The Next Step

I have my friendly neighborhood local government to thank for changing my behavior on the grocery bag front, but it’s possible I’ll have to take any further steps into my own hands. And what’s the next step?

Reusable Produce Bags. It’s happening.

But Oh Lordy Me, the options! A quick googling of “reusable produce bags” yielded a plethora of choices. This, I feel, is one of the problems of trying to be more eco-friendly (and really, let’s be honest, of trying to do any little piece of good in this world). The choices are just endless.

Let’s review. I could go





Rainbow Colored 

Or, in perhaps the most frugal and committed option, I could

Make My Own

And that was in just the first 2 sets of results. Counter-productively, my first instinct was to throw up my hands, curse the heavens that I would never be able to choose, and lament my fate as a plastic-bag-using produce shopper until the end of time. I never said I didn’t have a hint of the drama queen.

Helpfully, my inner drama queen then calmed down, but unfortunately, she was overtaken by my inner Rational Profit Maximizer, as we call them in law school. I like to think of this mythical person as Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life. Sure he’s charging people and arm and a leg for substandard housing, but the market supports it! It’s efficient! Efficient!

In my case, my rational-profit-maximizing instinct usually takes the form of being an unrepentant cheapskate. Frugal, I like to call it. Thrifty. So I looked at these choices and thought – how much do I really want to spend on some produce bags. How much harm can my little bit of plastic really be doing to the planet. Is it really really worth the money to buy these mesh bags, use them, clean them out, dry them and use them again?

It’s an interesting question, and one that any small eco-friendly step raises.  Because truthfully, any one person’s actions do a vanishingly small amount. Does that mean it’s not worth doing anything? I’m inclined to say that it’s still worth it, not just because our collective actions eventually have some effect, but because it’s good to try to do good. I have far from the most sustainable life possible, and there are any number of areas where I fail at this task of doing good spectacularly. But if it occurs to me that if there’s a little something I could do better, at minimal cost, then why not do something? Why not contribute just a little less to the demand for plastic? I really can’t think of a good reason.

So, off I go, choosing some produce bags. I will NOT be paralyzed by indecisiveness! I will NOT be dragged down by the insignificance of my action in the grand scheme! Instead, I will happily click on one of the options above, I will use them, and I will report back.

Stay tuned for the final choice.


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