Paper or Plastic, Dude?

Quote of the day: Doubts are more cruel than the worst of truths. — Moliere

005I was at the grocery check out when the cashier asked me, “Paper or plastic, dude?” Not really paying attention, I thought he was asking if I wanted to pay with bills or a credit card.

“What?” I asked.

“Paper or plastic bag?”

“Oh – well, I dunno. It’s just hard. I mean, plastic bags, they hang around the environment for a hundred years. And paper bags? They cut big trees down to make them. I dunno – you decide.”

“Like … what?”

Flustered, it was obvious he’d never weighed the ecological consequence of choosing paper or plastic.

“Uh, you know, I can just carry my groceries to the car. I can carry them.  I didn’t need a bag in the first place.”

“No problem, man. And I think we sell cloth bags on aisle six … yeah, I think six.”

“Great. Great. I’ll get one next time. It’s good to see you care about the environment here.”

Then, while walking out of the store, groceries dropping everywhere from carrying too full a load, I wondered if migrant workers picked cotton to make those reusable cloth bags on aisle six.

Oh, for heaven’s sake, dude.

I don’t want to be like my cashier friend, but sometimes I don’t want to be me either.

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