In my last article, I shared some healthy and cheap recipes that can help you turning the food scarcity on River Campus into an opportunity to gain cooking skills. In order to effectively prepare meals, frequent trips to grocery stores are inevitable. Luckily, the Green Line takes students to the popular local stores during its hours of operation on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and I’m very thankful for that convenience.
I’ve always enjoyed shopping, but one fact that makes me sad is the overuse of plastic grocery bags. Last weekend, I decided to take a step further and requested a reusable one at the point of sale. Nonetheless, I ended up using plastic bags; some were used to wrap small items before being placed in the reusable bag, while others received the products that couldn’t fit in the reusable bag. Also, I had to double the latter ones to avoid sudden tears due to the weight of their contents.
Once at home after the usual 20-minute ride, while sorting my groceries, I was shocked by the number of plastic bags that I used. When later, I took the time to count them, I found 1, 2, 3… 6 at least! Not that I want to make it dramatic, this number would certainly double or triple without the the acquisition of the large reusable bag. By quickly multiplying the resulting two-digit number by the millions of people who buy everyday in the “conventional” way, I can understand why even the largest ocean animals are endangered by our addiction to plastic.
Plastic grocery bags don’t constitute the only non-biodegradable products that are heavily consumed on a daily basis. Foam cups, plastic straws, and single-use cutlery fall all into the same category, polluting, and destroying innocent natural beings. Happily, a rising number of countries start to ban single-use plastics, a decision which will certainly bring positive changes.
For my next shopping trip, I plan to significantly reduce my use of plastic bags, and might even skip them. What about the remaining one million plastic bags that are used every single minute?
Well… since I can’t do anything about this fact, I’ll just ignore it.
Written by Kelly Jean, Class of 2021