to do the same. It’s good for our environment and it won’t turn you into a tree-hugging granola; I swear.

Of course, if you really want to gather ‘round the campfire and braid each other’s hair as we sing Kumbaya, I’m totally up for that, too.



  1. I think that's great!

    Here in Redneckville, USA, I would probably be detained for "stealing" if I left with canvas bags that I wasn't purchasing. I may have to look into it though. In addition to the landfill issue, I think those plastic bags reproduce at my house. I always find them in random places after I think I've thrown them all away.

    But I did notice that paper sacks are back! At least they are at Kroger. I like those because I can use those for other things like wrapping packages before I send them off in the mail.

  2. I agree, it is much more environmentally sound! I have been thinking of looking into canvas bags and you may have just talked me into it!!

  3. By the way, you inspired me to write about grocery sacks today, so I've given you a shout out on my blog. :)

  4. Anonymous10:32 AM

    Volume/load wise, what's the comparison between canvas & plastic? You use 5 canvas bags, how much of your weekly shopping do they hold?

  5. Brian,
    I can get the same amount of groceries into the five sacks that I could into between twelve and fifteen plastic bags. Partly because the canvas bags are so much wider, deeper and more sturdy and partly because I am bagging my own groceries and I seem to be able to organize the canvas bags far better than the cashiers could organize the plastic bags.

  6. I will look in to this. I'm finding my brain waves are flowing in the hippie direction also lately.

  7. Good job. I have to do that. For a long time, I didn't mind the plastic grocery store bags, because I saved them for poopy diapers, but we are now past that stage and so I no longer need those. Thanks for the link.