Over the years, in an attempt to be more eco-friendly, I must have acquired at least 25 reusable fabric grocery bags. Yet how is it that I often find myself without one, where and when I need one?
When I first jumped on the reusable grocery bag bandwagon, I bought three, thinking that this would be enough for all of my grocery needs. “Never would I buy more than that in one grocery run, for just one person”, I thought to myself.
While that may have been true in theory, it didn’t account for the possibility of having something like a meat product or a dairy product drip.
In that instance, it didn’t feel terribly eco-friendly to wash just one bag in a wash load nor did I want to combine it with a load of good clothes. And hand washing anything that involves bleach scares the crap out of me for fear of creating a bleach stain on whatever I happen to be wearing at the time.
So I decided to wait until the next convenient opportunity for the grocery bag to hitch a laundry ride with the eco-friendly washable dust rags. But that was still a couple of weeks away. I placed the bag under quarantine (in a plastic bag, I’m sorry!) and that was when my three grocery bags became two.
It didn’t take long for two to become one, as history repeated itself, which then raised the urgency level on the grocery bag wash, for fear of not being able to continue doing my good deed for the environment.
That was when I realized it was perhaps a wise investment to get a few more bags, to have a set ready for use at the grocery store, with a few set aside for washing, when I have accumulated enough to make it worthwhile.
Again, the theory behind this idea was indeed sound but in practice, not so much.
While the collection of clean bags took up residence in the car, ready for use for any grocery emergency, when groceries were brought into the house, for some reason, the bags didn’t make it back to the car as swiftly as they should.
Call it forgetfulness, call it “being busy”, but after use, they tended to accumulate in the house, in the broom closet (if they weren’t in queue, waiting to be washed).
After a couple of weeks of being stranded without any in the car and having to pay for plastic bags, I reasoned with myself that I may as well be paying for a few more fabric bags to have enough in the car, in the house, and waiting for a wash. That being the case, the inventory of reusable bags grew a little more.
That was when Ivy the Wonder Cat discovered them. She became fascinated by the texture of a certain brand of fabric bags, sometimes using them as a horizontal scratching post, or as a comfy cat bed, thus taking a couple out of circulation.
I recall one day being at the grocery check-out, flicking open a closed grocery bag, and releasing a cloud of cat hair from a bag that Ivy must have used as a soft play structure. She is a bit of an oddball as she doesn’t seem to care for boxes the same way that many cats do. Either way, from that point on, I stopped leaving the bags on the floor after a grocery run, no matter how much she meowed to play with them.
But with a couple of bags in queue for washing due to excessive cat hair, and temporarily deducted from the inventory, that was when I started imagining that the National Geographic team could potentially produce a special about the migratory patterns of my fabric grocery bags.
Then, one beautiful spring day, Murphy’s Law set in when I wanted take in the best weather Mother Nature had to offer and to pick up a few things on foot. How much more eco-friendly could you get?
Of course that had to be the day that I had my act together and all of the grocery bags were neatly folded and stowed in the car, with none in the house and none in queue for washing.
It certainly wasn’t a problem to stop by the car trunk on my way out, except that in my haste, when I grabbed one, I created a cascade of other bags escaping, like a majestic fountain of grocery bags.
When the combination of swearing and laughing finally stopped, I wondered to myself, “What were the odds that the day that they all converged in the car, was the day I didn’t need them to all be there?”
Just the same, I can see that I have made progress in the process of herding the grocery bags!
With so much talk in the news about banning plastic bags and reducing our dependence on single use plastics, it is only a matter of time before the option to buy a plastic bag (because I don’t have one with me) will likely be off the table.
Keeping a stock of clean reusable grocery bags, ready for use when and where I need them, is just a matter of organisation and making it part of the routine.
I know that forming a new habit like this takes time and patience, but when good intentions and motivation are strong, the transition should be pretty easy.
Did you enjoy this post? If you haven’t already, please check out the rest of my blog at andrebegin.blog. From there, you can click on the “Follow” button to receive future posts directly in your inbox. Also, don’t be shy, feel free to tell a friend or to share the link.
Sincere thanks for reading!
Have a great day,