NO, - I always reply in a loud and rather emphatic way. It's about shopping of all sorts, where they have quite progressively stopped providing free plastic bags. Yes, it is an impressive step forward, compared to the previous years, when plastic bags and sacks were being accumulated in households, flying down the streets... and eventually would always get stuck in the crowns of trees (which then looked as awry decorated Christmas trees).
In recent years, plastics have been a nightmare increasingly pursuing us in the form of rubbish floating in the waterways and found all over the place. Waste sorting is a noble activity, but recycling cannot cope with such an increase in plastic waste.
So I don’t need a bag, and I stubbornly put a few compostable shopping bags, one retro mesh bag, and some durable produce bags into my purse.
Oh, what a wonderful feeling to see your fruit-veg come to the counter in these modern, though somewhat mysterious shopping bags, drawn by a cord at one end. The cashier will study me for what I'm after, and with a sigh, he’ll turn to examine the well-masked bag contents. I'm already an object of curiosity for the entire queue behind me, which was created in the meantime. Not only does my purchase work a bit bizarre (according to most fellow citizens), especially with its 100% plant composition, - the package itself looks even more peculiar.
I recall when a little girl glanced at my 5 kg of bananas and murmured something to her daddy. He, the supporter of ‚what is whispered belongs to devils‘, said out loud: ‚The lady must have a monkey at home.‘ And I added, ‚And the monkey is me...‘. Now I'm not sure what his reply would be if the bananas were going down the cashier in strange mesh bags. Perhaps I’d be a fisherman's wife or something. In any case, I am proud of the fact that I have progressed a bit more towards the desired goal of "zero waste".
We are not able to change everything at once, but each and every step counts. It starts with recycling, continues with zero waste purchases and further elimination of disposable handkerchiefs, cosmetics or hygiene products consumption. It also means switching to compostable materials and eco washing powder or detergents. The choice is ours.
Last weekend I had a slight dissent with my husband, who pulled his two socks out of my hand, for I wanted to run them in the dryer with the rest of our laundry. He didn’t want to contribute to higher energy consumption, most of which is produced non-sustainably. True, but on the other hand, more linen would have been ironed instead. So it's a trick. I also pointed out that the gentry (meaning my family) should have turned off the lights in the corridor and not shamelessly waste the energy.
Yes, I could take action but not all would be expedient. Cycle to the café (yet where would I put 10 huge cake boxes and 9 litres of nut milk?), go back to using candles, avoid taking a shower, and even stop ironing. Things don’t seem to work this way nowadays.
In this respect, veganism is a very eco-friendly option, whether we speak of water production, power generation or the volume of CO2 emissions. The well-known fact is that all transport, including aviation, has a smaller carbon footprint than the meat and dairy industry.
Both within our family and the café we do our best to minimise the burden of non-degradable waste. As our café motto goes, we cannot change everything, but we can show the path to follow. And to help others is our greatest honour.
How to make your own eco grocery bag:
Where to buy an eco bag:
CO2 and veganism: