Paper or Plastic

With the bans on single plasticbag use in some of California’s grocery stores, other states will also be following the trend, making it illegal, beginning January 2013, to pack your produce in plastic. Why such drastic measures on the use of plastic bags? It is all in the name of saving the environment, being eco-friendly and forcing us to use the more easily recyclable, 15-cent paper bag or the reusable dollar priced bags the stores offer every time we grocery shop.

So why are so many people so cranky and upset over this change that may help our planet to survive? The number one reason is simply because we hate change; especially when we have been doing something one way for such a long time. The second reason is because we resent having to pay 15 cents for paper, or a dollar for the reusable eco-friendly bags.

But let’s be honest, there are yet other reasons that we are irked by this inconvenience—reasons that we may not care to admit (except maybe to our therapist). It is upsetting that we will no longer be able to have readily available plastic bags to toss out the cat litter or dog poop or line that little wastebasket in the bathroom. But, I think there is another reason we are having trouble making the change.

When we do try to do our part to save the environment by paying a dollar for reusable bags, nine times out of ten, we forget to bring them into the store with us when we go shopping. Therefore, we end up buying more dollar-priced bags, and before we know it, we have enough eco-friendly bags to fill a Mini Cooper! So, I think it is time to get more innovative in creating additional uses for these bags that are so often forgotten.

Here are a few things I have thought of that I will share with you for no charge at all, because I’m tired of all the griping from you “plastic-bag dependents.” I have discovered that they are great for carry-on items when traveling, trick or treat bags on Halloween, shoe storage in small closets and even gift bags for holidays and birthdays. They can be decorated for any occasion, and people will think it was thoughtful that you cared enough to give them an eco-friendly grocery bag, as opposed to using paper that took the life of a tree. They are also useful for making doll clothes and fabulous for moving!

However, there is still the issue of forgetting the bags on the kitchen table where we left them as a reminder, and then we end up having to buy yet another bag. Good habits have to be formed, and with repetition, they will become second nature. Simply put a post-it on the dashboard that says: Don’t forget the reusable bags. If you still forget them, then tell the cashier that you would like the groceries to be put in your shopping cart without being bagged. They cannot refuse, because you paid for the groceries. Just make sure you hold on to your receipt. So stop whining, and stop making your bags emotional baggage. Get smart, get creative and bag the bad attitude.

by Geri Jewell

Articles in the Push Girls Issue; Senator Harkin — Working for Jobs; Ashley Fiolek — Switched at Conan; Paralympics — Better Than the Olympics?; ABILITY Award — Accenture and Prudential; DRLC — Affordable Health Care Act Benefits; Billie Jean King — Bouncing Back; Joint Replacement — Hard as a Bone; Tourette’s — A Friendly Fil; Geri Jewell — Paper or Plastic; China — Exposing the World; Push Girls — Living Large; Marathon — Horses Help Vets to Heal; John Williams — He’s the Man; ABILITY’s Crossword Puzzle; Events and Conferences…


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