I’m putting out a challenge and I hope you’ll accept it. Come back in time with me. Back to the early 1970’s. What’s so great about this era, you might be wondering? Well, there was the music. Hits like Bridge Over Troubled Water, Let It Be, and I’ll Be There, just to name a few. And TV shows, such as All In The Family and MASH. But there was something else. NO PLASTIC SHOPPING BAGS!
Plastic shopping bags were first introduced in the 1970’s. Almost fifty years ago. Yes, that’s a long time, but that doesn’t mean we can’t stop using them. I’m not always oozing with optimism that people will make changes in their lives to help animals. But I do think people can stop using plastic shopping bags! And here’s why.
It’s really not that hard. It’s not a huge lifestyle change like becoming vegan (though, how great would that be if we could all go vegan once or twice a week!)
I admit, I often forget to grab my stack of re-usable bags when I go shopping. It’s only when the cashier asks, “Do you want a plastic bag?” that I remember my collection in the trunk of my car.
So what do you do? I imagine most of us would just take the plastic bag. It’s the easiest way to go. We’re all rushing around. Always late. And having to ask the cashier to set our paid stuff aside while we go ALL the way back to the car and get the bags, and then go ALL the way back to the store for our purchases, is not very convenient. But I do think we’d eventually remember to bring our re-usable bags, just like we remember our purses, wallet, phones, and keys.
There’s also the issue of keeping the bags clean. Yup, we’d have to wash them. But really, how much of a hardship is that? We wash our clothes. We could easily do a load of our re-usable bags as needed.
Because at the end of the day, I think the slight inconvenience of having to go back to the car to get my re-usable bags, and having to wash them, is worth it if it means saving animals.
Plastic bags are flimsy. They are easily carried away by wind and often end up in the water. There, they pose a terrible threat to marine life.
Plastic bags look very similar to jelly fish, which is a favourite meal for turtles. Once ingested, the plastic cannot be digested or passed by an animal, so it remains in their gut and can lead to a very slow and painful death.
So, I’m asking all of you to stop adding to your stash of plastic grocery bags. I’m going to try. From today on, I’m going to make an effort to only use my re-usable bags. For my garbage, I’m going to buy compostable bags- the same ones I use for the green bin.
I hope you join me and if you do, I’d love to hear about your progress. I really believe this is something we can all do that would make a huge difference in helping animals.