Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wow, New Year's Eve already???

I can hardly believe it's New Year's Eve! But here we are. Resolutions, anyone?

I made one resolution last year - to bring cloth bags to the store and decline both paper and plastic. I have a couple dozen tote bags from writers' conferences and other various and sundry places - I figured I could put them to use to help save the planet.

So I put the big bag-o-bags in the back seat of my car. And then spent January forgetting to bring them into the store, remembering them only when I was at the checkout line. I then spent February recalling the tote bags halfway through my shopping trip.

March found me remembering once I entered the store. If it wasn't raining, I'd dash back out to the parking lot to get them. By April I usually remembered the bags, and the checkout clerks managed to fill them after I stopped them from using the plastic ones, even though the tote bags were awkward to fill - they don't fit in the handy shelf that holds the plastic bags open.

In May I decided to add cardboard boxes to my recycling effort. Our home recycler doesn't take them, but the recycler at my day job does, so I started breaking down the boxes and loading them flat into the trunk of my car and taking them to work.

In June I thought about riding my bicycle to the drug store, with a backpack to bring home my stuff. It's only about two miles, but there's a monster hill to go up on the way back, so I didn't get much past thinking about it.

By July I was remembering the tote bags most of the time. But then I'd forget to put them back in the car, which meant that when I remembered the bags at the store, about half the time they were in my kitchen, not in the car.

In August, it seemed like everyone was giving out free cloth tote bags. So I added about a half-dozen more bags to my collection.

In September, I tried to get my husband to carry a cloth tote bag into the store. Didn't succeed.

In October, I realized that carrying the bags was second nature. And I mostly remembered to put them back in the car after I emptied them.

In November, I realized my upper body strength had improved, because a full cloth tote bag is a lot heavier than a full plastic or paper bag.

So now it's December, and I think I've managed to make last year's resolution second nature. So what will my small green resolution be this year?

Electricity. As in phasing out the incadescent light bulbs in my house and replacing them with compact fluorescents or some other earth-friendlier option. As in turning off my computer and other energy sucking appliances when not in use. And bugging my husband and kids to do the same.

Okay, gotta go - I see a light in the next room someone left on!

Happy New Year!!!!!



EmilyBryan December 31, 2008 at 1:27 PM  

My DH and I have been talking about bringing our own bags to the grocery store. Especially since the commonwealth of Massachusetts is encouraging stores to charge a nickle for each plastic bag starting in January.

Like you, Joy, I have tons of conference bags that will do the trick. But I'd hate to get my Harlequin Spice bag all gooey with leaking meat packages or a milk container that was sweating or melting ice cream. What do you do about the messier types of groceries?

My only resolution this coming year is to try to get healthier. Hmmm. Maybe if I bought less meat and other animal products, I'd be taking care of two problems.

Happy New Year!

Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner December 31, 2008 at 1:38 PM  

Trader Joe's sells reusable grocery bags (fairly cheap). I bought a gigantic one at Bed, Bath and Beyond--cause like you Emily, I don't want to ruin my conference bags. But the conference bags come in handy when I'm traveling, or on the music gigs I do sometimes (carrying music books, tuner, capo, even my flute). Not to mention carrying books!!!

I'm going to post tomorrow about my own resolutions.

Gillian Layne December 31, 2008 at 4:18 PM  

Happy New Years!

My daughters have prodded us into recycling aluminum and paper on a consistent basis, and we've replaced all the light-bulbs as well.

Every little bit helps!

Cindy Holby January 1, 2009 at 8:33 AM  

we love the reusable grocery bags. Our stores sell them for $1.00 and I have six. It quickly became second nature plus I use them for all kinds of things.
Carried two liters in them to a party last night.

Still working on the energy issues. And plan to get new tires on my bike.

Cindy Holby

Gerri Russell

Joy Nash

Bonnie Vanak

Emily Bryan

C.L. Wilson

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