I have been conscious of my impact on the earth even when it wasn’t in the mainstream (think mid-to-late 80’s). In recent impact news, for example, two years ago I switched to handkerchiefs instead of tissues and this past year I added in cloth napkins and extra dish towels. I try to buy in bulk and repackage or store whenever possible. Our bulk might be your minimum purchase, but it’s a step.
While grocery shopping I often bring my own bag(s). Prior to a renewed eco-effort on my part (starting around November) I brought my own more for selfish reasons than anything environmental. I’m SHORT. If a shopping bag is full it’s often possible for the bag to drag on the ground and/or bang my ankles (especially if it’s full of cans).
I now use my own bags almost exclusively and my mother gave me an awesome penguin one when I saw her on Sunday. However this use of reusable bags has caused an unforeseen consequence.
We reuse grocery bags to toss our trash.
Our hold-a-bag is currently empty and the bag that’s lining the garbage “can” has a small hole in the bottom so I hope our trash doesn’t leak. Saturday night when we went food shopping, E had me bag and told me to take extras as much as possible. My habits took over and I only came home with five bags. (Wait how did I go through over six bags since then? We emptied a bunch of trash and took some other things to the thrift store. I think E has one to help contain his lunch. I emptied the trash yesterday a bit early but that was because I had fish scraps in there.)
I’m going to have to make a very strong effort tomorrow to remember to bring home at least one plastic bag so we can take out the garbage. Any suggestions beyond trying to reuse and further reduce the amount two people produce?