Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Yet another reason to love Target

Target's reusable shopping bag, originally developed to comply with new laws in California, is gradually making its way across the country. The reusable shopping bags have just begun to appear in Target stores on the East Coast.

The bags, in typical Target fashion, are a step up from similar offerings by competitors like Wal-Mart. The bags are made from recycled polypropylene fabric and are traditional Target red in color. Available in two sizes, the bags self-zip into a small pouch for convenient storage. Selling for $1.49 for the larger size and $.99 for the smaller bag, the new bags offer Target shoppers an eco-friendly way to reduce the use of disposable plastic bags.

And yes, obviously, it would be best if I only shopped at sustainable co-ops and bought handmade clothes constructed from homespun organically raised wool and hemp and blahdeblah, but realistically, that is never going to happen. I figure if I can make going to my favorite store a little greener, that's definitely a good thing. According to a March 2007 article in the San Francisco Chronicle, 4 trillion to 5 trillion non-biodegradable plastic bags are used worldwide annually. The article also estimates that it takes 430,000 gallons of oil to produce 100 million bags (source:  S.F. Department of the Environment; Worldwatch Institute). Yowza.

I'm a firm believer in the idea that every little bit helps, so every plastic bag I don't need is one less bag to try to recycle (because of course I recycle them...or, I admit, use them for cat poo scoopage). Now, I've had people try to dismiss my "every little bit helps" opinion because "not everyone will do their part, so why bother at all?" To me, to even pose the question smacks of a cynicism I just can't embrace. At this stage in the game, the environmental movement is based as much on hope as on activism--hope that we'll change our ways, hope that everyone will do his or her part, hope that it's not too late.

I inherited the post of Recycling Goddess at work when the original Recycling Goddess moved away, so I took over the job of collecting and carting off recycled paper. Someone else already collects aluminum cans and takes them to sell for scrap, so that's easy. When I assumed the post, I added a bin for plastic bottles, and my coworkers fill a 13-gallon trash bag every other week. In just a few months, it's become clear that we are keeping a lot of stuff out of the landfill. Every little bit really does help, and now I can do a little bit more and rock a kickass, cute bag at the same time. Well played, Target. Well played indeed.


  1. bringyourownbag12:08 PM

  2. I have to say Target would be the only reason I could move stateside from the great white north. Congrats on the house and hope the packing is going well!