Inspired by Green. Hooked by My OCD Nature. | Giftie Etcetera: Inspired by Green. Hooked by My OCD Nature.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Inspired by Green. Hooked by My OCD Nature.

Today was the first time that Alan and I used the reusable grocery bags for shopping. I've already used the bags. Yesterday, when we needed to take swim supplies (suits, swimmie diapers, towel, and sunscreen) for the boys with us to a party, my book bag was already filled with my weekly stash of library books and my errands tote was already packed with extra diapers and baby food for daycare. So I grabbed an ugly dark lime green reusable grocery bag for the swim gear and away we went. But today, we were using them for their intended purpose - to save the planet by creating less waste.

I thought they would be a pain to use. I had gotten over the what-if-I-forget-them-at-home angst by assuring myself that when I forget them, I'll get the plastic bags that we still use, on ocassion, for especially stinky diapers, lining the frig shelf when there is a leaky cooked meat product, and lining waste baskets. I had dealt with the fact that they all come with obnoxious logos by getting ones where the logo was hard to read. I had braced myself for the inevitable "green" jokes at the grocery store. (Well, I thought I had. I still blabbered like an idiot when the lady in front of me, clearly a Republican, said, "like your bags." And when the cashier asked if she loaded them like I wanted them loaded...and followed up with raised eyebrows and a snide "using plastic?" when I wrapped the uncooked chicken breasts in plastic, it was all I could do to not lecture her about landfills and smog, but whatever.)

They were AWESOME INCREDIBLE THE-BEST-SYSTEM-SINCE-THE-PDA. {stops jumping up and down} What I mean to say (maturely) is that they were very nice. Very nice indeed.

We brought five bags. Once the boys were in the carts (we use two, so each boy can sit in the front of one), we opened the five bags in one of the carts. We used the other cart for the big stuff - canned drinks, diapers, and the air filter. But in the cart with the bags, we loaded the bags as we went through the store. Frozen foods went in one. Frig foods in another. There was one for pantry items and another for bathroom or kitchen counter items (like baby food). When we got to checkout, we opened the fifth, empty bag on the conveyor belt. Behind it, we unloaded the pantry food. Then we put that empty bag, opened nicely, on the belt. Behind it, we unloaded the frozen food. And so on.

The cashier didn't have any extra work, since the bags were ready and waiting.

The exciting part, though, is that she was FORCED to load the groceries the way we like it. She couldn't put cans on top of the bread because the bread was behind the next bag. Cold food wasn't placed with the crackers to dampen the cardboard box, since she couldn't physically get to the cold foods and the crackers at the same time. Also, though the bags were a smidge heavier than usual, there were fewer (only the five) and they fit over my shoulder by the straps if I need to carry a hefty baby on my hip. Plus, I felt secure that, for once, my milk wasn't going to fall out of the bag and splatter all over the floor.

Once I add a binder clip to the main bag with a Master grocery list (printed out so we can circle what we need) and any coupons for the week, it will be the perfect system.

Why didn't I spend the FIVE DOLLARS it cost years ago to do this? It is so much more convenient and organized. (And - bonus - Loki and Ander might just be able to live out their lives on Earth.)



Stac Cole said...

How do you know the lady was "clearly Republican?" And why would you even mention what you thought her political affiliations were? Isn't that typical stereotyping that you so strongly speak against and urge others not to do? :)

Giftie Etcetera said...

I don't urge others not to stereotype. I urge others not to stereotype based on things people cannot choose, like their race.

If you are born Asian, that doesn't mean you are good at math. But if you where a shirt that makes an inside math joke on the front pocket and work as an engineer, the stereotype that you are a mathie is fair. Stereotypes naturally help the human brain categorize.

Let's start with the shirt the woman was wearing supporting a local Republican candidate. Move on to the groceries they choose. And add that she seemed very uncomfortable with my bags. Those were enough things for me to make an educated guess. Obviously, I could be wrong. But I'm more likely to be right by basing my stereotypes on observations of behavior, as I did, than, say, of her skin color and the fact that she was shopping at the Wal-mart in Prairieville. ('Cause, hey, I was shopping at the Wal-mart in Praivieville, I'm white, and I'm clearly not Republican.)

So, no, it's not the stereotyping that I speak strongly against. I actually have no problem with stereotyping based on choices. It's not always accurate, but it helps our brains cope.

I thought her political affiliations were relevant because, even though they probably indicated that she herself was unlikely to use reusable shopping bags, she still seemed to like my system. That's how good my system was!

Robyn said...

Congratulations on using your bags! There's an easy way to get around dumb store logo bags and reuse/repurpose old t-shirts at the same time. You can very easily create your own reuseable grocery bags with old t-shirts. Then it can have any old logo you'd like on it.

-cut off the sleeves
-trim the neckline in a U shape (even with the bottom of the sleeve holes)
-turn inside out, sew the bottom together
-turn it back out, and you have a handy dandy bag with handles.
An even easier version can be made with a tank top, just sew up the bottom!

I have yet to make one because I don't consider any of my t-shirts 'old' yet. But I'm getting to it.