I recently bought a rotisserie chicken from a Whole Foods in San Francisco, a city that has banned plastic bags. For some reason, rotisserie chickens are exempt from this bag ban. The clerk scanned my bird and made a move for the special rotisserie chicken bag, despite the fact that my reusable bags had more than enough space. Just as he was about to shake the bag open, I stopped him. (Phew, crisis averted.)
“No thanks on the plastic bag,” I said. “I like to avoid those bad boys whenever possible. You can just toss it in one of the bags I brought.”
He gave me a bit of a look, then looked at my groceries with disdain.
“What about this rotisserie chicken container? It’s plastic,” he said. He looked down the line at the other things I was buying. “Or these raspberry containers.”
I wanted to shake him violently.
First of all, those plastic containers are #1 and #5 plastic, both of which are recyclable in San Francisco. Plastic bags are not. Second, just because I make one small choice to avoid a plastic bag doesn’t mean I must also make the choice to avoid plastic at all times everywhere. (Despite that being a great goal.) Third, dude. Those are literally the only two plastic items you can point to in my purchase and they’re both recyclable. Give a girl some credit.
Oddly, I got more flack for making the small and easy, yet meaningful choice to pass on the plastic bag than I would’ve gotten from letting this guy unnecessarily bag my bird in plastic in the first place. It made no sense.
An Instagram follower (you rock, @letsallgotospace) recently regrammed a post with the hashtag #lazyrevolution. Alongside the Story of Stuff post advocating simply saying “no straw please” at restaurants everywhere, she wrote, “All the little changes we make in our daily lives add up– make a difference, the lazy man’s way.”
Word. And it got me thinking…
Very few people are going to be zero wasters, storing months of trash in a single mason jar.
But anyone can say no thank you to an unnecessary plastic bag… or straw or water bottle or dry cleaning bag or take out container or wrapper or any other form of unnecessary one time use convenience that’s soon to become trash.
What metaphorical plastic bags can you live without? That stuff adds up!