Posts Tagged ‘reusable bags’

Nine months now into the La Marguerite blog, and I forgot the green bags again. If I, out of all people, still goes blank about the bags, what does that say about the rest of the population?

The North Karelian Experiment came to my mind. I can write and talk about green until I am blue in the face, but if the environment is not there to support me, not much is going to change. As long as the ‘Paper or Plastic‘ option is available, there is a part of my brain, that says the hell with all your green tirade.

It’s the Environment

Paper or Plastic’ represents one more piece in the Not So Green Exposure Project. The day Whole Foods ceases to provide the delinquent receptacles, I bet you, I will suddenly, miraculously, remember to bring the green bags.

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Still preoccupied, I ended up in the 10 Items Only checkout lane, with double the amount of allowed articles, and the realization of the green bags missing. What to do? I was so tempted to succumb to the plastic bags. But then, I remembered the images from the ‘Synthetic Sea’,

and my green conscience would not let me. I let the people behind me go ahead, after apologizing profusely. And I retrieved the green bags from my car. That will be two less plastic bags for the fishes and the birds.

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Late night errand at Longs drugstore. My basket was overflowing, and I realized at the checkout counter, that the thought had not even occurred to me, to bring a bag with me. We are such creatures of habits. The green bag for Whole Foods, yes. But for Longs? Of course, I redeemed myself by declining the clerk’s offer of a plastic bag. And walked out, with my arms full of toiletries.

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Waiting in line at Whole Foods checkout counter. Thoughts:

‘Shoot, I forgot the damn bags again. I have the red Trader Joe’s bag in the car. I could go get it. That probably would not be enough for all I got. Plus I am tired. Don’t feel like going back to the car. I really should. (Clerk asks me the ‘Paper or Plastic’ question). ‘Plastic. Lets try to put everything in one bag. The rest I will carry’. Not bad, at least I am limiting the damage. If I had not said anything, it would have been two extra plastic bags for each gallon of milk, and a paper bag for the soup. I give myself a B.’

This is the kind of scenario that plays in my head, over and over again. I am constantly bargaining, berating myself for not being green enough, then I try to make up, some other ways.

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I am a Green Girl Wannabe, an habitual green sinner, no longer looking for redemption, but solutions to help me sin less and less. My attempts to look inside have only succeeded in making more conscious. They have done little to change my natural behaviors. I am thinking of the overwhelming majority of other folks who are just like me, and the immensity of the problem. And I keep going back to the need for external controls.

From now on, for every admission of green sin, I will have a ‘What I need’ comment. Each time, I will imagine and share a type of external control that would help curb this particular behavior. Example in point. Yesterday, I was at Whole Foods, without the green bags again. That’s when it really hit me. On my own, I just can’t do it. I need something more drastic.

What I need : No more rescue with free plastic bags. Whole Foods needs to stop giving away the bags. Instead, they need to make it really inconvenient for me, and ridiculously expensive. They should only offer the green bags, the recyclable bags that cost a dollar each.

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‘Chassez le naturel, il revient au galop’, the French saying goes. I looked it up in my French-English dictionary. ‘What’s bred in the bone will come out in the flesh’. What’s been bred in my bone, from birth, is a propensity to consume, and waste, and a disregard for the laws of nature. Yesterday, I became keenly aware of that reality. I was trying to accomplish lots, and in my haste, convenience became paramount. The green bags at Whole Foods, forgotten, not in the car. The drying the clothes on the rack, no time for it. I wanted to take care of several weeks of laundry, piled up, and I was not going to wait. I did four loads, and got the dryer running for most of the day. I could have planned my car trips better, but I was in a rush, and focused on each task, each errand, not the bigger picture. What’s coming out in my flesh is a behavior that does not make me proud. I am just a Green Girl Wannabe.

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I have started noticing an interesting phenomenon. Many of my friends who read my blog, are telling me they think of me now, and of the things I write before they act. And they report making small changes in their daily life, as a result. They remember to take their green bags to Whole Foods. They think twice before declaring something dirty laundry. They stop, before clicking on the Order button. They think of me, and my ramblings, and they start thinking, and acting differently. They are even becoming greener than I am.

My main interest in writing the blog was to understand how personal psychology can affect an average person like me, in relationship to making, or rather not making, the lifestyle changes that are necessary to solve the climate crisis. Hence, the goal was not to change myself necessarily, at least in the short term, or anybody else for that matter. That so much positive action has resulted, speaks to the power of confession, and of being real.

Yesterday was especially busy, and the green bags were last in my mind. The bags stayed on the door knob, and I had an interesting chat about that with the lady bagger at Whole Foods. Apparently, I am not alone. Thousands of people every day, also forget.

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