Forgot your Reusable?

In a brilliant 30 minute interview on NPR’s Fresh Air, Edward Humes, author of the new book, Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash, expounds on America’s position as the leading producer of garbage in the world.  Toward the end of the interview, host Terry Gross presses Humes on how to respond when faced with the question: “paper or plastic?”  (Green Sangha’s amusing music video “Plastic State of Mind” opens with this query, still often heard on the grocery store checkout line.)

Gross asks this question rather guiltily, and confesses, “I often don’t have bags with me.”

Okay. It’s not an uncommon dilemma. It happens.

We are delighted to note that with every passing day we spot more efforts to address the problem of forgetting to bring along your reusables. It may be a reminder sign posted in the parking lot, or a stock of loaners available for your use. So if you forget to BYOR, keep your eyes open; seek, and ye may find!

Here are a couple of helpful things we’ve seen:

Reminder signs:

Sign at Surdyk's, Minneapolis MN

Bring Your Own Bag sign at Surdyk’s, Minneapolis, MN

Sign at Feast, Charlottesville, VA

Sign at Feast, Charlottesville, VA

On site solutions:

Sign at Whole Foods - Bring your Reusable Bag?

Sign in Whole Foods Parking Lot, Charlottesville, VA

Barrell - Take a bag, leave a bag

Take a bag, leave a bag barrel, Whole Foods, Charlottesville, VA

Other options for dealing with that forgotten reusable might include simply loading groceries direct from cart into car. Or perhaps taking the time to enjoy your coffee in a ceramic mug on site.

What about you?  Have you noticed local businesses working to avoid waste and/or make reuse more common? Do you have a strategy that works well for you when you forget your reusable? Let us know.

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