Sunday, March 04, 2007

Changing Old Habits

Before this project began, I treated grocery shopping like most people. That is, I would make my shopping list (of course, I'd almost always forget to bring my list to the store!), and then shop for groceries.

The thought of bringing reuseable bags to the grocery store never occurred to me.

As a result, I ended up with a slew of plastic bags that I tucked away in my kitchen cabinet (see blog entry on 1/9/07). When this project began in August, I struggled to change my ways. Now I was determined to bring my old plastic bags back to the store. But that good intention was not enough: I still would forget to bring those bags to the store.

This was frustrating for a couple of reasons: 1) I would criticize myself--"How can I direct a project on conserving plastic bags if I'm still consuming more and more bags?," and 2) by nature, I'm forgetful, which is probably why having the good intention to reuse bags was not enough.

I knew I had to change my old ways, but how?

Well, the good news is that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to solve this problem. Perhaps a cognitive psychologist could help me kick this old habit. Thank goodness I'm one of those wacky professionals! :0)

So instead of relying on my faulty memory, I took 2 minutes out of my hectic life to reshuffle my bags from the kitchen cabinet to the trunk of my car. Problem solved: The bags were now readily available when I went grocery shopping. So when I would inevitably forget to bring the bags, I was saved because they were in the trunk.

That really did the trick because I finally started reusing my plastic bags. And once this new habit was established, I tweaked my behavior by purchasing these colorful (and cute!) reuseable bags.

So my frustrations have eased, although I still forget to bring my shopping list to the store! :0)

By the way, if you're interested in sporting these cool bags, let me know because I can get a good deal on them ($4 per bag). And if you want more information about these ECOSILK bags, go to this website:


Molly said...

Wow, good for you, Michelle!! It's so inspiring to be taught by a professor that actually practices what she preaches! Unfortunately, that is rare.

In my response to the state of trash in America article that we read last week, I commented that, according to several statements at last Sunday's Oscar's, Hollywood had "gone green." Since then, several reports have come out criticizing this assertion. Melissa Etheridge sang a song at the Academy Awards that was all about conserving energy and electricity, while meanwhile, she had a ridiculous light show illuminating her performance, along with a gigantic movie screen behind her playing a movie with pictures and quotes. Point being, while Hollywood claims to make this a bigger priority, they are HUGE hypocrites about it, they are actually some of the biggest culprits of energy-spending, with the hours upon hours of lights, generators, electronic equipment, trailers, etc. At the very show that they claimed to have "gone green", they spent MILLIONS of dollars putting on a huge production. all this talk about being energy-conscious....well, it's all talk :(

(also, i think i'll start bringing my own bags to the store, too. Good way of conservation, and excellent use of all these darn bags!)


Anonymous said...

Great photo and great suggestion. That's funny because that's exactly what I have done with my reusable bags, but at this point, I only use my reusable bags when I shop at a store where you have to bring your own (like Aldi). I have 2 large mesh bags that I bought from Old Navy that I keep in the trunk of my car too. I would be interested in those silk bags so I would have enough all my regular shopping too.

Anonymous said...

Another place to obtain CHEAP reusable bags, such as canvas bags, is the thrift store. Goodwill, St. Vinnie's and Salvation Army all have bags for about $1, maybe less. These bags already exist so we're not using new resources. They're washable and they store easily in the trunk of the car. They're durable, too.

Michelle Verges, Project Director said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for posting the suggestion about purchasing bags at thrift stores. That's a great tip!

:0) M

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