Confessions of a Bag Lady

I’ve always known I was a bag lady, and a story about it began to emerge as I was washing–you may have guessed it–bags the other night.


Washing ziplocs has been part of my MO for as long as I can remember. Sometimes they really pile up, but my husband or I will always take on the task. I do have to recycle them if they start to leak or get too grungy, but the thought of using a bag only one time seems horrifying.

Plastic bags are an awesome convenience, but they are a terrible burden on our environment – so I do whatever I can to make less of them move through the consumer chain.

Maybe this story really began to emerge when the students from the Crest Academy set a new world record. They made a chain of plastic bags (over 6,000 of them) that wound up S Mountain – at the base of our town.


I know this picture isn’t the best (I needed a high-powered lense to capture this properly – and you can click on the image to see it a little bit larger or click here to see a few more pics).

It really was the coolest thing to see from my deck while knowing what was going on.

What was not cool was the fact that this 1.7 mile plastic bag chain illustrated less than the number of plastic bags Salida uses in one day (according to the Crest Academy Director). Ugh!

I strive to contribute to that chain as little as possible. Besides washing my ziplocs, I’m a canvas bag kinda gal for shopping…have been for as long as I can remember. And if I forget my bags for some reason I usually scoop up my groceries and lug them to my bike without a bag. We keep a few bags in our car – for just in case, and when we’re headed to the ‘big city’ for a ‘big shop’ we load the car with several from our collection.


Every time I go shopping I cringe as I watch someone with only a few things – and sometimes just one thing – take a plastic bag. I feel like tapping them on the shoulder and saying,

“Uh, excuse me, do you really need that bag?”

I really feel like shouting it.

Unfortunately the clerks at my local chain grocery are pretty unconscious about the whole plastic bag thing. Most of them know me by now (and think I’m a bit strange, I should add), and for most people their automatic reaction is right in the plastic bag. You have to show them you have your own bag, or be sure to tell them you don’t want a bag.

That cool bag event – created by young school children – shows I am not the only Salidan who has a thing against the overuse of plastic bags. But there are too many people – ALL OVER – that seem completely oblivious. And then there are those who just use the excuse they forgot, or left their bags in the car.

You can learn to make using reusable bags something you don’t generally forget – I think you gotta want to.

I hope, dear reader, that you are conscious about your plastic bag use. Or that, after my soapbox, you will consider becoming so. I am far from perfect, but I know that every little bit helps. Try to limit your plastic bag use and help take care of our beautiful earth, pretty please.

Thanks for being hear and listening.

Lisa, aka the mountain mermaid



Filed under Creativity, Inspiration, My Salida Backyard

2 responses to “Confessions of a Bag Lady

  1. Hear, here! I wash my ziplocks too, and use totes, and recently learned about ziplock recycling options: Great story and visual, love your eco earthy roots Mountain Mermaid! Super green! ~L.

  2. Carrie

    I’ve moved mostly away from the ziplocs… I can’t bear to wash them out and reuse them but I have seriously cut my overall use back.

    I now try to put things in tupperware/gladware type containers. I know that’s still plastic but at least they’re far longer use (for me). It’s not a lot but every little bit helps! 🙂

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