1. By taking goods from stores unwrapped whenever practicable, and by using your own containers when possible.
2. By salvaging all types of waste paper Ė newspapers, magazines, containers.
Imagine a time when plastic bags were not even an imagined shopping convenience. While it is popular to use cloth bags now, itís not as widely practiced as it should be. Have you ever stopped to think why itís necessary to use a bag at all when you purchase one or two items from a store? Why the bag?
Iíve embarrassed my hubby again at the grocery store check out line. I bring my own bags and I insist that nothing be pre-wrapped in plastic before putting it in my cloth bags. The baggers frequently argue with me about the safety of wrapping meat, cleaning supplies, and non-edible items before putting them in my bag.
Hereís where I start to embarrass my hubby: I ask the bagger if he/she notices that the cleaning products are already contained in plastic bottles. And, not only that, but they contain an aluminum-type safety seal under their plastic top. Why would I need to triple-protect them in a plastic bag for the two-mile trip home? Meat is packaged; yeah, I get it Ė sometimes meat packages get messy from the meat counter it is stored in at the store. So noted. But, everything I buy is wrapped in its own plastic and/or box. It still does not come in direct contact with another item that is not wrapped.
I buy bulk soap. It is often in a rack where you get to cut your own block from a large block. Itís part of the fun of buying it this way. When I encountered a particularly stubborn bagger who was extremely intent to wrap my soap in its own bag, I had to remind her that the soap was actually going to be used on my body. She still protested about it coming in contact with food I eat. Really?
Iím not saying itís safe to eat soap (in fact, isnít that a child-protective services violation these days). But, when it comes to waste, particularly plastic-bag waste, canít we get over it and just put that brick of fine-smelling soap on top of the box of granola wrapped inside wax paper inside the cardboard box? I think so.