Sunday, June 8, 2014

Goodbye My House, Part 5

Apartment life encourages regular use of reusable shopping bags

001A driveway and attached garage are true luxuries. I have come to realize this since moving from my house into an apartment. Gone are the days of driving into the garage, and easily transporting groceries into the kitchen.

You could say that I have been forced to do the right thing. The 50-foot walk to the building entrance, juggling grocery bags while maneuvering through two doors that have separate keys, then going back out for more, has made me return to an old habit that for some reason I abandoned a few years ago.

This habit is the reusable shopping bag. They have sturdy handles, and you can load them up so everything makes it in one trip. Better yet is that I am not contributing to the plastic grocery bag waste stream, which has become such a concern that many cities are banning them.

Plastic bags are difficult to recycle and are not accepted by our local recycler. Too often, they wind up in the trash or litter on roads, in streams and fields and elsewhere.  Governments that have limited or banned plastic grocery bag production also tout conservation of fuel that is used to make them.

Yes, many consumers, in California for example, have complained about legislation that would force them to remember their reusable shopping bags, and accompanying rules such as the grocery store charging 10 cents per paper bag for the customer who forgets to bring his or her own.

While no one likes to be forced to do something, this squabble is unnecessary. Remembering to put the reusable bags back into my car and bring them into the store is a fairly easy habit to develop.

And this time, I won’t abandon it. ©

Nancy Kibbee is editor at


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