It's not easy being green, but I'm trying
I like trees, and grass, and nature, but I'm not especially fond of the color green. This stems, I'm sure, from my having worn a green jumper throughout grammar school and high school. Even when every other Catholic school in the universe converted to the relatively hip and with-it plaid skirt and jacket uniform, my high school persisted in requiring a jumper that was nearly identical to the one my mother had worn to her high school 30 years earlier.
Whatever my feelings about the color green, I know deep down that we all have to start getting better at being it.
A few weeks ago, while tootling home from Syracuse, I took a bio-break at one of the Turnpike stops. I passed the iZone sunglass area, and saw that they were selling fold-up shopping bags, called Totettes.
I had read recently that the flimsy plastic bags you get everywhere are contributed mightily to the ruin of the environment, so I thought I'd get me one of them Totettes and start using it in lieu of the evil plastic bags.
When I went to pay for it ($12.99), the woman working the stand chirped up, two for $20. So I sprung, and I now keep one in my laptop backpack and one in my pocketbook, and am religiously using these totes in lieu of the plastic bags I'm used to getting when I buy toothpaste, a loaf of bread, a printer cartridge, a pair of socks... I figure I'm saving the environment a couple of hundred bags a year this way. The Totettes are nylon and come in a bunch of bright colors (plus, I think, black). Each has a self-contained (self-attached) little case. Once you've used the Totette, it folds up very readily into that case, and you have something somewhere betweeen the size of a glasses case and your cell phone to handily toss in your pocketbook (or pocket).
Since purchasing my Totettes - one neon green, one electric blue; the better to see them in the far reaches of my black pocketbook or my black backpack - I have been using them religiously at Staples, CVS, and the corner grocery. In the first week alone, I've saved a good half dozen plastic bags.
And being green may have a reward attached beyond just plain goodness and virtue. I used both Totette's when I went to pick up a few things at Trader Joe's, and got to enter a drawing (winner gets $25 worth of groceries) for those who are bringing their own bags. Even if I don't win - and I actually have pretty good luck with raffles - this is a nice touch!
Feeling virtuous, feeling green, I now vow that I will start bringing my big canvas tote bags to the grocery store when I do my major grocery haul next week. Let's see if I keep that vow.
But I do already recycle my bottles, cans, newspapers, and mags. I already drive a small, fuel-efficient car. I already believe that global warming is a clear and present danger. I have already gotten plastic-bag-replacing Totettes for The Banshees (my girl gang: six sisters-cousins who convene twice a year for no-boys-allowed, wine, shopping, and song weekends). I figure if all six of us forego 5 of those miserable little plastic bags each week, at the end of the year, we'll have "saved" 1500 of them.
Damn, I'm good and green.