Less one plastic bag

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I occurred to me this morning as I put out the trash how much my life has changed. From the outside, we live in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, in a good city. But when I look closer, there are things I never expected to see there.

Where once there were flower beds there are vegetables growing in the front yard. In the pantry there is a large Tupperware bin to put the recyclables in for trash day and a compost bucket by the sink. That will eventually make its way to the com-poster in the back yard.

Now I know what you are thinking- that is not happening at my house- and to be honest, not so long ago I thought that too. These changes did not happen all at once. But I can tell you when it started. I remember driving an hour to work one way  when I lived in New Mexico and there is an image that got burned into my brain so permanently that I  close my eyes and there it is.

It is a plastic grocery bag caught on a barbed wire fence. There are stunning rock covered mountains, antelope in the fields, mule deer hiding in the trees. And marring all this was one of the cheapest things we make.

I knew then that those dame bags had to go. Even so, with all that emotion it would be another three years before reusable bags lived in my car and one in my purse. Why? You might ask, because I was afraid. Afraid to be different from my friends, to have to “do” something that might take more time and effort than I thought I had. And lets face it, it has not always been popular to be eco-minded. Thank God its changing.

But weather or not public opinion changes, the government mandates or it suddenly becomes trendy I have to think about me- what is realistic and what is not, how far am I willing to go and why? Because if I don’t it will become something I hate doing and my good intentions will be only that.

So how do I keep motivated? Why do I “choose” to do all these things? Because I believe that someone  will drive by  that spot in New Mexico and see what I should have seen, everything the same less one plastic bag.

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One response »

  1. Leaving smaller footprints of our own makes room for the footprints of others- of our grand-times-10-children, of the animals, of the future. The little measures any one of us takes to shrink the footprints we leave behind matter. I believe that. I believe in the beauty and worth of the world as we should be able to see it- natural and awe inspiring and free of the detritus of human life. Good for you!

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