Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

Tales of Empty Nesting ...The Next Chapter

Monday, October 15, 2007

Eco-Conscious Izzy

In support of Blog Action Day, I bring you the following:

My latest shopping obsession has been to reduce our plastic bag consumption. I have always envisioned giving up plastic bags but never quite got around to it. Until recently.

A few months ago I was watching some plastic bags stuck in a tree near my front window and became even more disgusted at the thought of bags flying about our landscape. I was finally inspired to take action. I purchased a cotton string bag and some fine mesh cotton bags and pretty much went cold turkey. Plastic bags are certainly a hard habit to break, though more for the shop clerks than for the buyers. I found myself having to insist that I didn't need a bag, otherwise I would inadvertently find my items stuffed into one before I could make a peep. I began to remove the items and hand the bag back, hoping that it would be reused.

Just days after beginning my private campaign against plastic bag usage, I was stopped by a news crew as I exited the Whole Foods store at Union Square. I seriously resembled a bag lady, with granny cart, string bag, tote bag and several other bags dangling from my person. The newscaster asked if they could interview me for a piece on the Today Show or some program of that ilk (the one hosted by Meredith Vieira). I agreed, despite the fact that I had just come from working out and was not looking especially fetching. The issue was too near and dear to me to remain silent.

Now, a month or so later, I just remember rambling on nervously and since I don't have a t.v. I have no idea whether it aired or not. Either way, the fact that they chose to zero in on me was a riot since I was surely a veritable poster loca for the no plastic movement.

After my brief brush with non-existent fame, I still continue to wage almost zero tolerance against plastic bags and Izzy is becoming a champion of the cause. He immediate sounds an alarm when we are shopping together, warning me of an impending plastic bag. He will admonish me if I accidentally accept one. As he watches other shoppers he is always wondering why they too, haven't given up plastic. My friend D., has supported the cause by generously giving me a set of these fabulous reusable totes by Envirosax. They make it easy to always have a spare bag with you and they are awfully cute to boot!


Anonymous said...

That's the reason I still use plastic bags at the grocery store-- it's too hard to get the cashier to not use them, and I don't want to hold up the line while I try to stuff my things into the bags I brought.

I do recycle my plastic bags and I'll bring my tote to the farmer's market where it's easier to use it. In addition to being more environmentally friendly, tote bags are a lot easier to carry than lots of little plastic ones with the handles that dig into your hands.

I'm trying to find a grocery store that has self-checkout so I don't have to deal with an annoyed cashier or a long line behind me, but I think I'd have to go to the suburbs for that.

Izzy's Mama said...

Don't let sullen cashiers and annoyed strangers hinder you. I just ignore them. I also try to have my bags ready. As with anything, practice makes perfect!