Let me say right out front here that I am not a green freak. It's not that I don't love the earth; I'm frigging crazy about the earth. What I hate is fads, and it seems to be that "being green" is the most in-your-face, out-of-control fad around these days. Whew. Got that out of the way.
Still, I wasn't feeling right about plastic bags. They're stupid. You need eight of them to carry home ten bucks' worth of groceries because the handles stretch out and cut your fingers off otherwise. Then you wad them up and either save them in yet another swelling plastic bag for future recycling, or get really lazy and throw them out. Either way they seem to end up in ditches, along roadways, choking innocent geese, or flapping from tree branches, like the really obnoxious Super One bag that has adorned the 100-year-old maple tree across the street all winter.
Then there's the bizarre cashier custom of bagging every single thing you purchase while you're still fishing out your change--even things like a can of soup or already-bagged items like potatoes. And God forbid you deny this bagging opportunity (see Christine's rant). You have really gotten in the way of a cashier's good day if you don't let her bag up your soup.
Well, I'm here to piss off cashiers everywhere when I tell you, eager readers, to go right out and get yourself a Baggu. Christine hooked me up with a nice bright orange one when I visited her in February, and I love this thing. To begin with, it crushes down to the size of a tangerine, which even I with my overstuffed purse can find room for. Then when you fill it, it comfortably holds what would take two or three plastic bags, and the handles are comfortable and do not collapse down to the width of floss. It's washable. It weighs about an ounce. Because it's similar to the plastic bag design, you can even try to convince doubtful cashiers that it's just as easy to fill. They can hang the bag on the steel bag hooks and go to town.
Admittedly, I've gotten my share of dirty looks from cashiers who don't believe it's just as easy to fill my Baggu. But they can just get over it. Every time I fill my lovely orange bag instead of plastic, I feel good about myself and the planet. (Yes, I'm that easy.) And every time I listen to that plastic bag across the street snap in the wind, I just want to fondle my Baggu. There's hope. Even for a non-greeny like me.