Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Wee Bit Greener

Yesterday involved such exciting things as grocery shopping--but I took a moment to try and be a little kinder to the environment: I bought reusable grocery bags.

This has been some time in the planning. I remember first seeing a complete and utter lack of grocery bags in Germany, when traveling there nearly ten years ago. It seriously threw me for a curve when I realized I'd bought all these munchies and my backpack was already full. The only grocery I know that does something similar in the US is Aldi --where you're welcome to help yourself to the cardboard boxes stuff is coming out of to load your stuff, but bags are 5 cents. Generally though, I'll admit to being lazy and taking the bags as they are handed to me. With many retail stores, I think there's a mentality of needing to take the bag-- as proof of purchase and to make the store security a little less antsy that you're slipping something past them. But the groceries generally see things pretty well supervised. We pile things onto a conveyor or other spot, things slide into a holding space, we --or some nice person--load things up into bags.

My local grocery here uses paper bags without handles. It's nice, I like having a few paper bags in the house, but I hate carrying groceries in from the car. There just is no good way to carry two of those bags up a flight of stairs with a heavy door to be unlocked at the bottom and the top. So I started taking a big shopping bag I had down to the car, putting the big bags in that, and hauling up the stairs for more efficiency. Yesterday, big bag in hand, I grabbed a cooler bag and 3 other little "grocery bags"--which look like paper bags with handles but are made of a thin but very durable fabric-ish material. That held a cart full of food for me, which will see me through a couple of weeks. The bags are all stored together--but they're the perfect size for practically everything and I can see them getting a lot of use. I wonder if the Wally-world check out would freak if I used one instead of the piles of plastic bags. It's an idea.

But I managed to forget pita bread--so I'm having to have a bagel I chunked up into bites with my hummus instead. At least I'm eating!

4 comments:

Jennie said...

The only annoying thing with using canvas bags for carrying shopping is that you have to carry them around the shop with you. Well, it annoys me anyway - always think people will suspect me of trying to stuff nibbles in them as I go around...
And a very good place for getting other ones are conferences - publishers just LOVE to swamp you with lightweight 'book bags'...I shop with LexisNexis and the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting.... :D

Anonymous said...

I figure Wally World will freak because they won't know what to do if they don't use the bags on the rotating thing...

Otherwise I would already be using reusuable bags - but since my one choice in groceries (other than a few small overpriced compared to anywhere grocery stores who don't carry anything) is Walmart... grr...

Hedgehog Librarian said...

Sibling-the-Elder pointed out to me that WalM does indeed have their own eco bags. They've hit the environmentalists' list for their rotating thing of plastic bags. But their bags are expensive $3-$4 USD. The ones at my grocery were .79, and I think they'll do just fine.

Hedgehog Librarian said...

Jennie--have you thought about a Flip and Tumble bag? I've looked at them--maybe when I get a bigger purse?

But I do have several great "bags from conferences" and I have a medical friend who sends me cool bags every now and then from the conferences she attends. http://www.flipandtumble.com/