Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Plastic Bags (and polystyrene) can stuff it, part two

I’ve written about these two topics before but it’s been awhile and it’s worth repeating. And I’m a recycler, including topics.
            Plastic bags and polystyrene, the stuff of plates, fast food cups and packing peanuts, makes me cringe.   
            At a recent dinner, I ranted a little about how much we consume and how I get tired sometimes about stressing over each of my actions. I wonder if it even matters that I spend time and energy putting my words and hopes out here for a healthier, conscious world.
            Someone wisely said, ‘it may not always be easy, but it should be simple.’ We should be proactive about reducing consumption, like those insidious plastic bags at stores that are pushed at every turn. Bring your own bags. Make it a habit. It’s simple.
‘But dangit,’ I said, ‘stores also need to train their employees to use less plastic.’ Last week, in a store that kind of rhymes with ‘Margret’, I saw a cashier place one (foam) carton of eggs in a plastic bag and hand it to the customer ahead of me. Why did those eggs need their own bag?
            In a store that rhymes with ‘plier,’ I was buying two half gallons of ice cream for a birthday last year and I handed the cashier my cloth bag, who then put each carton in its own plastic bag and into my cloth bag before I could speak up. More unnecessary plastic in my hands.
            Last week, not wanting to cook, I ordered takeout for the family from a favorite independent restaurant downtown. The food was phenomenal, but opening up the EIGHT foam containers wasn’t. I felt so guilty.
            My life would be easier if stuff was streamlined and compact, not bundled loosely in bags and foam that are terrible for the earth and that I have to deal with. Because you know that I’m going to store all this…stuff…in my basement and garage until I can take it to the only place in Indy where it will actually be recycled. Most recycling services, including the one servicing Noblesville, can’t take polystyrene.
            Most recently my friend Stacy said I’d be proud of her. Her recycling bin was stuffed and when she peered into her garbage bin and saw it had one small bag of garbage, she thought of me. Aww!
            Recycle on!

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