Once upon a time there was a girl. The girl lived in an apartment. And the apartment had a kitchen, a very, very small kitchen. And in that very, very small kitchen there were lots of things. Some might say too many things. Too many papers. Too many plastic bags. Too many notes. Too many containers. Too many too manies! So she took some of her too manies and filled them up with her other too manies and suddenly she could see her cupboards again! And she was happy- very, very happy.
My Problem? Too Many Plastic Bags! I’m sure everyone has this problem. At least, I like to think everyone has this problem.
The World’s Problem? Do you know how many plastic bags are going into landfills each year? You’ll be surprised at what you find once you start digging around.
Step One: The best way I have found to remedy the immediate, face-value situation is by reusing an oatmeal container. I simply cut a “x” shape in the lid of the container.
I then, not so eloquently, shoved every last plastic bag I had inside the oatmeal container and put the lid on. I half expected it to pop up like a Jack-in-the-box, but thankfully it did no such thing.. I could not believe how little space these bags would actually take up once contained in a small area! For months I have been stressing about them falling out of cupboards, having to pick them up and constantly moving them from one space to another. I feel silly and slovenly for not thinking of it sooner. It was definitely one of those “why didn’t I think of that sooner” moments in life. Shouts of Joy to solutions when they finally find you!
Since I made this little container about two months ago, I have not had one single stray bag in my kitchen. Mostly, it is because of the re-used oatmeal container, but also it is because of the new system I have in place for my re-usable bags.
Step 2: I put a basket in my car. Inside my basket I put all of my re-usable bags. Once I bring the bags back inside my home & put away my groceries, I hang them on the doorknob of my front door. This way, the next time I leave, I grab them on my way out, throw them in the basket in the backseat of my car and never have to see them until I use them again.
I know this sounds ridiculously simple. But in all honesty, by not making room for my reusable bags in my kitchen, by not hanging them in a closet or tossing them in a heap with my old plastic bags, I have made myself accountable for their well-being. And in a bigger light this self-accountability has forced me to make sustainability a bigger priority at home. In our home we are blessed enough to not need new bags every time we go to the grocery store–clearly we already have enough. In general reusing other bags at the grocery store follows my rule of thumb that “if it’s already out there and in working condition, why buy something new to throw into a landfill?”
This month, I have challenged myself and Sean to not go grocery shopping, unless we have our bags with us. I am really hoping that through these two simple steps, I have made it impossible for us to go fail this challenge. And I know it isn’t much, this vow to give up my plastic bag hoarding, but it’s the least I can do in the grand scheme of things. What kind of changes are you making this month to help your eggs grow up healthy and strong?