Thursday, June 27, 2013

A solution to plastic bag clutter

When I lived in Madras and Bombay, I never really faced the 'plastic bag clutter' issue. I used and re-used cloth bags and very rarely accepted plastic bags from the stores. Carrying your own bag was the culture and it made sense. A little bit of inconvenience made a big difference to saving the world. So we all sucked it up and carried on.

Plastic has a different story here in the United States. I feel like I have to take double the thought and effort to save my home from getting submerged in a flood of plastic (so convenient) or paper (oh so pretty) bags.

Oh-kayz. Look at this basket of shamefulness.These are not the values I want to be imparting to S.

A and I finally have a solution to plastic bag clutter (and this might seem so 1990 to those of you who are already doing this!):

Say no to bags. 
End of story.

We shifted our hoarder attitude to a purger attitude. 
You never know when you'll really need it...someday
We don't need this, we have a better alternative.

Storing plastic bags so "we will reuse them someday" only adds height to the plastic bag mountain.
Storing paper bags because "oh they are so pretty and I'm sure we will use them to give someone something." only takes up valuable retail space in my apartment.

The check-out guy in stores usually asks me at the end of my purchase. "Paper or plastic?" as though this is a binary decision. I bought a ceramic bowl at Home Depot yesterday and turned down the paper wrap (a ream of paper to cover the fragile bowl) as well as the paper bag and decided to simply carry the bowl home. As is. 

I swear, while I was walking out, people looked at the bowl as thought it were a streaker in a tennis match. Running nude across the department store, with no care or shame that it was wearing absolutely no clothes. No paper wrap, no paper bag. Ohmigoodnessgracious! Call the cops! The Indian woman's stealing a bowl!

It's been just a week since A and I became resolute in our decision to turn down bags. We keep a cloth bag in the car and the stroller. We already feel great. 

My next plan is to launch phase 2 in a month's time:
Say no to plastic.
End of story. 
I know. Scary, right? But don't tell anyone just yet.

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