Take a Stand

As I go about my day, I’m more than happy to take a little bit more time and effort, or even create a little bit of upset, to demonstrate my stand for reducing environmental impact. One example of something I take a stand on is bags. You will often see me and the kids carrying a few items or even an armload of items out of a grocery store or retail store without a bag. There have been times when I’ve had to be very firm with the clerk, saying that I don’t want a bag. Sometimes I’ll say to the clerk that I don’t need a bag and the clerk will put the items in a bag anyway. I’ll say again, “Thank you, I don’t need a bag.” There have been times when it has seemed that the clerk is upset that I don’t want a bag. They have tried to give me a bag even after I have declined two or more times. I sometimes remove the items from the bag myself. Because I’ve learned that clerks may then throw the bag in the garbage rather than use it with the next customer, I’ll now re-hang the plastic bag on the bag rack or fold the paper bag back down to ensure the clerk uses it for the next purchase. I don’t worry about people thinking I’m crazy because I think they’re crazy to not care.

Real changes are made when people take a stand, take action, and speak up. Changes are starting to be made. Some municipalities are banning the sale of bottles of water; some stores are charging consumers for plastic bags; some stores require their cashiers to ask customers if they want a receipt; some bank machines now accept deposits without envelopes. New norms are emerging. These are all steps forward and they’ve happened because a number of people took a stand.

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