This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month our members have written posts about areas of their life where they aren’t as “green” as they may want to be.
This is my first time contributing to the Natural Living Blog Carnival, but I hope it won’t be my last. After this post, though, we’ll see. *hangs head in shame*
I’m not the “crunchiest” mom out there, I’ll be the first to admit, but I’m making changes in our family’s lifestyle, step-by-step, to be more conscious of areas in which we are wasteful. I’m a Christ-follower, and I believe God created the Heavens and the Earth, and we are its caretakers. I have a biblical obligation to be a good steward in what He has blessed me with.
My Green Confession:
I have always had a hoarding issue with plastic shopping bags and those cheap plastic hangers that clothes are hung on in stores. Even when I wasn’t conscious about the environment, something about throwing them away just seemed incredibly wasteful, so I kept them. My mother used to come over to visit me in my apartment (this is all before I was married); and when I wasn’t looking she’d open up the cupboard doors under my kitchen sink, grab the dozens of plastic bags I had stuffed under there, and throw them away. I was always so upset when I found out.
You’re probably asking why I didn’t just use reusable shopping bags, if it bothered me so much?
Would you believe the thought just never occurred to me? I didn’t know ANYONE that used reusable bags. I didn’t even know anyone that recycled. It was just a complete foreign culture for me at that point.
I know better now. I also have several reusable shopping bags small enough to stuff in my purse or diaper bag, as well as a pattern and fabric to sew more for myself, friends, and family (if I ever find the time). BUT I KEEP FORGETTING TO TAKE THE REUSABLE BAGS WITH ME TO THE STORE!!!!! AHHHHH!!!!! I feel so, so guilty over this.
My local grocery store does have a paper or plastic option. But here’s the thing…their paper bags are terrible. If I’m carrying anything heavy like cans or cartons, the handles tear off, even if my groceries are double bagged. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if it weren’t that I’m always carrying 5 or 6 grocery bags, plus my baby, plus the diaper bag, and possibly something else. So when I hear the question, “Paper or plastic?” I cringe inwardly, pause, hope no one around me ever reads my blog, and say, “Plastic is fine.”
I alleviate some of my guilt by saving the plastic bags and when I finally remember to, taking them to the grocery store’s plastic recycling bin. I also use them around the house as liners for our smaller trash cans, in my son’s diaper bag for the church nursery (only one of the dozens of rotating volunteers has yet to figure out the wet bag is for dirty cloth diapers, but they will use the plastic grocery bag), to keep shoes from touching clothes in a suitcase, etc.
Why don’t I just take the pastic bags back to the grocery store and reuse them there? Well, the same reason why I don’t take the reusable shopping bags to the grocery store either. I can’t remember anything since I had my son (Yes, I’m blaming him, because it’s true. I actually forgot my apartment number a few weeks ago.).
How I WILL Change:
When I check my son’s diaper bag before leaving our home, my new practice is to always make sure there are at least two reusable shopping bags bundled up inside the diaper bag. If I’m at the grocery store without a bag, I will say paper. If the paper bag breaks or it’s too difficult to carry several at once, I’ll leave the groceries in the car and come back for them. It will mean leaving my 8-month old alone for a few minutes (which I detest), but he has a play yard where I can safely put him.
Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed: