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Outpost's Board of Directors will use this blog to discuss issues the board is exploring as it envisions Outpost's future. Can't make it to a meeting? Check here frequently to read what the Board is up to. Your current Outpost Board of...
Your Board

Learning to BAG IT: Giving up plastic, one bag at a time

Board Beet
By Your Board on June 12, 2012


It’s been nearly a month since I attended the Outpost screening of the movie Bag It.  And I have to hand it to Director Suzan Beraza.  Choosing Jeb Berrier as the focus of the movie was absolutely brilliant.  He’s a believable "everyman” whose experience with plastic isn’t so different from every one of ours. He’s not an avid environmentalist or a radical.  He’s just a guy in a world filled (increasingly) with plastic.  Best of all, he has a sense of humor about it, which makes the movie engaging and genuinely entertaining.


Which isn’t to say that the movie is all fluff. In fact, it’s one of the few documentaries of late that actually got me thinking about making some serious changes in my life. 


Bag It is a great film in that it gives a very complete snapshot of our increasingly plastic-filled world – including an overview of the history of plastic, information about what plastic bags are made from, what happens to plastic bags after they’ve been discarded, and what potentially harmful chemical additives used in the plastic-making process. 


Of course, the best part of the film is that it proposes some ways each of us as individuals can reduce our plastic usage.


In addition to using cloth bags when we grocery shop, which I’ve been doing for a while, here’s some of the ways I’ve reduced MY plastic consumption since seeing the movie.

1. I happily put down my deposit for glass bottles of Crystal Ball Farms milk.  And I’ve made it a point to develop a system so that I don’t forget to return the bottles to Outpost to be reused.

2. I’ve given up my plastic water bottle for a stainless steel model. Fortunately, I had a few laying around the house already, so there was no cost involved!

3. I’m TRYING to remember to bring my glass jars with me to Outpost when I’m shopping for bulk goods (the service desk can give me a tare weight on the jar so I’m not paying extra for its weight at the checkout).

4. I’ve renewed my commitment to replacing all of my “Tupperware” containers with glass or stainless steel containers.

5. When I do buy products that come in plastic containers, I’m making an effort to save them and try to reuse the containers for as long as possible.

6. I picked up my first package of re-useable produce bags at Outpost.  Sure, they’re $10 for a package of 3 bags. But, I should be able to use them for years before they’ll need to be replaced.

7. I buy more bread from the bakery. Most bakeries package in paper, so I’m avoiding plastic, one bag at a time.

8. I’ve started using cloth napkins more often. The upside is that dinner always feels like a special occasion!

9. I’ve committed to buying refills for our home cleaning products (when we don’t make our own), instead of buying new bottles.

10. I’ve been reading all the tips, tricks, and information the Bag It web site, which hopefully will inspire me to make even more changes in the months ahead.


Have you given up some of the plastic in your life?  What steps are you taking to create a more “plastic free” world?


Lori Fredrich, director


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