The rest of the bag story
My reusable shopping bag story appeared in the Arts & Life Today section today. It had a bit of a rocky road because I was working on it when I got sick, and then it got bumped for more time-sensitive stories, so I'm glad to finally see it in print. I was particularly pleased that the last sentence, where I thank you for your help, didn't get cut. I meant it, but I didn't know if it would get past various editors and copy editors.
In fact, without you I would still be using my Whole Foods bags only when I shop at Whole Foods. As you remember from previous posts, I was shy about bringing bags with another store's logo on it into a supermarket not totally committed to being "green." What cured me, besides your scorn, was that one day Giant ran out of paper bags. (I could always justify them as not being plastic and also useful for paper recycling.) I went back to the car and got my Whole Food bags. The Giant security guard didn't bar the door, so after that it was no big deal.
I also found a cure for leaving the reusable bags in the trunk when I go shopping, which I was doing regularly. I now have a new rule that no matter what, if I leave them in the car I have to go back for them. After once getting out of a long checkout line to fetch my bags out of the car, I haven't forgotten again.
One perk of being a reporter with a blog, I just realized, is that even if your story gets cut, you can always publish the rest of it on the Internet. Ha ha. Take that, Ms. We Don't Have Enough Space or Mr. This Doesn't Go With the Rest of the Story Even if It's Interesting or even Mrs. You Will Lose Your Readers if We Don't Cut This Really Boring Section.
So here's the rest of the story:
For some, shopping with reusable bags isn’t a new thing. Bruce Van Wely, 54, of Butchers Hill got in the habit when he lived overseas and bought food daily.
He never got back in the habit of filling up the back of a station wagon with groceries once a week, he says. “We’ve got three or four Trader Joe’s bags, a Safeway bag, a Home Depot bag, and a few others. We’ve shipped Trader Joe and Ikea bags to friends in lesser privileged parts of the country.”
Interestingly, Van Wely’s whole neighborhood is getting into the reusable bag act. Butchers Hill is determined to be a leader in the “green” neighborhood movement, says the association’s president, Barry Glassman. “We just ordered 500 reusable grocery bags made with recycled materials. They even have our logo. We’re going to initially sell them at our May monthly meeting at our cost of about $1.50.”
But like many other people, Van Wely isn’t willing to completely give up the paper and plastic bags he often gets from a shopping trip. The paper bags are useful for recycling paper; the plastic can be used for lining wastebaskets.
“I’m on both sides of the subject,” he says.