Monday Musings for 10.26.20
I just got back from Madras where I helped with an estate sale at the home my parents built and lived in for 30 years. My sister and her family organized the whole thing and did almost all the work. Estate sales are a lot of work. Physical and emotional. Practically every item in that home has a memory attached to it.
I went to Safeway to buy some supplies and was surprised to see that the shopping bag I was given was higher quality than usual. Then it dawned on me why. Oregon has a law that stores have to charge for their shopping bags. This is to encourage people to use and re-use their own. It’s to cut back on waste and protect our environment, which of course is a good thing. We keep lots of those free, flimsy plastic bags at home. The kind we often see caught high in the branches of some tree. Still, it irked me that I was charged for something I didn’t ask for.
My dad was an environmentalist before we had that word. “Reduce, reuse, recycle” was his mantra. He taught us to turn off the shower water while we lathered up and turn it back on only as long as necessary to get the soap off. Heat was never allowed to be set very high in the winter. Usually the heat from our wood stove was plenty. In the summer, we opened windows at night and closed them during the day. Lights were off in unoccupied rooms. When we hiked or camped, we would never leave a trace behind. We would often pack out litter left by others. He would almost never buy new things. When something broke, he would fix it. Going through the items for sale, there were a lot of very old things, a few of which now have surprising value for collectors. My nephew Joel is the expert on that.
Driving home I was thinking about those grocery bags I was forced to buy against my will. And I was also thinking about the beautiful world God has given us. (It is a beautiful drive from Madras to Nampa, more beautiful depending on the route taken.) It occurred to me that Oregon’s “green” laws really are a good idea. I am way too wasteful in the way I live. I can do better, and I will.
And those two bags that Safeway made me buy? I’ve gotten over that. I guess I probably can afford what they charged me. 5 cents each. I have them in my trunk now. I will use them next time I go to the store.