Monday, February 12, 2007

Bag Lady

If you've been reading along, you've heard me say that I'm focusing on "going green" this year. Not that it wasn't a priority before, it's just a more critical one currently, for both my business and personal life. So after changing all my lightbulbs last month, the next step I took was ending the plastic bag madness.

I shopped around for places that had the best selection of eco-friendly shopping totes, so I could BYO to the stores. I found Reusablebags.com, which has the coolest selection of bags, totes, sacks, water bottles, all kinds of ecologically correct stuff - in super cute designs too. I decided on the set of four heavy duty hemp grocery bags in the lovely natural color. I love them to death. I have no idea how I was actually functioning without them before.

The plastic bags were becoming unbearable. Every store was now double-bagging, and putting only about 3 items in each bag. I'd arrive home with dozens of the flimsy thingies, only to fill up the recycle bin with them. Now I can BYO my beeyooteeful bag whenever I go out.

I feel so smug when I arrive with my own bag at Trader Joe's, or the self-serve checkout at QFC, or the fancy pet food store. Post office packages get tucked neatly into a sack instead of balanced on my arms, held in place by a chin. A couple are in the car at all times, another one makes the trip from the house to car almost every time. Who knew? Oh, the heaven of a sturdy sack.

Oh, and I got a super functional and darling water bottle for the gym too, or to take to shows. I wanted to spend a whole lot more money - for insulated lunch sacks, charming designs on longer handled tote bags, all kinds of stuff. It was hard to stop clicking. If only I hadn't decreed that I was putting a moratorium on shopping unless it was truly necessary. Oh, hold your horses. I did not make the resolution, like so many other heroic folks, that I would not buy anything this year. But I am trying really, really hard to make sure my purchases are necessary, functional and well-planned.

Putting your wallet where your mouth is, or making your dollars talk, or whatever it's called, is important. But I'm also on a really strict budget at the moment too, so it's pretty much food, shampoo, and extraneous necessities. What makes the whole thing harder is that after overstuffing myself with food, shopping is my number two method of rewarding or comforting myself, and both of them are black-listed. So what now? Bubble baths?

See, this is just the kind of super insightful (meaning boring and inane) stuff you get on a Monday morning, when the poor writer is suffering from shaky arms and work overload.