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September 30, 2007

Time for us to Tell Plastic Bags to Bag it.

"People are getting increasingly concerned with global warming and how our lifestyles contribute, and plastic bags are a true culprit in the problem."

Dscn3582 So says, Lisa Wise, executive director of The Center for the American Dream a Maryland based agency that promotes responsible consumerism in recent article.

Bloghers Act Canada launched their year with downsizing the packaging in their lives. It's a behavioral thing that can be learned and unlearned. They are promoting the learning part and it will take constant reinforcement.

In the NY Times today is an example of how fast we can unlearn:

"She moved to the United States from Germany seven years ago, Angela Neigl brought with her the energy-conscious sensibilities of life in Europe. You drove small cars. You recycled every can, lid and stray bit of household waste. You brought your own reusable bags or crate to the market rather than adding to the billions of plastic bags clogging landfills, killing aquatic creatures on the bottoms of oceans and lakes, and blowing in the wind.

But, alas, there she was Friday morning, lugging her white plastic bags from the Turco’s supermarket, like everyone else, figuring there was no fighting the American way of waste.

I admit, I felt that way as well, especially on days when I'm at the checkout counter and my bags are back in my trunk. Sande Hart changed that for me last week. She announced to the meeting of about a dozen women what she does when she forgets her bags, she asks the bagger to put everything into the cart and then she puts all items in her car or in the bags in her trunk. What a simple and great idea - and not to mention an example of peer pressure at work. Go Sande!

It would only take me doing that a couple of times before I'd remember to bring my bags into the store. As one of the above articles reminded me, plastic bags are used for literally seconds and then their life use is over - from cart to car and car to cupboard. Surely we can rewire ourselves to do better. If they can do it in Europe, we can do it here.

Or look at it this way, it's not getting rid of a bad habit, it's opening up closet space.

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