joy magnetism: Those darned environmentalists

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Those darned environmentalists

Magnet #684 - Recycle Reuse Rejoice

How pretty is this magnet? I picked it up during our Yale trip a couple of months ago, at their B&N student stores. It's made of wood, painted, and totally bedazzled. Superdupercute.

So here's the thing. I don't claim to be an environmentalist, a hippie, a save the earth type. I don't volunteer for anything worthwhile, I end up leaving as many lights on as possible, and I only fleetingly consider my carbon footprint.

In fact, I'm a pretty cynical thinker, when it comes to thinking that any amount of free speech, peaceful gatherings, ad campaigns (blue or green), passing of laws/regulations, or levying of taxes will actually, in the end, save the earth.

And yet, I remain convinced that the little things help.

A friend of mine was in a grocery store earlier this week, and she'd brought her own grocery bags. And when the cashier was trying to figure out how many bags she had to work with to bag groceries, the crotchety old man behind her was all grumbly about "damned environmentalists and nonexistent climate change."

While it's a little funny (albeit just plain rude, no matter what age you are), do you really need to be all grumbly when someone's just trying to do their part to help the environment? Bringing bags is the wave of the future, man.

For example, starting this year, DC's charging five cents a bag at their grocery stores. It's a great idea that serves to proactively lessen the amount of bags that end up in their landfills, as well as to raise revenue to help clean up the Anacostia River. A river, by the way, whose trash is almost half made up of plastic bags. Dang.

So, yeah, now everyone's gotta get used to toting along those supercute reusable bags to the groceries.

Know what's funny, though? I can't help it. The cuter it is, the more I want to spend the $2.99 to buy it. That's compounded by the guilt from not having remembered to bring my own bags to the store.

Which is why I totally have a dozen such supercute reusable bags sitting in my apartment right now. So while it's lessened my inevitable trash outside, it's also increased my overall footprint. Lesser of two evils, I suppose.

Oh! Right now, my favorites are those Elizabeth Haub Foundation bags from Food Emporium/A&P - great bags, nice art, and even funner colors.

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jen said...

That old man is mean. I like bringing my own bags to the store. But the problem is: Don't people use the plastic ones for trash? What happens when you run out of those? Buy baby trash bags?

joy said...

Yep. I love only some bags - the Food Emporium ones are great because of the handles, and it carries more.

And, sometimes, I just go ahead and ask for plastic, because I totally reuse them for trash. And, that's how I justify getting them, because 1) I'm reusing again, and 2) I'm not just throwing it into the Hudson.

That study they did in Anacostia? People were literally throwing away their McDs and Wendy's bag right into the river. WTF?