Friday, March 26, 2010

Come and Take It. . . 2010 version

Reeling from the mainstream media bandwagon surrounding various greening efforts, and feeling near constant societal pressure to "reduce, reuse, recycle!," including listening to First E sing the Jack Johnson song of that name over and over, the grump in me has had enough. I am just going to go ahead and say it - sometimes I NEED plastic bags.

These thin, rustling symbols of environmental irresponsibility have an important place in family life, especially when you have very young children. I am tired of not having one around when I need it, and of getting the stinkeye from a checker for purposefully not using my own bag because I need to replenish my diminishing home stash. We do lots of nice green things, what with the green products, the shopping locally, fixing leaky faucets, turning off of lights, waste-free lunches for the girls, unplugging of things and such, and yes, we do have our own reusable bags. Which we use most of the time, I swear, with all the smug self-satisfaction I can muster at the checkout stand.

But dang, y'all, do I have to give up plastic bags entirely. . . really?If plastic bags are eliminated, what will I use to . . . clean out the cat box? Cart home baby and toddler clothes soaked with fluids (and sometimes solids, let's be honest) I don't want seeping around in my bag? How to . . . wrap up a diaper on the go, especially if it happens to be a cloth one? Pick up after the dog on a walk? Pick up dead birds, snakes or cucarachas, or the cat's vomit after she eats a bird/snake/cucaracha?

I supposed I am expected to come up with some washable, reusable option for each of these messy little chores, or purchase a compostable item made from corn or something to fill the gap left when plastic bags finally disappear. In addition to the fact that I have neither the time nor the organizational skills to sketch out a specialized enviroplan for grody everyday situations, buying things leads to another source of guilt - excessive consumerism.

A few weeks ago I bought some adorable "non paper towels" and wipes as well as some reusable snack bags from the darling ladies at Curly Cupcakes, so I'm really trying here. But I spent over $30 on this stuff, and that was with the discount I got from a listserv. What of people who cannot afford to purchase a cute little resuable dirty diaper tote (aka a "wet bag") or biodegradable doggy do bag made from corn (assuming this product even exists)? Is the elimination of plastic shopping bags further proof of the clueless snootytude of the green movement? Are poor people just supposed to use their hands to scoop the poop? Not have a dog? There is a lot to think on here.

God Bless Target. It's a safe bet that Texas will go blue before Target stops offering those lovely, commodious, red and white plastic bags. Thank you, Target, for everything you have given to me and my family. Not the least of which is an unending source of cat box sanitation tools.

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