Reusable shopping bags...

I am completely aware that this blog is not going to be popular with my "green" friends, still I continue.

I have, for a long time, despised the fabric "earth-friendly" grocery bag. I think they're silly and trendy. Let me preface this by saying I don't think people who use them are silly, but the idea of bringing a grocery bag in to the grocery store to take home groceries is just plain odd. While I know there is a logical argument about grassroots movements, and how one person making a difference turns in to hundreds of people which may have an impact, I just think this is a step in the wrong direction.

The idea is: bring a bag with you, and use it over and over and save landfills from plastic grocery bags. After all, plastic bags take forever to disintegrate.

My multi-faceted problem with the idea: 1. Those bags hold a ton of bacteria and make people sick. Where do we store these bags? In the trunk, definitely not a germ-free zone. Are they used for a multitude of purposes like a diaper bag? Sometimes. How often are these bags washed? Rarely if ever. And if they are washed, is that any better for the environment than throwing away plastic bags? 2. How long do these plastic coated fabric bags take to disintegrate? I know that plastic in general takes 1000 years. Does that apply to these bags too? We're basically taking a plastic bag and reusing it 80 times, getting sick in the process, and then throwing it out eventually. Seems counterproductive. 3. If we're really worried about our impact on the environment, then why don't we just load our groceries back in to the cart without using any bags? Why not just take them package by package? I mean, that would be the most "environmentally friendly" thing to do, wouldn't it? And while we're at it, we should probably just stop buying anything that comes in any sort of packaging. Only fruits and vegetables, and lets carry meat by hand too (I'm being sarcastic). 4. We have to PAY for these bags. If that doesn't scream trend, I don't know what does. I think it's awesome to have a social trend that makes a positive statement. But when super grocery chains are taking our money so that we can participate in this fad, there is not an "environmentally friendly" stance behind that. It's about the bottom line.

I guess I'm feeling a little underwhelmed with the "green" movement these days. I'm all about making positive steps toward conservation, but it seems like sometimes society can really jump on a bandwagon before thinking it through. So next time you see me without my reusable bags, please don't judge me. I promise I won't judge you for having yours. And I'm off my soap box.


Kris said...

I shouldn't have read this. We have reusable bags. I never even though about how germ ridden they could be, which is weird, seeing as how I'm such a germaphobe. I guess I didn't think about it because I don't do the shopping. I just unload the bags and put stuff away. And then immediately go wash my hands anyway.
Dammit, now all I'll be able to think about is how gross they are. Time to break out the lysol.

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