April 22nd, 2008


An observation, in honor of Earth Day

So I've pretty much bought into the bring-your-own-bag thing. Whole Foods does a very nice job of indoctrinating its customers into the idea: they don't give you any guff about bringing your own bag, give you a small kickback for doing so, and sell really nice reusable bags at the register. And as of a few weeks ago, they've dropped the standard plastic bags entirely -- it's either paper, or bring your own.

That said, it just makes one more aware of how much throwaway packaging one goes through in standard shopping, and Whole Foods isn't especially exemplary in that regard. I mean, it's good to get rid of the plastic carry-bags, but as far as I can tell, that only accounts for a modest fraction of the bags one uses in shopping. From the double-layer paper around my fish order to the baggies for the bagels to the box on my takeaway dinner, everything almost necessarily comes in its own little containers, all destined to be chucked, or at *best* composted.

I've started to reduce this slightly myself ("This orange doesn't really need its own baggie"), but it's a much harder nut to crack. And it does drive home that, while every little step is good, they're mostly still little steps, and there are many of them...