One thing that really embarrassed me as a kid was being the one with sandwiches in wrinkled, no-longer-shiny, re-washed sandwich bags. “Come on!” I thought. “We aren’t living in poverty.” (Though, looking back, maybe that’s because we engaged in frugal measures like washing sandwich bags.)
Given this background I’m sure you can understand why, for the first couple years of my marriage, I delightedly threw away those little sandwich bags after one use. Ah, the sweet satisfaction! Then I realized that was kind of stupid. Full circle:
I won’t say I enjoy the washing process. That’s why I let so many bags, of varying sizes, pile on top of the microwave before I finally admitted I had to do something about them. Since I had decided to be eco, I figured I might as well see the thing through: I got the sponge wet and soapy, turned off the water, and scrubbed the crumbs and mayonnaise from inside every last bag. Then I turned on the water again and gave each bag a quick rinse to eliminate the suds.
Finally, I transferred them over to my hastily-devised bag-drying rack.
It worked out pretty well. I feel good about having salvaged this much plastic from the trash. And however many pennies each one of those tossable bags represents, I guess I saved myself from throwing that amount in the trash too. Besides, I don’t eat in a cafeteria anymore–who do I have to impress?