Greening The Zoots

It’s Not Easy Being Green

photoI really try to live “Green” in as many ways as possible. But – like with most things in my life – I only do what’s easy on many levels. I recycle, I conserve, I try to be wary of excess packaging, but lately I’ve totally thrown out my habit of using reusable grocery bags because – well – I forgot them once or twice and then just never remembered them again.

That’s the kind of lazy I am. It’s so easy to get back into the habit of doing the right thing, especially if it became a habit for awhile, but that one step of doing it the right way that one time seems like climbing a mountain.

I think this is how it used to be with exercise with me. When I would get out of the habit of it, then getting back in the habit by just doing it one time was close to impossible. Somehow, I’ve grown out of this. After several years of regular exercise, my “off days” are only as long as I choose them to be and starting back is never a big deal. Yet…those damn grocery bags…I can’t seem to remember to bring them even ONE TIME because I just think, eh…I just don’t feel like it.

Do you have behavior like that? Something you know you should change that is actually so easy to change yet the idea of making that step seems more daunting than the step itself? I mean…JEEZUS LADY…you have 14 million reusable grocery bags…USE THEM ALREADY.

12 thoughts on “It’s Not Easy Being Green”

  1. I am this way about a lot of things. Certainly exercise. The reusable bags too…although I do save and recycle my plastic grocery bags, which makes me feel marginally better about it. The other big one for me is vacuuming. I totally procrastinate on vacuuming. I share my apartment with a long-haired black dog and a long-haired mostly white cat, and the pet hair can quickly take over. When the carpet starts to look a little too furry, instead of busting out the vacuum and taking care of it immediately, I tend to fret over it and let it make me feel bad for a day or two before finally doing something about it. You would think the vacuum was going to bite me or something. And I always feel about a million times better when the pet hair situation is back under control, and I feel kind of stupid for waiting so long just to run the stupid vacuum! It’s a 950 square foot apartment! It’s not like I live in a mansion!

  2. The reusable bags, YES and the sad thing is I always have a least a few in the car, but usually I think well it wont be enough so why bother… but duh at least that would be 3-4 less plastic bags I bring home right. So yes I hear you

  3. I even have a reminder set up on my phone to remind me when I go near the grocery store to USE THE REUSABLE BAGS. I use them like once out of every 10 trips, even though my phone is chirping at me constantly as I drive around town, back and forth past HEB. And like you, I find exercise easy to get back into even after I’ve taken a break, especially because my breaks generally last less than a week unless I’ve managed to injure myself.

  4. I keep the reusable bags in my car and am firmly entrenched in the habit of using them. Alas, I also “need” plastic bags for my cat box, and so now have to “forget” my reusables when I run out of plastic bags at home. I always feel like I’m being judged, especially since I shop where people know me … and know I have my own bags. I realize only I am judging myself, but it never seems to help. I also wonder what is the difference between plastic bags in the landfill, and plastic bags with cat poop. At least they’ve been used several times before their final disposal?

  5. I have them in my car and forget to bring them in the store. I think I kind of got out of the habit because, early on, cashiers acted like it was SUCH an inconvenience to use them. Now it’s more popular — they even give you a small discount! — and they stay in my trunk. Oops.

  6. There are so many things that I’m this way about. Mostly odd ball tasks around the house. The sad thing is that I was determined this weekend to tackle as much of the list as possible. Once I got started, I finished the list in about a day and a half. I spent WAY more time than that dreading the list of stuff to do. I wish I would learn from this, but let’s get serious, it’s me were talking about.

  7. Oh yes, absolutely. A few years back I decided to make one green change a month, so that I could create better habits in baby steps. (And, now I’m thinking I should do the same thing with exercise.) I started with using reusable grocery bags. For that entire month, I had to leave my grocery cart in a safe spot and go back out to the car for my bags. But, I finally created the habit. Of course, it took me another six months to realize I could and should use those bags in other stores, too. Ahem. I’m a little slow.

  8. Totally a trait of anxiety. I do the same thing too, especially when I’m off Zoloft. It seems like climbing a mountain to change, make a phone call, do the dishes, or do any of the things I typically procrastinate on. Habit seems to be quite key to not having to fight those internal daily battles. And I agree with Cheryl that I spend tons more time avoiding the tasks than they actually take to get done.

    In the case of the reusable bags, our city did me a favor and just outlawed them. Now I either remember my bags or pay 5 cents for a paper bag. It really has helped immensely with developing the habit of keeping my bag in my purse.

  9. I got to say that starting to go green is the easiest thing you can do, im not sure why you feel that its hard, using the green bag is so much easier then plastic bags and keeping a recycle garbage been is very simple, i think that the problem you have is in the way you think, make it a habit after you empty the bags to put them right back in your trunk, and you are on the right track :), i don’t mean to be hard on you but I’m big on green and people just saying they lazy and not try just a little harder makes the different for good or bad.

  10. First of all, you should know I live in the very green Portland, Oregon (Our motto: “Recycle or we will cut you. No, really, we mean it.”) We don’t even HAVE plastic bags–those are banned. But if you use a paper bag from the store, be prepared for some serious stink-eye from the other customers. Even so, I could never remember to bring my own bags until I got these very cute Ecobags Sesame Street bags. They roll up very small like a tiny sleeping bag, so I just keep a few in my purse at all times. I am actually PROUD of my bags, I am that pathetic, but I loved Sesame Street and these bags have never failed to make checkers smile and compliment me on my cool bags. I even gave my Elmo to a cute little guy in line behind me because he wanted it soooooo bad.

  11. When reusable bags first came out, I told the manager of the grocery store that he should have signs in the parking lot saying “don’t forget to bring your bags in!”

    I hang mine on the handle of the door leading to the garage so I remember to put them in my car. I also leave them on the front seat of my car, because if I throw them in the back I forget about them.

    I love my L.L. Bean bags because they’re easily washable (and hold a ton). Someone (Oprah?) did a study on reusable bags and something like 80% of them were contaminated from raw meat…..

  12. So much this about exercising. And…pretty much everything else. Why is the FIRST step always the hardest?

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