Green bloggers struggle with their own set of strange, unanswerable questions. "Would sending in this raggedy bra to the Bosom Buddy Program be a help or an insult?" "Can I justify going to this green nonprofit's fundraiser if the only way I can get there is by car?" "Are these climate change-denying trolls hired to comment for a living by the Tea Party?"
And most importantly: What happens to all those free reusable bags given out at practically every green event?
Longtime readers know that too many reusable bags are a pet peeve of mine — so much so that I actually came down on readers on my personal blog who seemed to be stockpiling reusable bags in some sort of black hole instead of actually reusing them! Yet, in the last six years, I've been unable to stop the incessant flow of reusable bags into my life. At first, I gave away these bags one by one on my blog. Then I had to resort to giving them away en masse — a strategy I still employ from time to time.
But I'm still left wondering: What happens to all the other reusable bags that were given out to attendees who, say, don't have blogs on which they host weekly giveaways? Where do these bags go?
Well, if reading this is making you go red in the face because you've been a reusable bag stockpiler, I've got a solution for you ... if you live in or plan to visit Southern California soon. The City of Santa Monica's just launched a Share A Bag program. The gist: Those with too many reusable bags can drop off their extras at Share A Bag locations, while those without reusable bags can pick some up for free. It's like those leave a penny / take a penny dealios at cash registers — except with bags instead of coins.
The city's even put together a handy Google Map with all the Share A Bag locations — which include farmers markets, some government offices and resale stores. This program's launched to prep the city for the recently passed plastic bag ban in the city, which starts going into effect this September. Locally, L.A. County's bag ban for the unincorporated areas of the county went into effect at the beginning of this month, while Long Beach's will go into effect in August. Nationally, Portland just made news for passing its own bag ban — to go into effect in October.
So tell me: What is the reusable bag situation in your home? Do you have too many? Not enough? And more importantly — Do you feel a strange compulsion to grab a reusable bag if it's free — even if you don't actually need one? That last question is the one I really wonder about — because I do think the “It’s free? I’ll take 2!” attitude of our consumer culture can be tough to kick...