21 June 2010

Can't win for losing.

Quite some time ago, I started to use reusable shopping bags. I actually started with reusing paper bags at Trader Joe's. But then I amassed several reusable shopping bags and gradually got into the habit of putting them in my purse or in my car. It's gotten to the point where it is very rare that I don't have a reusable bag on me.

So, after all this time, I'm running into a problem. I was using my stash of plastic shopping bags as lunch bags and bathroom trash bags. However, I've suddenly run out of them. I reuse my paper bags for recycling. They are in perilously low supply, as well.

What do I do now? I can't recycle if I don't put my recyclables in paper bags. As for the plastic bags, I can buy a reusable lunch bag. But what about for my bathroom trash? I could buy wee trash bags. That would make me feel like an asshole. My other option would be to switch to paper bags. But, um, there's that problem with the paper bags I already mentioned.

For the time being, I've relieved the 'rents of several paper bags. I don't recycle as much as I should because I don't have space to store bags for paper, glass, cans and plastic in my apartment for two weeks. I should really try to just throw them all in one bag and then separate on recycling day, but let's be honest -- I'm not going to do that. I can try, though.

Still, that would require MORE paper bags, and I've pointed out the problem with that scenario a handful of times now. So, what the fuck am I supposed to do? I want to be MORE smug about how much I love Mother Earth, dammit.


Emily said...

I bet you have a friend who's got dozens stored under her kitchen sink that she doesn't want to throw away. Ask around.

I just gave some friends a TON of paper shopping bags. I'd been amassing them for a few years (I'm better with reusable bags now). They were having a similar problem to yours: the city asks you to put your paper recyclables in paper bags. Meaning in order to recycle, you need to use more paper. Ugh.

Jess said...

God dammit, you're helpful, Emily. Thank Christ I have a blog. Not only do I get to write this shit out of my system, but I get helpful advice and a view of my issues from another vantage point.

Yay Internets!

LaFcuk said...

I used to use one of those 18 gallon storage bins for my recycling items. Then I would separate everything later, which wasn't much since most of the things were plastic bottles. And if you go to a grocery store with a self checkout line you can always "accidentally" take some extra plastic bags ;)