Friday, February 20, 2009

In Commemoration of the 100 Year Anniversary of My Midnight Whim to Eat Cinnamon Bears

Mrs. Olsen is fortunate to have a blue recyclable container at the house. I channel my pioneer essence of frugality and thrift by keeping out from the trash: plastic syrup bottles, soda cans, cereal boxes, soup cans, milk jugs, junk mail, more junk mail, newspapers, and catalogs.

Yet there's a few things that the recycling centers can't or won't allow me to put in my pretty blue bin: plastic grocery sacks.

And yet, those suckers are every.where. In my house I had a nest as big as a curled-up Vanilla Wafer (age 3). So after lining my bathroom garbages with my shopping leftovers for years, I finally learned why these bags are taking over my house, as well as my planet: they're sooo extremely cheap to produce (about one penny per sack), and they're soooo very expensive to recycle ($Four-Grand for about $32 worth of plastic).

So Mrs. Olsen keeps waiting, and watching, for her many neighbors and consumers to ditch the bag and carry re-usable sacks like this:

" I'm eccentric and cool because I love Trader Joe's"
or this...

"Eccentric weirdos can kiss it. I'm taking frugal to the next level at Sam Walton Incorporated"

Is it possible when she gets that inkling in the middle of the night for chocolate covered cinnamon bears, that she's not left with a plastic sack that will sit as a 100-year memorial to her midnight whim?

But for now, with every jaunt to the market Mrs. Olsen inevitably remains one of the 2 out of 50 shoppers with re-usable sacks. So out of curiosity, I have to ask...


**Please make sure to click on the link above, embedded in: "And yet, those suckers are every.where." for some fascinating sack stats**
To purchase garbage liners that will biodegrade, click here.


LGH said...

You're cool AND Green!

Wade and Marilyn said...

You should see them litter the beach.

Monica said...

I'll just shop more at Sam's Club and carry all my groceries to the house two items at a time, with no bags at all. Seriously, though, it is a shame. I will try to do better.:(

paula said...

I always learn something when I visit your blog. I was thinking of purchasing some reusable grocery bags or even making my own with all the fabric I have here at my house (that I will probably never use). Plus-I think if I only used these recyclable bags, maybe I wouldn't buy as much food eh?

Jenny said...

I try to use re-usable bags. The trick is having them handy once you arrive at the grocery store. I often forget them! I need to get in better practice.

A year ago we decided to stop using paper napkins and use cloth instead. It has been so nice!

earwaxtasteslikecrayons said...

I have reusable shopping bags. I just don't have them when I go to the store.

I definitely prefer paper bags, but most checkers don't even give you the option anymore. And if they do, they usually say, "Plastic okay?" while already thumping my groceries into the sack, thereby rendering me unable to ask for paper, as it would cause inconvenience to another human being and that is apparently something I avoid at all costs.

Reusable bags--going in my van today. Promise.


Mrs. Olsen said...

We can do better. We must do better! [enter hero music]

Paula, you could make some great bags I'm sure. Sew some up and let us have a peek.

Kelly B said...

You guys out west need an ALDI's. You take your own bags as many times as they can hold up. Or you actually pay for paper bags.

I would need 30 fabric bags easy for all of our groceries, so I haven't made that investment. But I reuse the plastic ones at least five or six times- until I start having cans of refried beans drop on my toes!

Bridget said...

After you empty the reusable bags, put them in the trunk of your car. Then you always have them, even if you are just running into the store for a few things or on a whim (like candy at midnight). And instead of trying to recycle those bags, you can donate them to schools, consignment sales, yard sales or drop them in the little box by door of the grocery store (if you have them- they are all over hear). And don't feel too bad- here you almost get scorned for not having them- even if you just FORGOT because you were running late and DIDN'T put them in the trunk- so it is catching on!

Mrs. Olsen said...

Bridget, thanks for the tip. I have heard several reports that the grocery stores that take drop offs for sacks actually end up tossing them. Most big recycling centers don't incorporate their plastic, and they cost more to recycle than they do to produce.

Unfortunately in my woods, no one gets scorned for forgetting their reusable sacks. I am totally in the minority here!