April 24, 2012

Earth Day is fashionably late...

I'm celebrating Earth Day fashionably late this year, as I celebrate all days of significance (birthdays, International Talk Like a Pirate Day, the birth of Jesus, etc.).

To honor this lovely day dedicated to saving our Mother Earth, I'm going to show you how I reuse (which kicks recycling's ass) plastic grocery and shopping bags.  Excited?  You should be.

One thing I've noticed about NYC is that they give you plastic bags for everything.  Go to the store, buy a pack of gum, and they'll put it in a bag.  Take a canvas bag to the grocery store, give the clerk the tote, they'll put everything in plastic bags and then put them inside the reusable one.  "I DON'T NEED THE FUCKING BAGS," I've said, on multiple occasions.

Of course this phenomenon is not universal, but it is widely recognized.  Like circumcision.

As a result, I am left with heaps (heaps, I say) of squishy plastic, which I can't bring myself to throw away or recycle because I know they'll end up in the ocean, where a loggerhead sea turtle named Bay will mistake it for a jellyfish, swallow it, and... well... you can imagine the rest.  When I worked at a sea turtle hospital this was one of the most common causes of turtle hospitalization and death.  It's such a simple thing, a plastic bag, but that unsuspecting yellow smiley face exclaiming "THANK YOU COME AGAIN" can play a deadly game.

Eventually I just start hoarding them, literally for years, and they end up everywhere.  Including the bottom of my closet.

Do you know what else is at the bottom of my closet?  Depressed shoes.  Namely, my favorite pair of winter boots, doomed to spend the next six to eight months sitting limply in a dark corner behind a newly-formed pile of summer sandals.

One day, I found myself upon this gruesome scene:

Can you see where this is going?  Your plastic bags need a place to not-decompose for all eternity, and your suicidal shoes need some uplifting support.  They are sole mates.

Your plastic bags now have a place to live, and your boots won't be quite a wrinkly and concave come fall.  This also works for all the other shoes in your life that for some reason or another can't seem to hold it together (if only I could stuff some people friends with them).  Oh, and our big-boned bag friends as well, who just look sick if they loose their plump figures.

Happy Earth Day.

And your welcome.



  1. Very original ideas. :) I just use them as my trash bags. Fortunately, I can get away with not getting a plastic bag every time I leave a store. (In Korea, most of the stores charge you for a plastic bag anyway.)

  2. THAT'S A GENIUS IDEA. Want to cut down on plastic? Charge for bags. I'm giving you the Nobel Prize in my mind right now.

    Along the same lines, I've seen a few cities or towns which cut down on waste by charging residents per pound of trash they throw out, but giving credits for pounds of recycling. Makes. Perfect. Sense.


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