Reused Bags are Beautiful.
The other day I was doing some deliveries downtown and noticed that the Burg bar had chucked out some bags (5,500 of them). So I salvaged them – diverting them from the waste stream to a reuse stream. Reused bags are beautiful!
The Burg recently shut down and the new owners are revamping the space to morph into a live music venue (Stage 104). The bags were branded with the Burg’s logo and therefore would not work for the new brand.
Reused bags work very well for Earth’s General Store though and our customers. Over the years we have diverted over 50,000 bags from being sent directly into the waste stream. There were the Access TV plastic bags, Gordon Price Music plastic bags, Alberta Federation of Labour plastic bags, Greenwoods Books plastic bags, and now the Burg paper bags.
The other day a customer was telling me that they had one of the Greenwoods bags that she got from our store and later that day she was meeting up with Gail Greenwoods who said – “I can’t believe that he still has some of those bags!” Many of our customers bring their own bags so the demand on reused/recycled bags is a lot less than at other store. For this we are grateful.
Over the years people ( usually customers) have dropped off thousands of reusable bags to share with fellow customers. It always touches my heart that our customers accept these bags. I do not know any other store in Edmonton that does this. Most stores would not put out bags from other businesses since the would be advertising for them. For us. it is the reusing of the resources that is the important aspect of our program.
In years past I would go and salvage bags from Safeway bag recycling bin in their foyer. I am unsure if they still do this but they had a bin in their foyer where customers could drop off their used bags for Safeway to recycle. The downside to this was that people would then go into the store to buy groceries and then get new bags. For me this highlighted the disconnection we, as a society, have with reusing a resource and the green washing that recycling offers.
It is my hope that people use these (even a couple of times) then recycle them.
Please Reuse Don’t Landfill! Reusing reduces more resources being needed to create more bags – recycling contributes to the problems.
Imagine and help create a world where we all used reusable bags and containers for the majority of time. It takes time to reprogram our habit and the change the programming that the shopping/selling industry has instilled in us. Be gentle with yourself as you work to change these habits. We are here to help support a shift. Thank you for your efforts.