Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bag Lady

Meet my canvas bags. I love my canvas bags because they are so handy, durable, and personally mine. I use them all the time, and I try to keep them in the car so they are ready to hold everything. We use them at the grocery store, farmer's market, garage sales, in lieu of a diaper bag for adventures, for anything & everything. You can buy some fancy-schmancy bags that might be more your style at Reusable Bags, and gain some great information like a form letter you could send to your government officials to implement a plastic bag consumption tax.

Here's my bag line-up:

Free w/membership

Free w/membership

Teacher's Goodie Bag

Left behind by a 6th grader

Promo @ The Body Shop

Free w/membership

Book of the Month Club

Gift Bag

Art's Tour

Free w/membership

Garage Sale find .50

Free @ birthing class

Giant Ikea Bag, which holds all the above bags.

Box of bags & Bag of bags

But look at the last picture. Even though I'm very diligent at always using canvas bags, you can see that I have a brown paper bag filled with other paper bags, and an old kitchen bag box filled to the brim with plastic grocery bags. BAGS! Ughh, we still end up with too many bags. If I forget a bag at the store, I always refuse one of theirs and just carry the items in hand. Most of the time the checker is shocked, "Are you SURE you don't want a bag for that?" And unless I've bought a bunch of little dibble dobbles, "I'm sure". We reuse the plastic bags to pick up Jolie's poop when we're out & about - otherwise a shovel works just fine; and we use the paper bags over & over again.

My Bag Goals:

1. Send a copy of this letter to my appropriate government officials concerning a plastic bag consumption tax, and to follow up as needed.

2. Redouble my efforts in not accepting bags of any kind. Be like a boy scout and always be prepared.

Check this out, in "An Inconvenient Truth," Gore states: An estimated 500 billion to one trillion plastic bags are consumed world-wide every year. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 12,000,000 barrels of oil are required to produce the 100 billion consumed annually. Furthermore, paper bags are no better than plastic. Paper bag production delivers a global warming double-whammy -- forests (major absorbers of greenhouse gases) have to be cut down, and then the subsequent manufacturing of bags produces greenhouse gases. In short, carry a reusable bag and when asked paper or plastic, say neither... (pgs. 315-316).

I don't know about you, but those are C R A Z Y numbers to me. This is consumerism gone umuck. Aren't disposible bags exorbitant?


At 7/28/2006 12:58 PM, Blogger KleoPatra said...

Ugh, i really detest plastic bags. They are always floating everywhere... flying in the air in front of me creating hazards when i drive or ride my bike, stuck on tree branches, sitting in garbage cans, empty...

I also use canvas bags, in fact i have about five of them! I give them as gifts as well and hope family and friends use them...

I do get plastic bags on occasion but like you, try to limit bringing them home, instead carrying items out of the store either by hand, in one of the canvas bags or in my backpack. keep my plastic bags in a Trader Joe's brown bag under my sink and those get used for Mattie's "business" at hand, so to speak. Those are crazy numbers. Gross.

At 7/28/2006 4:59 PM, Blogger Dori said...

I never really thought about the bag thing, but wow the numbers really say something. You will see a few less plastic bags in that number now 'cause I intend to put my collection of canvas bags to work. Great post. Thanks for the inspiration!

At 7/29/2006 12:16 PM, Blogger Dori said...

I just stopped in to tell you I was inspired by the bag numbers and environmental costs of them again. So much inspired that today I went shopping and realized my cloth bag was not large enough, so I hand carried the rest of my goods and will be getting a few more bags to put in everyone's vehicles. My kids will soon be refusing bags too. Thanks so much for all the information you have posted on your blog and now the new one. Even though I might have watched the movie, I probably wouldn't have checked it without the easy links you have provided.

My day planner has quotes on each week. This is last week's quote, "The test of morality of a society is what it does for it's children." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

At 7/30/2006 1:09 PM, Blogger Melody said...

I do the canvas bag thing too... We do use plastic bags when we walk our dog..... hmmm... I have to figure out an alternative.

I think I need to train her to poo more in our yard.. she's a punk though... and often refuses to poo on our yard... she's so neurotic.

At 7/31/2006 1:23 PM, Blogger JAM*tacular said...

I enjoy your blog! This one and VegetarianFamily. Actually, didn't I see the body shop bag in a recent post over there?...

It's lovely to see someone all riled up about bags - excellent rant :) On the occasions that I've left my bag in the car, I too have encountered the shock on a cashier's face when I say I don't need a bag. I assure him/her by telling them I have a bag in the car, "I will be ok. I'm sure." So silly :P

:) Mikaela

At 8/03/2006 1:16 PM, Blogger Crystal & Ryan - CafĂ© Cyan said...

Great bags! We've started using them over the last year and also keep them in our cars. I'm also in the boat where they ask "paper or plastic" and I say neither...it's going in my purse or I'm carrying it!

Any plastic bags we have are reused as packing materials at Ryan's work instead of styrofoam pellets. Unfortunately, I can't control what the receipients do with them, but hope they reuse too.

Thanks for letting us know about the letter.


At 8/03/2006 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I just point out that you have 13, that's right 13 bags or more.

Are you aware that the production of cotton is abosorbing up to 60% (60%!!!) of surface unsalted water?
Do you seriously need 13 bags? Free or not, having excess is wrong on the environmental point of view. Tha fact you leave in your car (of all places: inert mass means consumption of gas!) stuff that could be used by others means more bag have to be produced for others to buy.

Sorry to be nasty but I do not think that people jumping on boat of the anti global warming even understand most of the issue or are just looking at some of them.

I mean, insn't this consumism? Isn't this exactly what is leading us to the distruction of the environment?

Do you know that any American person consumes 10 times (10 times!) the amount of water per day of an European? Not 10 times the amount of someone in Nigeria. 10 times the amount of a wealthy European. USA is the country that wastes the most: having more than what needed is putting it on display is not a good way to promote a better environmental conscience.

At 8/04/2006 1:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here are some links that I believe will be interested

At 8/07/2006 1:59 PM, Blogger Village Mama said...

Yeah to your anti-plastic bag post! Here's a published article I wrote on this same topic:

While vacationing in Florida in '04 I would always take our cloth bags to the supermarket. When I handed them to the elderly gentleman who was bagging groceries he said 'I've worked here over 30 years, and I've never seen anyone bring their own bags.' That made me so, so, so sad. Even sadder, when he offered to get someone to help me to my car, and I said I'd walked he'd just about fell over that I was going to 'lug groceries, by foot, to our rental unit'.

At 10/27/2006 2:19 PM, Blogger Village Mama said...

I just HAD to tell you how often I think of this particular post because I sooo love my canvass bags too. This time I actually browsed the link to the plastic bag consumption tax letter. It will be on my list to dos before the new year, and it will be the basis of an upcoming post. Have you sent your letter yet?
How are your efforts regarding not accepting plastic bags of any kind?

Happy Weekend Vicki!

Your solidarity sister,

At 10/27/2006 2:46 PM, Blogger Village Mama said...

ode to your post:


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