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Monday, August 18, 2008


Paper, Plastic or Canvas?

Most people who really know me would not think I would be one to use a canvas bag while shopping at a grocery store. After all, I believe the hysteria over Global Warming/Climate Change to be a hoax/scare tactic meant more to destroy capitalism and advance socialism than to actually Save the Planet.

But there I am carrying my green-colored, "green" canvas bag into Publix to carry my items rather than accepting the paper or plastic line at the checkout lane. And I do this proudly, with my head held high, offering no apologies to any who might think I'm foolish or denying my beliefs or stupid-looking carrying around my own shopping bag.

You know what, I don't care! Let me explain my grocery shopping habits. I live alone, except for my Luna dog, and I eat most of my meals at home from food bought at the grocery store. I don't keep a large supply of foodstuff at home because I'm not a big eater, I never know what I might feel like eating and I don't want to have to throw away spoiled food.

Besides, I pass many grocery stores on my trip back and forth to work, so stopping into Publix everyday or every other day for a few minutes is just not a big deal to me. Now, spending an hour or more walking through the crowded store aisles trying to load up a cart with massive amounts of food, cart it to the car, unload into the car, and then unload into the house and then into the refrigerator or pantry really does bother me immensely. So I would much rather make many short trips than one extended one.

And during these short trips, I find it much more expedient to go through the Express Lane than the unpredictable Non-Express Lanes. :<) Therefore I never buy more than I can carry in my arms or no more than 10 items per trip. I have behaved in this manner for 20 years or so and I'm not expecting to change my behavior anytime soon. And every trip of less than 10 items would always generate at least 2 and perhaps as many as 3 or 4 plastic bags for me to carry the stuff home in and then, what to do with the ever-mounting plastic bags.

Some ordinary uses for these bags I've discovered include putting them inside small trash cans, like in the bathroom, picking up Luna's dog poop from someone else's yard, which my dog does very rarely and accumulating them in a large trash bag and taking them back to Publix for their recycle bin. Duh! What a waste!

It occurred to me that I was the perfect type of shopper for using the canvas bags that Publix began offering for it's customers, at a price of course, but still dirt cheap. So my friend Shannon got one of these bags for me, since I always seemed to forget to get one for myself when I was at the store, and I have been a satisfied user ever since.

Of course, there are times when I simply forget to bring the bag into the store with me, even though I keep it in the back seat of my car for that purpose. But I'm changing my habits and remembering most of the time now. I almost even took it into Winn Dixie with me the other day, but decided maybe I shouldn't carry a competitor's bag for use in their store. I'll probably even get over that one eventually. After all, what counts is that I am not using any further resources in the way of bags, right?

I still do not believe in man-made global warming but I have recycled my paper, plastic and aluminum for many years already, the cities in Alachua County make that extremely easy. But I also do not believe in using resources, any resources, unnecessarily. I am conscious of my own footprint, not carbon-related, but feel it is wrong to waste things when it is not necessary.

I simply pay attention to what I do, what I use, how I affect my surroundings in a subtle, conservative manner. That seems only right to me. So adding the use of a bright green canvas bag for grocery shopping is a perfect fit for me and I am happy to be doing it.


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