Most of us are talking about really important things like, say, environmental issues. Which is what I'd like to discuss today. More specifically, the craze over eliminating plastic grocery bags.
So this morning Gabe had a REALLY nasty poopy diaper. One of the stinkier ones in his repertoire. After changing him, (it was about a 12-wiper) as usual, I went immediately to my pantry for a plastic grocery sack to wrap the offending poop-catcher, only to find the cupboard was bare. No more grocery sacks. (This usually means we're out of groceries too, so it's time to go shopping.)
Which got me thinking. (read; ranting to myself.) These days, reusable grocery sacks are all the rage. Environmentalists and responsible citizens alike are telling us that millions of plastic grocery sacks are going to landfills and if we had any conscience at all, we'd stop using them.
There are cities banning them (San Francisco, of course!)
Blogs are in on the action, and even Maxwell brought home a Reusable grocery sack from school on Earth Day and treated me to a lecture about why I'm making a "bad choice" and I should run right down to Stop n Shop and buy more ugly green sacks for ONLY $1.50 each.
Am I the only one who is bothered by being this???
As I perused DesignMom the other day, she was mentioning various sellers of reusable grocery bags and extolling their virtues. I had to laugh. This lady has 5 kids. I would bet my first born (sorry Max) that she doesn't use these bags for her grocery shopping. Have you SEEN how many groceries it takes to feed 7 people? We're only feeding 5 at my house, and you KNOW I ain't gonna be totin' 23 reusable bags to Super Wal-mart and demanding the checker stick them on her dumb little carousel to pack my groceries into them. I don't care how "smart" they are or what great colors they come in! (No offense intended to DesignMom who has an excellent site.)
One reason all this fervor bugs me is because it assumes, wrongly, that all of us are bringing these bags home, and then throwing them right into the garbage where they journey straight to the nearest landfill choking song birds and polluting gurgling streams along the way.
First off, I personally do not throw-away my empty plastic bags. And I don't know anyone who does. When I get home from the store, I take my groceries out, tie the bags in knots, (to prevent my children from suffocating) and stick them in my handy Ikea bag holder. (Stinkin' Ikea charges $0.05 per bag now!)
Later, I reuse them.
First and foremost, they wrap up all my poopy diapers. Yes! I'm sending a plastic bag to the landfill. But I'm also sending a poopy diaper to the landfill and TRUST me when I tell you, you want that thing contained!
I use them to line the garbage cans in my bathrooms, bedrooms, and office. (Would it be preferable for me to BUY plastic garbage bags specifically for this purpose? At least a grocery bag is used twice this way.) I also use them in the yard when I'm weeding, as stuffing in boxes when I'm packing, and for a myriad of other things around the house, yard and car.
Doug uses them when he takes lunch to work,
Sam uses them for his wet clothes on swim day every week,
and Max uses them to tote toys around the house.
And we're not the only ones re-using them!
The librarian puts our books in them,
The local produce stand puts our food in them,
The neighborhood dog owners scoop poop in them,
Friends return casserole dishes in them,
and Thrift stores wrap breakables in them.
Sounds like a lot of reducing, reusing and recycling to me!
My point here is, they ALWAYS get reused by the Dub family and I'm sick of being made to feel guilty because I use them for my groceries in the first place! (end rant)
I'm just sayin', there is more than one way to skin a cat. And more than one way to use a plastic bag.
Now where did I leave that poopy diaper?
Post Script: In my days before blogging, to purge my head of these internal rants and one-sided arguments, I would have written this out into a journal or notebook where it would never be seen or read again. Sorry you have to suffer now!