Monday, April 13, 2009

Enough Is Enough

I remember when reusable bags first made their way into my life. I was young, I think high school. My family and I would go to the local art and wine festival during the summer, and they’d have festival branded t-shirts and totes. And I liked the totes, and bought one. It was simple, and I cherished it. But at that time, it wasn’t ‘cool’ to use it. At that time, no one brought their own bags to the grocery store. And so little by little, I stopped using it.

Now, look around. Everyone carries reusable bags. They’re thrown in their cars and brought to grocery stores. They’re used at the Farmer’s Market. Stores will give you a discount if you bring your own bag. And yes, maybe it’s because I’m in San Francisco (the city that is working to eliminate plastic bags all together), but still, it’s a trend. And it’s everywhere. Do you all remember the “I’m Not A Plastic Bag” phenomenon? Right. You know once something’s gone ‘Hollywood’, it’s made it big.

So what’s the problem? I have too many reusable bags. I’m serious. It’s gotten out of control. I’ve got them hanging in every corner of my small apartment. The green ones from Whole Foods. The more plasticy one from Trader Joe’s. My brown Farmer’s Market one. And then there are the really awesome ones. The two from Fish’s Eddy (both New York themed--one I bought myself, one was a gift!), the one I found on Esty that’s got a pig stitched on it (thanks for the tip Melissa!), the organic cotton ones (one of which I shrunk, opps!) My international collection—bags from CitySuper in Hong Kong, and the Monoprix from Paris.

I’ve got my favorites for different occasions. Like I prefer bringing the new canvas ‘rooster’ one to the Farmer’s Market, because it’s got a little pocket or compartment that I can throw my wallet in and it doesn’t get lost in the bag. Or when I am throwing stuff in a car, the whole food ones work well. My Fish’s Eddy ones are kind of special. And saved for occasions when I know they’re not going to get too battered. I love the nylon Method/Virgin America bag—perfect for the grocery story runs. My little purple Monoprix bag is always brought out for something wet since it's nylon and perfect for that.

So how do you all keep it under control? When do I say “STOP! Enough is enough!” In our quest to eliminate waste, have I created more of a mess in my apartment?


  1. Sounds like a good problem to have. You should have a re-usable bag party and give them away as gifts!

  2. I was just thinking this a couple weeks ago!! At some point reusable bags just become not-eco-friendly when there are so many. Just this past Christmas, I must've gotten at least ten either as actual gifts or vendor giveaways.

    Thanks for posting this rant that we all must be resonating with these days... ;)