poetry • art • marriage • momhood • faith

Let’s do something drastic about plastic!

More and more I am becoming ultra-conscious of how much plastic I use and how much of it ends up in our trash can. At the “regular” grocery store, I’ve become more willing to stop by the deli counter where my fresh cheese & lunch meat is packaged in less plastic than the “convenience” pre-packaged goods in the refrigerator case. When the bagger asks if I want my milk in a bag, I’ll daringly say “no” — I’ll put it in my own reused bag in the car. When I have my act together (or am going to Aldi’s), I take my own bags to the grocery store.

I try not to throw plastic bags away. (The only time I do is if it’s been reused to dispose of kitty litter.) Still, I know I get more from the grocery store than I need, and at least once a month a wad of them hits the recycling bin.

I’ve decided I need to change that. Even recycling the flimsy plastic bags isn’t enough, though it helps. And there has to be a better way to take care of the cats than adding plastic to landfills. (I’m thinking this may be the best option.)

If you’re still using plastic grocery bags but think it’s no big deal, consider this.

Besides, a cute tote can be the best compliment to your “out-shopping ensemble.”


  1. Chucka Stone Designs Chucka Stone Designs
    July 23, 2008    

    Unfortunately the closest Aldi’s is in Rhode Island but I am a huge Trader Joe’s supporter and they are all about paper bags. Their bags are great too, I either re-use them next grocery shopping experience or save tehm to put my shredded bills in. In my town paper recycling has to be in a seperate paper bag. Um, hello, how is that saving anything? But at least I can repurpose my bags. That is only when we need another, as you have shown a cloth tote bag can do the job 🙂

    (THANKS for the props 🙂

    I have recently seen people making “fabric” out of heated/melted/fused plastic bags. Great idea in theory but I have to wonder, do the gasses released during production create a higher level of toxin in the air then just recycling the bag?

    I love the Genie (great idea!) but all I can think of now is Meet the Parents. lol 🙂

  2. Bree Bree
    July 24, 2008    

    Going to school in hippieville means two things: a fantastic co-op that takes plastic containers and reuses them (bags, coolwhip containers, you name it) and a lady who makes baskets for shopping. Let me tell you, you ain’t NOTHIN’ at the farmer’s market on saturday mornings if you ain’t carrying a basket!

    Best combination ever.

    I think every little change from every little person helps in a very big way. Awesome!

  3. Ginger Ginger
    July 31, 2008    

    hellooo…i’ve been meaning to comment on this for a while, but i’m just now getting around to it. sorry i’m late.

    i currently use the “one bag at a time” bags. (http://onebagatatime.com)
    they are made from recycled plastic that would otherwise end up in a landfill and if they ever wear out they are also recyclable.

    jenn has a point about canvas being better. i agree. i do have a canvas bag and as my others are given away or wear out i plan on buying more of those….i think you can get them really cheap at a second hand store so cost shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

    oh, but jenn. think of all of the other things made of recycled plastic. the same energy is used to recycle it for whatever purpose and these at least prevent more plastic from being used, right? i think the answer is to not use plastic at all. no more plastic water bottles, soda bottles or bags at all would be tremendous!

    thanks for this post julie.

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torch bearing quietly

I will not act out, will not
yell or curse or slam doors,
will not make a scene -- you
do not deserve such a chance
to make an example out of me
to be proven right since you
are not. Instead, I'll stand
at this street corner, raise
my hand high and clench that
light which yet remains. It
will burn brightly, quietly,
fiercely before fading as I.

Then I'll be gone but found.

©JAC 2005

Poetry by Julie Ann Cook!

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