Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Simple Suggestion #241... Reduce and reuse those single-use items

I've been thinking a lot about plastic bags lately, mainly because I'm down to my last three recycled bread bags since so much food has been processed or baked and put into the freezer or fridge lately. After watching The Clean Bin Project a few months ago, I find myself looking carefully at every bag, determining whether it's reusable or too holey, and feeling regretful any time I have to throw one out because it's come to the end of its usefulness.

And I'm the same way about a lot of other single-use things. Disposable cups, forks, knives, spoons, napkins (my friend, Supersu, gifts people with these great little portable sets complete with cloth napkin that can go anywhere with her and her friends). Then there are cottage cheese containers, excellent for storing left-overs. Plastic vegetable trays (I'll never buy a full one from Costco again when it's possible to refill it myself!) Ball point pens (why don't they all come with refills?) and markers. Heck, I even use my insulin needles and blood testing lancets more than a few times, much to the horror of some healthcare professionals (but hey, I'm the only one using mine)! And I refuse to buy a coffee unless I have my travel mug along because there's not much worse than seeing single use Tim Horton's and Starbucks garbage blowing down the street. It's the same with getting groceries -- no reusable bags? Take only what I can can carry without the store-offered plastic ones. Their average lifespan is maybe twenty single-use minutes (or less)!

We've become such a disposable society that refusing to use disposables is odd, unusual, strange and counter-cultural. If I was any good at Photoshop, I'd come up with a line of "Rebel with a Cause" posters featuring James Dean with a travel mug on his motorbike. Or maybe Madonna, the original "Material Girl" with a rag bag. I'm sure if I put my thinking cap on, there'd be dozens of other possibilities. How about a "Keep Calm and Reuse (and reuse, and reuse...)" Poster?

Anyway, today's challenge is to look around life and actually see the single-use items that our parents or grandparents never took for granted, but washed and used again, and washed and used again -- and do the same. And in the same vein, not to allow too many of those things into our lives in the first place.

I really ought to get back to baking my own bread, come to think of it...

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