Thursday, January 6, 2011

No Impact Week

So, I'm doing this No Impact Week for Yes! Magazine. And so far... so good, I think. It definitely has presented it's challenges, but at the same time I am realizing there are a lot of easy things I can do to lessen my impact on the earth.

Like yesterday was all about food, and I shopped at a Farmers Market for the first time. Some of the prices were a bit steep, but for the most part I'd say it was equal to what I'd find at Kroger's or Wal-Mart. And it's not like I have every really focused on shopping for bargains, etc. I just grab the brand I like, or just go for the one with the cheapest price sticker under it. But it's not like there's ever a real plan to save money.

Anyway, I decided to my own re-usuable bags to the store. I felt a little bit awkward about telling the cashier, "Please don't use your bags. I have my own." But her response was all cheerful and the bagger instantly took them from me and began filling them up. I only brought two, and had more groceries that both could carry, so I did have to use two paper bags (which I figured was greener than plastic), but I got a discount for bringing those two bags! A discount! If that isn't an incentive to bring your own bags when you go shopping, I don't know what it is! Also, these bags are SOOO much easier to carry than plastic bags. They need to use that as a marketing ploy, cause now I'm sold and only shopping with my re-usable bags from now on!

Using my bags for the first time

One thing I'm definitely realizing is that there's so much pressure on the individual to be green, but if corporations themselves don't make the changes does it matter? I mean, it does, but... take the farmers market. They had things in bulk for you to buy, but there were still plastic bags for you to put it all in. Wouldn't that be the same thing as just buying it pre-packaged already? Why not require people bring their own jars and canisters? Or sell jars and canisters for people to use the first time they are there?

Or how about the fact that even though things are labeled recyclable, depending on where you live they may or may not actually get recycled! That's ridiculous! So now I have to do research to see if the item I think is recyclable will just get trashed or not? Why is that burden on me? 

I think No Impact needs to be a community effort. It'd mean more. It'd make more of a change. I can do only so much as an individual. 

1 comment:

  1. Well said. You're right that the corporations are putting the burden on the consumer--making us recycle or throw it away. I wish there was a way to make them responsible for all the trash they create.

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