Julia’s Sustainability Goal, Week 1

Oh dear, I’ve failed miserably. It was only when unloading my items onto the conveyor belt at Market Basket that I realized – I forgot reusable bags! I completely forgot. Was not remotely on my radar screen. I have thought about it a few times since our meeting but never in or near a grocery store.

Hmm….so what to do. I have just written a reminder note and taped it on my refrigerator. It says “Bring Reusable Bags and Save the Ocean.” I colored it in pretty blues and greens. The next step is looking around the apartment to see if I have any reusable bags. I know I have at least one. I will probably have to reuse some market basket bags and surprise the bagger with them next time. I wonder how they will react. I love the ocean, I love nature. So why has it taken me so long to do this? Strange how habits work. It is like continuing to make the same mistake when playing the piano even when you KNOW what the right notes are supposed to be.

But why not take reusable much further?

How about a grocery store where you have to refill all your containers. Or containers are brought back and washed and sterilized and then made available next to the item for your use. We probably would end up using more glass for this and less plastic. Ok, so an example:

We go into the grocery store to buy milk, apples, toothpaste and conditioner.  We pick up a grocery basket and proceed to the milk aisle. Instead of bottle after wasteful bottle of various types of milk we see large industrial sized containers with spigots. There is a shelf with empty milk bottles lined up behind one another so that as you take one the others are pushed forward. You take your sparkling clean glass bottle and fill it up with the milk of your choice, put the top on and write the number on the outside in washable marker.  You then go the the produce section and fill a mesh sack with apples. Then you go to the health and beauty aisle and take an empty toothpaste container and fill it full of toothpaste, the same with conditioner. You check out with your reusable shopping bags and hey, zero waste shopping experience!

Perhaps there are incentives to help you out. Use reusables and gain points for each one used. Then, once accumulating enough points, you get some free groceries.

There is still a small section with products in containers but if you buy something in a container, you have to pay for that container. And the container is made to be reusable, the same kind that the store supplies in hope you bring it back to be reused.

Maybe the manufacturer, no longer having to pay for containers for their products will be required to help the grocery store pay for cleaning and sanitizing containers.

Thanks for reading!

-Julia

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