No Bag Please

Mondays are a harsh transition from the recycled greenness of my kitchen to the sidewalks of the food-to-go financial district. Every other person has a box, a tray, a cup, a tray of cups, bags of boxes, boxes of bags.

Rarely does a cashier look up before adding additional packaging or a customer look down to refuse it. The movements are robotic; bag it, move on, don't skip a beat, don't interrupt the line and decline. The machine will fall apart.

There is so much food in the high rise world of business and over the years I've eaten it all. It all tastes the same. The scones taste like bagels with or without butter. The organic salad tastes like the chicken burritos. The beef burritos taste like the turkey sandwiches, which taste like the vegetable soup, which taste like the pizzas by the slice. The pizza tastes identical to the Chinese food and the bread doesn't taste like anything, which is exactly how everything tastes - like absolutely nothing at all.

Any taste that once existed has been processed, bred or shipped out of it so it can be delivered in manageable, ready to serve, plastic wrapped pallets.

All of which shatters any illusions that my diet of local food and multiple recycle receptacles makes a fly speck of difference in the scheme of things. When the realization doesn't kick me in the stomach or ignite my hair on fire, it's laughable really. We are a damn big world.

And yet my efforts and the hard work of so many people I know is a start to the large answers we need to move towards sustainability individually and collectively. I've got to believe that's true. Or go home and back to bed.


Olivia said...

Wow, the flames. I like your hair the way it is. AND you are making a difference. From your blog I've found Green Bean, Chili and Elements in Time...all making such a huge difference...oh, and J. my boyfriend on my screen saver. There are farmers markets springing up everywhere. Just like the crocus ours will spring up when the snow melts. Thanks for being there...and for the wonderful photos that remind me spring is just 21 days away. Love, Oliva

Green Bean said...

Hear hear Olivia and Katrina. We HAVE to believe! That is what is so appealing about the Obama video of his speech we discussed earlier this month.

We have to believe that we are making a difference. Tonight, I go to my green book club meeting - a book club I started last fall. I felt despair and frustration when only a 1/3 of the people signed up showed up. But guess what, those people are making HUGE changes in their lives - eating locally, eating grassfed or pastured, and this month people have told me they want to do a sustainable gardening book next so that they can learn to grow their own food.

I am setting up a CSA drop site for pastured eggs, grassfed beef, local milk. I posted on my mother's club board and I have had about 30 people now respond.

Yes we can!

kale for sale said...

Thanks you two. Sometimes the world gets bigger than my capacity to hope and believe. And then I do what I can and hope and believe a little bigger. Add life and repeat.

Olivia - Your Wallace J. Nichols is in this months issue of Outside (holding a sea turtle). I had to buy it! Van Jones is also in there. They're two of this year's eco-heros! I'll save the magazine for you.

green bean - You go girlfriend!

TQ said...

Katrina,of course you are making a difference. You've inspired me to go green in many more ways than I used to, and I've inspried someone else, and they inspire someone else, and on and on. And I know that there are many other people you have inspired. Keep it up, please!

tammy said...

Every little bit helps!