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Category Archives: environment

Just say no….to plastic bags

It’s funny how back in the day I used to call anyone who showed any sort of care for the environment a “hippie”, because these days I’m as big a “hippie” as almost everyone I know, and continue to move in that direction more and more.

For instance, I was very happy to see this news story today that San Francisco is passing a law to ban plastic grocery bags. Supposedly the ban would save nearly 450,000 gallons of oil each year from being used in their manufacture. I realize that is a literal drop in the bucket, but it’s something. I’m glad to see that some environmental causes these days can be marketed to garner the support of the “right wing” by pointing out how something can “reduce our dependency on foreign oil” (one of Mr. Bush’s favorite lines). Nothing more patriotic than that!

While none of my readers live in San Fran (that I know of), we can all take a similar step. Last year I purchased a couple of canvas bags from my local grocery store (Heinen’s) for literally a couple of dollars, and just take them in every time I shop instead of using up new plastic bags. And at Heinen’s, they actually credit you a few cents each time you use your own bags, so after a few visits to recoup the initial bag expense, you’re actually saving money. I also have a bag from Trader Joe’s which enters your name in a monthly raffle for free groceries every time you use it.

If you’re really cheap and don’t feel like shelling out a couple bucks to buy a reusable bag (hey, I’m famously cheap but even I bought some), some stores, such as our local Heinen’s, has a recycle bin at the store entrance where you can recycle your old bags. I’m not sure if all bags from all retailers are recyclable, but we save all of our bags at home and take them up there once a month. It’s very easy and doesn’t cost anything. I can only hope that other cities, such as Cleveland, will follow San Francisco’s lead and help push along global recycling efforts.

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