1/22/10

Earth Friendly?

How do you feel about disposable bags? Do you have a preference for paper or plastic? Do you prefer to avoid the whole mess all together, and just use your own?

I don’t know if this is a New York city specific thing, or if it’s something that you all are beginning to notice too, but I’ve seen that people are being really conscious about saying no to plastic or paper bags from the grocery store. This goes from people who simply take the merchandise and stick it into the bags that they’re already carrying (purses, backpacks, strollers, what have you), all the way to those who re-use old bags from home, or use cloth bags.

This is in sharp contrast to what used to be my experience back in the day. The worst offenders were those high-end clothing stores at the shopping mall. They’d first fold up each garment. Then they’d wrap that garment in paper on both sides. Then they’d wrap all the garment types (shirts in one, trousers in another, etc.) in a stack in more paper. Then the whole shebang got wrapped in still more paper. Then it’d go into a plastic bag. Which would then go into a paper bag. Which would then be stuffed with more paper. The clerks were lightning fast at doing this, but sheeeeesh. Just as soon as you’d get home, those reams of trees would go straight in the bin, and you’d hang up the clothes.

But now, a lot of clothing stores are being careful with how much waste they create, and will neatly stack your clothes into as few bags as possible. At the grocery store or hardware store, the clerks are (rightfully) careful to ask, “Do you want a bag for that?” if it’s a small quantity. And people (rightfully) reply with, “No no, that’s fine. I’ll carry it with me!”

Is this a trend you’re noticing in your city too? Speak up, rest of the world! I know it’s not just New Yorkers who are conscientious!

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