a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

by Tao Oliveto

What do light bulbs and plastic bags have in common? They can both change the world! In another step towards rethinking, retraining, and reinventing a sustainable (and logical) world, the “bring your own” movement is gaining ground. Resistance is futile so read on.

If changing one light bulb can dramatically change our energy use , imagine what the elimination of plastic bags could do towards lowering consumption, waste and pollution? How many retailers previously thought of the idea of charging customers a nominal amount for the normally free plastic or paper bags at the checkout as a way to both cut down on waste and create awareness? It was a long time coming, but Ikea took a stand and proved that even a little money talks. The popular home furnishing chain projects that they’ll cut plastic bag use by at least 50%, from 70 million bags a year down to 35 million bags.

No cool city should be left behind, so San Francisco followed up by becoming the first U.S. city to pass a ban on non-recyclable plastic bags at major supermarkets and drugstores, hopefully encouraging other cities to do the same and/or the industry itself to voluntarily change to compostables. To balance cost and reduce use overall, many stores are also now selling reusable bags at checkout at low prices, making it easy for consumers to think before they bag.

We Are What We Do is a movement inspiring people to use everyday actions to change the world. They started the planet-saving initiative, the Plastic Ain’t My Bag campaign, reaching out to both consumers and store management to convince them that a little savings can go a long way both for the planet and profits.

If you still are not convinced that bringing your own bag isn’t next in cool eco-trends, check out a tote bag proclaiming, “I’m Not a Plastic Bag”, designed by Anya Hindmarch and chosen as the official gift bag for celebrity guests at the 2007 Vanity Fair Oscar-night party. But you don’t have to be a celebrity to look cool as you byob. I’ve found bags for all occasions at thrift stores and farmers markets. Here are my recent favorites.

Make a statement. Make a difference. Bring your own.

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  1. Blue Sky Mining » Weekend Web Review: The Tao of Change Says:

    […] posts on The Tao of Change include a discussion of the bring your own (grocery bag, that is) eco-trend and how to join the revolution in style, ideas for living simply and traveling (and thus polluting) […]

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