Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Plastic bags.

I try to be as ecologically conscious as I can. I walk to work instead of take a bus or metro (which is still better then driving.) I've begun to give more thought to where my food is from, although in Chile it's probably from here. There's not nearly as much importing as there is in the U.S.

The easiest thing of all, I use reusable bags. At the supermarket, dry cleaner (admittedly not so green), anywhere I may have to take something away in a bag, I put it in a reusable bag. But here baggers hate putting things in reusable bag. Usually at the end of a check stand, at a take-away restaurant, there is a long argument between me and the person who insists on using these bags.

"Oh, it's OK. Can you use this? Thank you."

"But the inside of your bag will get dirty."

"That's fine. Can you use it?"

"But what if the bag makes [insert product] dirty."

"No, no. That's fine. Just please use the bag."

"I'm going to put the plastic bag in the bag to keep your bag [or the product] safe."

By this time a line is starting to grow behind me so I just smile, say "thank you!" and tip the person 100 CHP (about $.20, which is considered a decent tip). If I don't take the bag, the bagger doesn't even look disappointed for losing a tip (even though I tip anyways), (s)he looks hurt. It's amazing.

One person at the nearby bread, pastry store happily says "Oh! An eco-logical bag! How good of you." as she piles my salad/bread/whatever into the bag. Everyone else just looks at me like I'm from Mars. But that's OK. I'm used to it.


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