The Clean Hippie

Seeking the sustainable life in New York City

Does it look like I need one? July 30, 2009

Filed under: green angst — Alden @ 4:35 pm
Tags: ,


I remember the first time the whole plastic bag thing clicked for me. I was like…. 14? I remember thinking, hmmm plastic bags are made from oil. Maybe I should not always get a bag for everything. A few years later, the reusable bag craze hit. Yup, I’m a visionary.

It irks me so much how bag-happy many places are still. (I’m looking at you Duane Reade.) You go up to the counter with a toothbrush, hand them your card, and take just a wee moment too see why your phone is buzzing, and they’ve stuck your toothbrush in a bag. Sneaky little suckers.

Thanks, I couldn’t have handled getting it home if it didn’t have handles on it. I also couldn’t have fit it in my ENORMOUS purse that could hold a yorkshire. At least some places ask you. But more often then not I find I have to be vigilant. Hand them my card, pull out my fold up bag, slap it ostentatiously down on the counter, and then, as they reach below the counter, pounce. “No bag please!” Often they look at me with confusion, and then resignation, like “Who the f is THIS girl?”

Yesterday I was in my local grocer, which in all other respects is lovely. I saw a new little sign. “Help us to stop using plastic bags! Please purchase reusable bags. Free bag with purchase over $50.” I smiled, inwardly applauding. I handed my little fold-up bag to the bagging girl. She packed it full, I took my receipt, and I started to walk away. “Wait miss!” The cashier called out. “You forgot your free bag!” I stared at her. Seriously? I obviously already had one. Plus four more at home.

Some other cute little boutiques give out reusable bags now. But if every business starts giving out material-intensive bags instead of plastic ones, well that kinda defeats the point, right?

Sigh. Being green is soooo tough.

Click here to sign global petition to ban plastic bags.


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