Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Plastic Overload

On my US trip recently, I shopped a fair bit (for me, that is). I bought shoes, socks, clothes for the monster, crepe bandages, Hello Kitty bandaids, apple TV, and hair bands. Of course the duty free booze.

I had one empty backpack checked in. Since my husband was not around when I left, no one could complain about the stupidity of checking in an empty bag. He would have somehow tried to squeeze it into my pullman (despite the impossibility of it, he would have tried, and somehow tried to blame it on me when it did not fit). Also, the pullman is fairly small and it was still not fully filled when I left from here. Yes, I have finally managed to jettison extra stuff on my travels and manage to travel fairly light most of the time.

In New York, where I have spent many memorable half-days at my friend's apartment in Queens, usually to and from somewhere, I have my routine fairly set. He has cloth bags coming out of the pores of his flat. The nice grocery bags that you buy over there. I sling one on my shoulder every time I step out of his flat, even if it is just to the starbucks down the road. You never know. This time, I discovered why he has so many bags. Apparently, he punishes himself when he goes grocery shopping and happens to forget to take a bag. How? By making himself spend on buying a cloth bag. Nice idea, eh? I love it!

Anyway, this time, he suggested I just take my backpack. Since I have to pack stuff in it anyway finally. Super smart. So we went all over the place to the runner's store and to Children's Place and to a pharmacy and so on and stuffed everything into my backpack. I brought back three pairs of running shoes (for various individuals, mind you). I would have had worries about whether they would all fit in my luggage for the way back, so this was really a great idea. The monster's clothes and matching hair band and so on were of course really irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Not a single bag did we take at any store. And, the best part, once we returned home, I spent five minutes rearranging stuff in the backpack and did not open it out until I returned back home here five days later, after going to Pittsburgh and back again and so forth.

It has become an easy habit, to carry bags whenever we go out to buy anything. Grocery, veggies, booze, clothes, library books, books, all have their allotted bags. Nilgiris gave me 1% off for bringing my own bags. I am beginning to like Nilgiris, they sell these green trash bags, which they claim are a lot more biodegradable than the regular ones (may or may not be true, wanted to test it out in my garden, but the time scales are still too high), at least its an effort. And now the 1% off, which is nothing to scoff at, I think. Fresh@ has these notices everywhere saying bring your own bags, but no one really follows that advice. Which is why the girls there always sing to me when I do so.

So feeling all perfectly saved the earth single handedly about it, I opened a kitchen cupboard.

And found.

A Million Plastic Bottles. Juice. Have We Really Drunk That Much Juice In Just Five Months?

I think I am still wayyyyyy negative; although I carry water from home now when I step out of the house, I have a long way to go. Surely. I kid you not, I can build a house out of those bottles (probably should, idea not my own, read it in Judy Moody).


choxbox said...

1. A chap actually made himself a floating island from empty bottles.
2. Yay to cloth bag lovers!
3. Yay to Judy Moody lovers!

Sands said...

I like your friend's idea of buying a bag each time he forgets to take his. Will try that. I can never remember to carry the bag when i go shopping or I am going there impromptu and don't have the bag with me :(

Anonymous said...

When is your West Coast trip happening?

Did you buy one from Whole foods.The one that says I used to be a plastic bottle.

U know what, we do what we can? Bringing bags is awesome. I have the library bags and costco bags. The rest sometimes I forget..:(

kbpm said...

chox- I think I could do that that too!
Sands- It is a great idea. At some point our guilt at unnecessary monetary expenditure will kick in!
asaaan- West Coast? Not in immediate future. My trips are so short usually - pop in pop out. Lets see, maybe in 2010, something in Calif turns up for me!

wordjunkie said...

Other things that can be made from plastic bottles..
1. light fixtures (low heat emitting CFLs wonly)
2. Lamp bases
3. designer clothes
4. jewelry
5. toy boats
6. probably real boats also, given the right tools