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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Those of you who know me well know that I'm pretty far from being one of those tree-hugging, bleeding-heart, hippie liberals. But as I get older, I start to feel more like a full-fledged citizen of the world, and as a result, I feel the burden of responsibility to make this a better place for everyone. I've sponsored a child through Compassion International since I was in college (she recently graduated from the program, got a job, and started taking technical classes, so I've gotten a new child). I also donate every year through my company's giving campaign. No, these dollars don't change the world, but giving a little more happiness to someone with a difficult life is always a good thing to do. I urge those of you who are not contributing to charity to find some causes that you believe in and give time, money, whatever. It only takes a quick search to find something you'll think is worthwhile.

Those of you who know me know how cluttered my living space is. =) That's where this whole blog entry got started... one day when I was looking around my kitchen and saw all the plastic bags that I'd been too lazy to pick up. Yeah, I reuse plastic bags as trash bags and lunch bags, but I don't use them nearly as fast as they come in. So I started looking around and found a recommendation for Reusable Bags. I purchased a basic set of shopping bags, including 2 long-handled bags, 2 short-handled bags, and 4 produce bags for $20. The bags are great for groceries, hauling food to work, etc. I found the produce bags to be less useful because they aren't replacements for the bags you use at the store, being neither waterproof nor transparent. They are great dirty laundry bags for traveling or the gym, though. =) Another big challenge is remembering to have the bags with you. I try to put them back in my car as soon as possible so they'll be available anytime I go shopping. Seattle's a pretty green city, so if you stick your bags in your shopping cart or basket, every single cashier knows immediately what they're for.

Especially with all the stuff in the news about a possible 20-cent fee for non-reusable bags. Time to start getting used to the cloth bags, cuz it's only a matter of time before this happens everywhere. I recently put in an order for even more bags, including two of the brown ones pictured above. These hold way more and will be great for taking to the Saturday market once that starts up again in May. I read a great suggestion for using cloth bags as "wrapping paper" for gifts to save on paper and encourage family and friends to use reusable bags. I love this idea. Wrapping presents sucks.

Oh yeah, my CSA of choice for this summer is Helsing Junction Farm. We'll see how it goes!


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Comments (3)

Science Nerd:

I like your bags. I have cruised that site several times and never actually got around to ordering any. I'm still making due with a wad of plastic bags that I keep in the trunk of my car. It works fine until you open up the trunk on a windy day and have to chase them down. :( Recycled cotton is great because cotton requires lots of fertilizer and pesticides so it's one of the more environmentally-damaging crops out there. Might as well keep the stuff in use as much as possible once it has already been produced.
As for water-resistance, have you looked into recycled PET? I don't think they last as long as a durable cotton or hemp canvas but they can be repeatedly recycled.

Otis Beagan:

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Great stuff as usual...

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