"If there’s a world here in a hundred years, it’s going to be saved by tens of millions of little things. The powers-that-be can break up any big thing they want. They can corrupt it or co-opt it from the inside, or they can attack it from the outside. But what are they going to do about 10 million little things? They break up two of them, and three more like them spring up!"
- Pete Seeger, in YES! Magazine

Monday, January 5, 2009


As promised we took our goodies to a food bank today. Super simple drop off. There are bins. No questions asked. It took us exactly three minutes to park, walk in, drop the groceries and return to our car. Anyone can do this.

Today we also recycled our grocery bags. Not a big deal, but I really hate seeing these things flying around as I travel the nation's roads, floating in our creeks and lakes, shredded in the gutter. So we collect them when we shop (and forget our reusable bags), then take them to our neighborhood grocery store so they can be recycled into something usable.

The project:
Gather the plastic bags and wrappers. Deliver them to the recycling drop-off at our neighborhood store.

5 minutes (if you include drive time)

Why bother:
It has been argued that plastic bags are simply bad news. (And here and here.) But the fact remains that many of the products we buy are packaged in the stuff, and the stores that sell them often hand out recyclable plastic rather than biodegradable bags or even paper bags. Why toss them in the trash? Since we don't have a dog, we don't find the need to use the bags as doggy doo cleanup tools. And I don't intend to begin knitting with grocery bags, but you never know. Instead, we choose to recycle them in hopes they find better use in their next life.

Yes, we carry reusable bags, but I'm not a big purse gal, so it should be no big surprise that I often forget to bring a bag or two (or more) in with me to the store.

Worth it?
Given the debate about the source, longevity and litter related to these bags, clearly it would be best to do a better job carrying my reusable bags. Until I've completely reformed myself, it seems recycling rather than sending into the black hole of the local landfill is the better viable option. And I can do it with a sweep of my arm over the recycling bin as I pass into the neighborhood store - no special trip needed.

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