My latest bit to be environmentally conscious is to take a cloth tote-bag to the grocery store with me, so that I don’t need to choose either paper or plastic. I’ve been using my 2003 World Fantasy Con tote bag, with the orange straps. My local Ralphs supermarket gives me a whole $.05 credit on my bill for not using their paper or plastic bags. If I shop twice a week, and remember to take my tote bag each time, I’ll save in a year’s time a whole… five dollars.
Weirdly, my local Ralphs has recently remodeled, closing for 10 days last month to do so, upgrading to look more like a Whole Foods Market, or a Gelson’s, with more prepared food counters and high-end liquor shelves at the front, while actually reducing the shelf space for ordinary canned and bagged goods now at the back. It’s weird because I realized after 2 or 3 visits to the reopened store that the entire staff has changed. None of the old checkers or bag boys are there. I’m afraid to ask. It’s as if Stepford clerks, or aliens, have moved in and taken over.