Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Paper or plastic?

I do most of my grocery shopping at Trader Joes. At the checkout, I swipe my credit card and start packing the groceries into paper bags as the cashier rings them up. I do it because I hate grocery shopping and it gets me out quicker. I do it because packing a grocery bag correctly is a lost art. I do it because store employees who pack the bags tend to put two or three items into seventeen bags.

I do not double bag. When I specified this one time at TJs the cashier looked so grateful. He told me I was his favorite customer. I think double bagging is wasteful. Especially when you've got seventeen bags worth of groceries. I used to ask for plastic at checkout--ever since it was first offered. Why not? Choose plastic, save a tree. I recycled the bags to collect trash, but it soon became apparent that I didn't create enough trash to keep up with the supply. And I've come to fear garbage dumps more than carbon footprints.

So now I choose paper. Trees are renewable. Paper is biodegradable. At least that's my rationale. But according to this article in the Washington Post, plastic may not be an option much longer. Hooray for that! Now if they could just find a way to stop the gas-guzzling SUV drivers from parking in COMPACT parking spaces, my life would be complete.

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