A Throw-Away Society

I’m not going to bore you with statistics on how many plastic bottles are tossed in the trash every day. It’s likely that like me, you too have been bombarded for years with messages from environmentalists and companies about how bad plastic bottles are.

I don’t buy bottled water unless it’s a situation where I need portable water and I forgot to bring it with me. And when I do buy it, I buy it in the largest container possible.

What I do have a problem with, is plastic bags. I’ve tried (not very hard) to bring reusable bags with me to the store, so that I’m not bringing home 5-6 plastic bags. But I’m only successful at remembering to bring them about 10% of the time.

What I end with at home is a mountain of plastic bags. Then, I’m stuck with how to get rid of them. Our recycling does not yet pick them up, but some stores do take them back. I could also give them to thrift stores to reuse, but I think I have mentally blocked that option because I’m just continuing the cycle of plastic bag use!

Sadly, our bags back up so bad that to get rid of them I have just thrown them in the trash. It’s not something I’m happy with.

This is an admission that I am part of the problem. I can’t change anyone’s plastic bag use but my own (unless I become a politician, then I could work to outlaw them). I am responsible for bringing reusable bags with me when I go to the store.

We throw away so much. It’s wasteful, and bad for our planet.

Do you have any bad habits with throw away or one-time-use items (like batteries)?

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6 thoughts on “A Throw-Away Society

  1. Joanna @ I Won't Be a Hoarder Too says:

    We’ve used our plastic bags as trash can liners. But now that there’s a law in MD that you have to pay 5 cents to use plastic bags we don’t have nearly as many of them at home. A lot of the grocery stores have bag recycling bins here, and we have to raid the recycling bins to get enough bags for trash can liners.

    Have you tried taking a backpack when you go to the grocery store? My husband finds it easier to remember a backpack than the shopping totes.

    Right now our throw-away items are packaging and garden waste. We rarely drive to shop, so when we do get things they come in big boxes. Not all of the plastic is recycled here and I wonder if the cardboard actually gets recycled. But garden waste is the worst. I have 12 tomato plants on our patio and when they die I’ll have no place to put the dead plants except the trash. I could drive to a compost site but I feel like that will use more resources than just trashing the plants. One of the few downsides of living in a condo, I suppose.

    • Free Your Mind Today says:

      What a great idea on the bookbag! I will have to give that a shot. The Outer Banks (right next to us) outlawed plastic bags completely a couple years ago. There are no plastic bags allowed in any stores!

      With your dead plants, could you find someone else close to you that has a similar problem and partner taking them to compost? Can you have a compost bin on your condo deck?

      As much as I hate mowing grass sometimes, I love having a yard 🙂

    • idreamofdownsizing says:

      You might want to look into worm composting. I used to have a little worm bin when we were apartment dwellers and it worked well for dealing with food and plant waste and gave us just the right amount of compost for our few patio plants.

  2. livingsimplyfree says:

    I quickly purchased reusable bags when they became available in my area, like you I forgot them many times. I devised a system that worked. When I emptied my bags, I took them out to the trunk of my car and left them there for when I would need them next. Worst case scenario, I would have to go out to the parking lot to get them. Today, I no longer drive, but bringing my bags with me is second nature, like remembering to lock my door when I leave home.

    • Free Your Mind Today says:

      I hope I can get to that point- where bringing the bag with me is just second nature. I also want to try the bookbag idea Joanna suggested, I think that might work for me too (but I’m afraid the store will just think I’m shoplifting!).

  3. idreamofdownsizing says:

    You’re not alone! I am so bad about remembering the reusable bags! I finally got to the point where I remember to put them back in the car after unloading groceries, but am still working on actually getting them in to the store.

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