Let me define myself as a major consumer. I am a parent to small children and a menagerie of strays; I own a home and I love to shop. I probably could be diagnosed with ADD, so I lose interest pretty quickly. As I ponder my two-car garage that does not even have room for one car because it is filled to the top with crap, I ask myself how I got here and how to stop myself from continuing on this path of over-consumption. As a matter of fact, I woke up this morning thinking about a quick jaunt to Saks — God help me!
The daily bombardment of magazines and advertisement is not an easy enemy to defeat, but there are ways to beat Big Brother. Lately, I have been exploring sustainable living through simple strategies like re-use, re-style, and recycle.
It takes some time to be a conscientious consumer, right? Not really. You can start by rethinking a few bad habits. Take daily purchases: Do we have to walk out of every store with a bag to carry our booty? Most stores give us more of a bag than we need, and they can carry purchases from a number of errands. The next time you are throwing around your credit cards, try using this phrase: “No, thanks, I don’t need a bag.”
If you are a “bag person” like my mother, think outside the box a little and re-use said bags, as gift bags, trash bags, or barf bags. If you can’t re-use them, don’t take them.
By using the simple phrase “No, thanks, I don’t need a bag,” you are becoming a conscientous consumer. Congrats! And sometimes the hot salesperson behind the counter really appreciates your forward thinking … if you know what I mean. (Bonus.)
Some of my favorite bag-friendly local boutiques are: Alamo Fiesta on North Main and Ashby, which has a policy that if you make a purchase of two clothing items you get a great re-usable plastic bag that is perfect for the beach, American Vintage Company at Broadway and Nottingham, which gives out polka dot bags you can easily re-use as gift bags (Look ma, no labels!), and Kathleen Summers on Main, which also has great unmarked paper bags with handles.