Friday, June 13, 2008

Plastic induced sadness…

…and plastic induced resentment has happened to me A LOT since starting the diet—especially when I see people misusing and abusing plastic :(
Case in point: I was in the line at Whole Foods three days ago. My tally was: five items, no plastic, cost $14.12. The woman in front of me spent $300+ on her groceries! She obviously must care about organic and natural food to spend that much money (I don't spend that in a month!), but…and here is the sad and resentful part…every single piece of produce she was buying was in its own plastic bag! At least 10 plastic bags! How can you care enough to buy a lot of super expensive, super good food and then wrap it all in excessive plastic?
I was dumbfounded, literally speechless.
'What can/should I say to her?' I kept thinking. How can I say something so she will listen to me? How do I come off non-preachy, condescending, or holier-than-thou? I could not figure out what to say without sounding like a zealot and so I said nothing. People get really defensive really quickly when they feel judged. I don't want defensiveness—I want epiphany.
I can’t keep saying nothing either—I’ll explode!
I really have to figure out the right thing to say so people don’t get turned off, not listen to me, and think 'oh it’s another of those hippie tree hugger crazy liberal recyclers again'. Okay I am all of those things, but I want people to listen and be inspired to change in spite of what they might think of my hippie tree hugging crazy liberal recycling self. I need help! What do I say? I don’t even have a good opener yet…“I see you have a lot of plastic bags there…STOP IT!” just won’t work.
Suggestions greatly appreciated!

Oh and a confession.
I had a moment of weakness at the bookstore today (note to self never go shopping). I bought two new books on CD!!! Ahhh...that's a lot of plastic. No plastic yesterday—a lot today! Famine or feast.
Right, so resolution: No more buying books on CD for a long long time.
On a positive note we do share CD books within my family (no duplications allowed) and I get books on CD from the library very often...but oh the temptation when they are 40% off!


plasticfreenyc said...

Erin, don't get yourself kicked out of Whole Foods! Just breathe and remember that we're all in different places on our plastic journey.

These are reusable bags that she could use:

And isn't it ironic that we listened to The World Without Us on CDs? Made of plastic? Who are we to be preachy or condescending?

Okay and here's a cute convo I had with my friend Nora about this very predicament:

Nora: here is a plastic diet problem i've been having
if you buy mixed greens
then what?
how do you transport them?

me: reuse a bag you already have?
it would be silly to carry them in your hands.

Nora: exactly
so like, i am just crippled

me: that reminds me of a mitch hedberg joke:
I went to the store, bought eight apples. The clerk said, “Do you want me to put them in a bag?” I said, “No, man, I juggle. But I can only juggle eight. If I’m ever here buying nine apples, fuckin’ bag ‘em up!”

don't you have a bag at home, like a zip lock that you could reuse?

Nora: oh yes i do
is that allowed though?

me: sure!

Nora: but also, i never put my other veggies in a bag
like apples or zukes

plasticfreenyc said...

sorry that link didn't come through very well. check out
the mesh produce bags.


plasticfreenyc said...

oh also, you can buy books on itunes.. no plastic! plus they have a sale section. we listened to some david sedaris in the car today and laughed our faces off.