Thursday, July 10, 2008

Why We Don't Use Plastic Bags

Sometimes it's good to be reminded why we don't use plastic bags. At least that was my thought when I received an email from my friend David today. He sent everyone a pdf regarding the environmental hazards of using plastic bags. I think this document provides a brief, yet thorough overview of this issue. If you have a couple of minutes, I encourage you to take a look at it.

He also wrote about his and his wife's change to using reusable bags:

Annette and I have recently finally gotten in the habit of bringing our own bags to the grocery store. It took a while to get in this habit; not only did we need to i) acquire a sufficient number of cloth and sturdy re-usable bags, we needed to ii)  keep them in the car, and of course then iii) remember to bring them into the store. However, now that we're fully into the routine, we remember our bags all the time and perhaps we are now in the category of people that use 12 less bags/week = 48 bags/month = 576 bags/year.

That's so awesome! I must also thank Dave and Annette for giving me their composting bin a year ago. Thanks to them, I no longer throw my food waste into the garbage. This has resulted in a dramatic reduction in the frequency and amount of trash that I generate at home. No more stinky trash! And I would say that I use 2 trash bags a month to handle my waste. That's down about 50%. Sweet!

20 comments:

Nate Ring said...

That is wonderful news Dr. V., not to sound like some sort of prodigy of ecomania. But actually I use 1 bag a month. (yikes!) It's mostly my refusal to throw away anything I could eat. When I shop I am ultra-conservative. Rarely buying anything I don't need for the month reduces the total amount of trash I use beyond my recognition. There is almost nothing I throw away at this point.

As I was thinking about the habitual nature of green-thumbedness, maybe it is similar to that of the contagion of depression. Ones surrounding and influences (human influences) has a profound impact on the way one views the world. Studies indicate that individuals who spend a great deal of time around individuals who are depressed become depressed themselves (refer to Child and Adolescent Psychopathology: Weis 2007; chapter on Depression). In the case of environmentalism I am sufficiently reinforced/convinced that it does spread like a contagion. But maybe it is yet another research question for you in the future.

In any case, I'm really quite excited to see what this next decade will produce in terms of reform for the ways we think about living in our environment thanks to the contributions of psychologists/regular-human-beings such as yourself.


P.S I'm abandoning natering.blogspot.com for 10 days while I'm in Germany, Be sure to check out hccpsychology497.blogspot.com for updates! You'll be pleased to see what I'm attending while I'm there. As will all that read this site.

INFUSEDgoods said...

Like your friend David we are trying to get in the habit of bringing our own bags, we have them, and some are in the car, but now I just need to remember to bring them in the store...
There is one store we never forget them since we would have to buy them but I always seem to forget when I'm just going in for a few things.

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