Thursday, March 09, 2006
pic care of www.sfist.com
For awhile now I've tried to be as environmentally conscious as I can, but it's a tough battle when we live in such a throw-away society. I've never really been one to buy the disposable cleaning mops/cloths and have tried to avoid buying those items caked in layers and layers of needless packaging (I distinctly remember my grade 12 geography teacher telling the class that any time he purchased something with excess, unnecessary packaging, he'd open the product at the cash and leave the garbage behind). But this stuff is so convenient it's hard to get around it.
Many things irk me about all the crap we throw away, but the biggest beef for me right now is the problem with plastic bags. Most times when we buy groceries, we bring with us several canvas bags and back packs so we don't have to shove yet another plastic bag in our Ikea caddy under the sink. It's already bursting as it is. It annoys me all to hell when I go to a store and they want to put one item in a bag -- I buy a pack of gum and cashiers reach like zombies for a bag (on top of that the receipt for this pack of gum is a mile long which can't help the earth either...). What makes it tough to stick with the canvas bag regime is when you decide to buy something while you're out for something else and you don't have a bag handy. I have to get one of those bags that folds up into the size of a playing card so you can put it in your purse. That way I always have something with me.
Another beef is the coffee cup - it seems to have become almost a status symbol -- millions of people buy coffee everyday only to toss their cup in the nearest bin (...or on the ground, or as what I witnessed two weeks ago, on the floor of the bus...). I have to admit I've been very guilty of the coffee cup conundrum. I have a travel mug but it's so big -- how is it possible to keep it with you all the time? My purse (bag) is already stuffed with books and a cellphone and a pda and pens and notepads and tampons and change and a wallet... it takes me half an hour to find my gym pass. What I need to get is a collapsible coffee mug that doesn't take up as much room.
I don't really know where I'm going with this - I guess only to say that we need to be more conscious about what we're buying and how we're bringing it home -- and we all need to get bigger purses so we fit all this reusable stuff.