Baggy Old Bag

Despite the title, this entry was not posted by Our Favorite Amphibian. grok grok. I am *obsessed* with bags these days. And bottles and bicycles too, but we’ll start with bags. Back in the day, when the Beach Urchins were munchkins, there was a little recycling push around the Planet Ann Arbor. You have to know that The Planet has been picking up recycling off the street since the Jurassic Age. But this involved bringing your own grocery bags to the store with you. You’d get something like two cents (or was it five?) for every bag that you re-used. I was *religious* about toting around old grocery bags for a long time. I even bought some of the cloth bags the stores were selling back then. They were okay but they got yucky and when you washed them, they lost their sizing (go look it up) and got all floppy and eventually they’d get scattered around the house and certain people would abscond with them and fill them up with tools et al. And then life got *insane* for a number of years and I was lucky if I could get *myself* to the grocery store intact, let alone grocery bags. And most the American public, including many Planet Ann Arbor citizens (think Forsythe Middle School Lincoln Navigator gals et al), was not seriously on the bandwagon (heck, what was gasoline then? sometimes 99 cents a gallon). I gave up!

I’ve been trying again. It has taken me since at least last summer to get to the point where I *regularly* arrive at the grocery store with my own bags! And I have been *thanked* by everyone under the sun, including the Meijer greeters, for using my own bags. I was never *thanked* before, so I’m thinking that maybe the American public is finally on the bandwagon. Maybe? I dunno. What worked for me was to assemble a bag of bags, if you will, for each of my vee-hickles and put it in front of the frong front passenger seat. That way, I see it when I’m getting out of the car. If it’s in the back seat or the trunk, I *will* forget it.

Anyway, I’m getting pretty good at it, so what’s next?

Ziplock bags, maybe. I *love* ziplock bags. I won’t stop buying them. But I think I might start re-thinking those plastic containers for storing leftovers or marinating things or whatever. Yes, they get yucky. But it takes a couple years. And, hey! I think it might be better to replace a container after a couple years than after one use. Really, you don’t have to keep those for 20 years, like I’ve been trying to do all these years. And I never have been one of those people who re-uses their bread bags but we won’t go there.

Bottled water? Hmmm. Every once in a while, I want water in the afternoon at work. Now, we have a bunch of well-stocked vending machines that include bottled water in their array of products for maybe a dollar-25 or so. I actually *bought* those bottles *three* (count ’em) times before I realized, “Hey, I have a perfectly good Edmund Fitz coffee mug here that isn’t yucky because I clean it *every* day before I go home (I *am* a mom, fer kee-reist) and why can’t a blasted coffee mug hold tap water. To drink, you know.

Bike to work? This is a *great* idea. I have seen some people bike to my office park this week. They are running a gauntlet though. I have figgered that the only way I can personally get out there, at least without extreme difficulty, is by one or the other of my vee-hickles. At eight miles, it isn’t bike or pedestrian friendly. And the bus doesn’t even go there. And then there’s my second job as “homemaker”. I usually have errands to run either on the way there or back. On the other hand, my employer is forward-looking enough that it allows telecommuting. As a new employee, I don’t see myself doing that any time in the near future but maybe someday that might be an option for me and other responsible cube-type workers.

In the meantime, those who can and are willing to bike to work, this week and every/any week, YOU GO!

Oh, the flowers in the pic link to some foggy type pics I took on my walk this morning, so click here or on the pic to see those. iPhone stuff.

5 Responses to “Baggy Old Bag”

  1. Jay Says:

    We have had cloth bags around for a while, but the remembering to take them in was a problem. Now Seattle is considering charging a quarter for each bag that you get from the store, either plastic or paper. Anyway, Carl has gotten much better at remembering bags and I got him some of the flat bottom variety that stand up better with lots of stuff.

  2. jane Says:

    I work not too far from Anne and it’s true — biking to work would be treacherous. I have started thinking (especially as I drove past the $3.95 sign last night) about the combo bus/bike option. But I haven’t figured out how many buses that would entail – at least 2. But a scooter – now that sounds totally cool! That’s more likely to happen.

    as for bags to the grocery store — I have the same remembering problem. Heck, I have a hard time remembering my returnable bottles – and that gets me money back. Harry has been very good about reusable bags for many years. But as we all know, I’m not nearly that organized.

  3. Webmomster Says:

    Yeah, I have something like 3 (paper) grocery bags FULL of returnables that I keep forgetting to – well – RETURN. Part of that “forgetting” is that the local Kroger “bottle room” smells disgusting and the floor is so sticky it’s like walking on a glue trap…

  4. kayak woman Says:

    I agree about the bottle rooms. On a bad day, the smell makes me gag. Fortunately, we don’t drink a lot of stuff that comes in returnables, so I only have to make that trip occasionally. Also, when scout troops et al do bottle drives, I am always glad to donate my bottles to them.

    Also forgot to mention yesterday, that the new sturdy plastic bags that a lot of grocery stores are selling (for like 99 cents) are very helpful. Like Jay says, they stand up better.

    Occasionally, I actually have to put my groceries into *new* paper bags at the store just so I have some bags to put various recyclables in for curb-side pickup.

  5. Valdemort Says:

    Mom and I are both biking to work this summer – weather permitting, of course! Well, biking is my only choice at present, because I’m staying with a friend ~1.5 miles north of campus and the only place I can legally park is ON campus! : D

    Unfortunately, I have a bad habit of letting junk build up into shambling mounds and when I go on a purge streak (well, at least it’s not a binge!), the bags that have been sitting around in my possession tend to get jettisoned. I should ask for paper more often. Too bad grocery stores these days use phrases with a psychological approach that makes it easier than ever to pass off the plastic bags on customers. : /

    Or they just don’t ask at all!