We saw this tote bag in Barnes and Noble today. It looked interesting to me, so I went close and looked at it. This is made from empty juice boxes that were recycled. I was really tempted to buy it and it took a lot of strength to stop myself. I found the price to be a little steep for a tote bag. I mean, my mom always sewed tote bags, from gabardine pants that my brothers wore out in the knees. We used those to buy dry groceries. Plastic bags for carrying groceries was a foreign concept to me when we moved from India to New York State in 1974. I wanted to take those bags back to buy groceries in them, but I was told that it looks cheap. So instead, I started using them as liners for small garbage cans in our rooms. We were still buying the big hefty bags for the kitchen and for leaves. Then somewhere in the eighties, supermarkets started giving back 2 cents per bag we used over again. Still my friends told me that we get looks from the packers if we brought our own bags. So I felt ashamed. So we all went with the flow and hardly recycled anything until almost the end of last century, when we started bringing our own bags. Now why did I go with the flow? Fear of looking cheap?
Last time when my son came home from Hawaii, I told him how I am a closet environmentalist as I washed and saved plastic forks. He laughed and said that everyone is into recycling, I do not have to be ashamed any more.
Would I listen to myself ? Now why did I feel ashamed to recycle when I come from a place where recycling is the way of life? We left India to make a better life. Does it mean that we start copying the elite ? Well, who are the elite? I would not know.
The snowstorm of last month left us without power for forty hours. Then there were people without power even up to a week. So a lot of people went to hotels, but some hotels and businesses did not have a working generator. People were forced to do without refrigeration and hot coffee and even heat. They had to make use of blankets and live minimally. Then they realized how difficult it is to do without resources. Now just about everyone, especially the elite, is trying to be careful with hot water and heat and electricity.
How often do we need storms like these?