Posted by: David McKay | November 12, 2011

To what lengths will you go?

The guy at the video store wanted to insist on trying to get me to accept the fact that he was going to put my video rentals into a plastic bag.

I convinced him otherwise, and it didn’t have to come to blows.

If ever someone should insist that you must accept a plastic bag from them, here is what you should do:

  • First, do not tell them to go to hell.  Also falling into this category: other swear words, glares and/or the evil eye, quick retorts, scuffing the floor with your toe, furrowing your brow.
  • Be polite.  Ask them,

“Are you a paid representative of the American Chemical Council?”

  • No, no, no.  Don’t say that.  Tell them (again, politely),

“The distance to travel from the store to the car is minimal — I am right across the street.”

“It’s not raining.”

“There is no threat of foreign invasion; it’s not Red Dawn — I won’t have to jump into a 4×4 pick-up truck with my buddies as soon as I leave the store to head for the hills so we can wage a guerrilla warfare on the Chinese to preserve our way of the throw-away, single-use, plastic lifestyle that is consuming us all, so I am pretty sure that your DVDs won’t get scratched.”

It upsets me when someone insists on giving me plastic.  It upsets me — when I fall so easily back into the way so many of us are still living, and perhaps we know, each and every one of us on some level knowing that we are all conscious of how we are living, and we are all wondering why are we living this way, and wondering if we will come out of this time the better or the worse for wear.

I suppose if it comes down to being the better or the worse for wear, then maybe we should just keep wrapping ourselves up in plastic, so then when we’re all dead we’ll at least look good…

Or will we?

Responsibility is not convenient — it’s necessary.

Rethink.  Refuse.  Reduce.  Reuse.  Reimagine.



  1. I just had a good conversation with the guys at Positive Pie about mindless habituated plastic use. (They thought it was cool, and not dorky at all, that I brought my own fork from home so I didn’t have to use a plastic fork.) One guy said, “I was just thinking about how I use a paper plate and a plastic fork every day at work and I really should just bring in a plate and fork from home.” I told him about your blog. He’s excited to read it. People are thinking and starting to ask questions about “the ways things are”. Thank you for sparking conversations and questions and helping to find some new answers.

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