Sunday, August 19, 2007

use your own bags

I recently finished reading a book entitled "Serve God, Save the Planet" by J. Matthew Sleeth MD. It was phenomenal. It's about finding practical ways to fulfill our call to be stewards and caretakers of God's creation- our earth. He has some great points about being energy-efficient, watching what we buy, and cutting down on our consumerism in general, whether that be simply not buying more clothes, or unplugging the TV when we aren't using it. I am encouraged by this book to do my part, even if it seems small or insignificant.

I feel insignificant sometimes when I go to the grocery store. In the past several months, i have been using canvas/cloth grocery bags to put my groceries in instead of using the store's plastic bags. most plastic grocery bags do not get recycled, and they take for-ever(if ever) to break down. but i rarely see any one else doing the same with cloth bags. i feel small and insignifcant when i check out at the store and put my things into my own bags. it's also a little awkward b/c not many ppl do it yet so the cashiers aren't used to it. doing it at our smaller groceries (which are still huge chains) like Smiths works better than other places though. it was kinda funny, i tried to do it at walmart and the cashier just couldn't believe me. and he kept putting the groceries into plastic bags and then having to take them back out, shake his head at me, and just look stunned in general. i feel like i can't be making a difference in this one area. but i have to stop and think: what if every person took just one canvas bag to the grocery store? then the stores wouldn't have to stock as many plastic bags, then the companies that make the plastic bags wouldn't have to make so many, then the oil needed for the plastic to make the bags wouldn't have to be procured from other countries, less gas would be used in transport of said bags, etc etc. i may be only one, but what if only one turned into a thousand? a million? eventually we would see the effect. so i have to keep thinking about not just myself as one, but what that can turn into for the rest of America. Please, start using your own grocery bags. Think twice before buying your bottled water, and if you must buy it, please make sure to recycle the bottle.

the book ended with a quote from the author's grandmother: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without"

Monday, August 13, 2007