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Rarely There

A collection of discourses - myriad, profound, uplifting...
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Monday, April 9, 2007

No Net Impact Lifestyle

Plastic bags were a rarity, a luxury item, when I was little in India. My parents carried cloth tote bags everywhere, bought groceries & vegetables and carried them home in these cloth bags, anything we can carry home riding the bus we tucked them into the tote bags as-is, no plastic "carry-bags" to encase and keep them "protected"...

I am not against plastic, I appreciate its value, especially in medical field. I just don't like the disposable lifestyle that has become popular over the last few decades... and I don't like to accumulate plastic bags, even if I reuse and recycle them as best as possible. D & I take several of our our sturdy canvas tote bags for grocery shopping, and when they ask, "paper or plastic", we say, "none, thank you"...

Now, call it silly, but, if I want a bunch of green beans, I just grab a handful and throw them in the tote bag I carry for my shopping purposes; then, at the checkout, I meticulously lay the bunch of green beans grouped together on the conveyor, all naked, no plastic bag to hold them together. This seems to bother the checkout person, understandably. It could be frustrating, I suppose...

On the other hand, I always wonder: couldn't the stores have a weighing scale with a re-usable holder, zeroed out to discount the holder's weight, so that the checkout person just has to place my loose green beans in that holder and throw them back on the conveyor after ringing them up, and I can just scoop the green beans and throw them in my tote back and everybody is happy?!

Daycare doesn't do cloth diapers, hygiene and labor involved are not easily balanced. So, our wee tot uses disposable diapers. We try to use cloth diapers on weekends. We try to limit the paper products but certainly are used to Toilet Paper a lot, can't easily replace them :)

We compost organics, buy bulk to reduce packaging junk, buy local as much as possible, grow some vegetables and herbs in our backyard, cook at home, have low-flush toilets, even thought about community flushing (do I hear a resounding Ewwwww??!)

D & I keep thinking how else can we reduce our negative impact, what can we do to be pro-active and green... when I came across Colin Beavan's No Impact Man experiment. Sounds very exciting, but, certainly seems a little extreme for me to embark on at this juncture.

Baby Steps, as they say...

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Blogger Tharini said...


I totally feel the way you do. Only I have not made a conscience attempt to change US. But have to start...and somewhere..

I follow this wonderful person's space very closely...check her'll love it..

1:21 PM  
Blogger Kay said...

Yes, we can't go to that extreme, but we can do what we can. It's very heartening to see you going green slowly. I do what I can - chemical free cleaning, going organic, no synthetic chemicals on the body or hair, etc. And I'm learning a lot from you. Thanks Sheela.

6:47 AM  

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