Wednesday, April 30, 2008

ECOCAPITALISM - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover Expenses.

I can finally ditch the hippie bag. Besides making me look like some tree-hugging granola muncher, it was a pain in the ass to keep up with. I had to remember to put it in the car, and I didn't have it with me for impromptu stops at the store, and if I was getting more than a case of soda, I'd have to get some plastic bags anyway, so it kind of defeated the purpose.

I'd always quasi-assumed that stores got their plastic grocery bags for free, especially those small stores that give you bags from other stores. I guess I thought they were overstocks or misprints or the wrong size or something that the store's suppliers just handed out free like poppers at a gay dance club in the '70's. Turns out I was wrong.

A week or so back, I asked Mildred, the owner of Lane's Grocery, if she got her bags for free or if she had to pay for them. Not only does she have to pay for them, they're pretty pricey and getting worse. I thought to the Big Bag of Bags that was sitting on my kitchen counter and volunteered to bring them to her the next time I came in.

As a child, I had a similar arrangement with Fran the elderly lady that ran the little bodega up the road, only back then the bags were paper and she'd give me a free candy bar for every Bag of Bags I brought in.

Mildred didn't offer up any similar arrangement, but if I can keep her costs down, maybe she won't have to raise prices on me. The Ferengi call it the Great Material Continuum, a great river which carries all goods, services, and money. I call it the Circle of Thrift.

So over the weekend, I uncrumpled them all and sorted out the ones with holes in the bottom. And Monday, I dropped them off at Lane's.

A hundred bags reused is a hundred new bags not needed is a hundred bags kept out of the landfill is a hundred bags worth of plastic not taken out of the petrochemical supply.

But more importantly, it's a hundred new bags Mildred doesn't have to buy, which may delay any further markups she might have to make, which makes my shopping there continue to be inexpensive.

Anything worth doing is worth doing to save money.

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