Plastic Bags, Part 3: The Good News, Plus Cute Reusables for Your Kids

by Red Pill Mama · 0 comments

in Advertising+Media,Character,Environment,General,Politics+Policy,Toys+Products

Just joining us?  Catch up by reading Part 1 and Part 2 of this 3-part series.


So now, here’s the good news on the plastic bag issue: governments and organizations are starting to take measures to encourage (or demand) decreased consumption of disposable plastic bags.  San Francisco literally outlawed them – over two years ago.  D.C. just enacted a law dictating that businesses that sell food or alcohol must charge customers 5 cents for each disposable paper or plastic carryout bag (3 or 4 cents of which goes to the Anacostia River Protection Fund as part of their “Skip the Bag Save the River” program).  Ireland, Australia, Singapore and Taiwan are just a few of the countries currently taking measures to reduce plastic bag usage in their countries.  Where I live, it seems like every store you go into now sells reusable bags, where this was not the case even a year ago.  I am definitely seeing more and more people using them as time goes on.  Red Pill Papa and I were just commenting that it really does seem like the world is starting to wake up, to this and other issues.

“But Mama, I’ve gotta carry my stuff!”  Indeed you do.  And even better than being able to give yourself a green pat on the back with your perhaps not-so-stylish reusable grocery store bags, would be to give yourself that green pat on the back with a cute little number (or 10) from the aforementioned  Because something else to think about is whether you want to pay money (to buy a bag from your grocery or other store) and then advertise for that store (without getting paid to) by repeatedly carrying that branded bag.  If you’re not interested in paying to advertise for a store (advertisers typically pay for advertising, not get paid FOR it), find yourself some un-branded bags.

At, you can extend the green love by choosing recycled bags (reusing the also aforementioned evil plastic or going with biodegradable cotton), or buy colorful sets, or eminently smushable bags that stuff into their very own little container that fits in your purse or backpack (I keep one of these in my purse at all times).  They even have a Made in USA category (you know I love that).  Now those are for you.  But your budding Red Pill Progeny needs to be on board too, which is why they have a section just for kids, with fun, colorful options – so they can choose their very own bag and contribute to your family’s efforts to “skip the bag.”  Yes, these bags cost a bit more than the grocery store variety, but I’ve said it before: what we don’t pay in price at the cash register, will cost someone, or something, at some point down the line.  ‘Cheap’ and ‘convenient’ always come with strings attached.  And as much as possible, I prefer not to advertise for a company that’s not paying me to do so.

Keep your kids’ reusable bags in the car and have them bring them in any time you’re shopping (I know, that’s the trick, isn’t it?  Don’t you love how Trader Joe’s stores have signs out front saying, “Don’t Forget Your Bags!”?).  They’ll feel so responsible and green and special by having their very own bag – and if you reinforce their understanding by pointing out bags and trash in the environment, you’ll be solidifying a good habit that they will probably never give up.  Teaching them to value resources in this way will extend throughout all aspects of their lives, and help them set a great example for others.

Like says: “It’s never too early to say ‘no’ to disposable plastic and paper bags.”

I look forward to hearing your comments and stories.  Please take the Red Pill Poll!

Happy Earth Day — or should I just say ‘Happy Earth,’

Red Pill Mama

With thanks to the San Francisco Department of the Environment and the Worldwatch Institute

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