A lil bit retro, a lil bit enviro, a lotta sass!

GREEN YOUR: Grocery Shopping



The other day I was stocking up on veggies and goods for our 40-day meat fast and things were going as usual at the grocery store…

…a few double-takes due to my attire

…me grumbling about produce packaged in plastic

…jamming out to my store’s awesome music selection

…hoping I had brought enough of my own shopping bags to hold all my loot

…me doing a double-take at the total price upon checkout

And then this

grocery cart handle cover

Single-use disposable plastic grocery cart handle cover

I thought my cart felt weird as I walked away thanking my bagger.

I looked down to see a disposable plastic strip covering the handle that had not been on the cart I came in with.

Now I’ve heard the reports of feces found on shopping cart handles along with a host of other germs, but is this really necessary?  Germs are everywhere.  People are everywhere.  Apparently poop is everywhere.

So you put this little plastic strip on your cart and feel all smug and safe.  But through the course of your shopping you pick up a brick of cheese that someone else had already touched, you grab the freezer door handle to pull out a pizza, you push someone else’s cart out of the way and then you grab your cart and carry on.  But wait!  None of those things were protected by a plastic strip.  How many people touched them with their poopy hands before you did?  And then you touched your shopping cart handle with its plastic safety strip with your poopy hands!  Arrgghhh!!!!

See my point?

Is this piece of plastic really protecting you from anything?  Or, is it actually causing you harm by adding unnecessary waste and plastic pollution to our planet?

I know it says it’s recyclable, but I didn’t see any recycling receptacle for it.  Not to mention that most municipalities only accept certain items within certain numbers.  Like mine who will take #1 and #2, but only if it is a bottle.  Meaning the mouth has to be smaller than the sides.  All others go in the trash.  I don’t get it and it drives me nuts.

So while this little strip would like you to believe it’s recyclable, odds are that it is not.  Even if it were, recycling is not the answer.  Every piece of plastic ever produced {that has not been incinerated} is still with us today.  Every piece!  That’s crazy.

I think we need to be more concerned about the pollution caused by plastic and the contaminants within it than we do poop on our grocery cart handles.

Refuse! and Reduce! are best practices for dealing with plastic.  As for the feces on our grocery cart handles, how about we all learn to wash our hands?

If you have serious health concerns and must limit your exposure to germs then I suggest you avoid public places.  We are a filthy nation!  Just look at our landfills.  All kidding aside, you could easily make your own reusable cart cover.  Or just bring a towel from home.  Or here’s a radical idea…

coral gloves
navy gloves
red gloves
yellow gloves


Sometimes dressing vintage has its advantages. 😉

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  • Eleni Drinks Tea
    Mar 11, 2011 at 6:23 am Reply

    Wow, that’s infuriating! You should send an exact copy of this post to the store manager, or their head office if it’s a chain. What a waste!

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  • Lisa @Retro Housewife Goes Green
    Mar 13, 2011 at 11:17 am Reply

    I carry a PeopleTowel or two in my purse and will take some natural hand sanitizer and put it on the PeopleTowel and wipe down the cart but this is nuts! I’m careful not to touch my face when shopping and wash my hands after. It’s not that hard.

    This is another reason I’m happy I shop small locally owned health food stores. I doubt they will be doing this. Plus there are less people shopping so less germs anyway. 🙂
    Lisa @Retro Housewife Goes Green recently posted…Learning from a TragedyMy Profile

  • Laura K
    Mar 13, 2011 at 4:45 pm Reply

    That is just unbelievable. Why on earth do people actually see any benefit to this. I hope I never see these in my stores.

  • Lori Popkewitz Alper
    Mar 13, 2011 at 8:33 pm Reply

    Wow-I have never seen anything like that (and hope I never do!). My routine is simple-I wash my hands after the store. Those plastic strips are completely unnecessary and will most certainly add to the huge amounts of plastic laying in our overflowing landfills. I do like your pretty, vintage gloves idea.
    Lori Popkewitz Alper recently posted…Del Monte’s Gone BananasMy Profile

  • Rob
    Mar 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm Reply

    I think it is soooooooooo ridiculous. Have we become a nation of germophobes? I like the glove Idea, but I have a feeling if I did that, someone would make a backward comment- Oh look there is some fat guy thinks he is Fikkin Michael Jackson. You know, most grocery stores no provide sanitizer stations at there cart pick up areas, IMHO that would be better than a single use piece of plastic.
    Rob recently posted…Sour Cream Raisin PieMy Profile

  • Condo Blues
    Mar 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm Reply

    That’s crazy. I’m thinking even with those little hand saver strips, does the store really change them after every person uses them? What a waste. If people are so concerned about germs, bring your own hand sanitizer or live in a bubble.
    Condo Blues recently posted…Accidental Anthropolgie Table Cloth SkirtMy Profile

  • SMR
    Mar 23, 2011 at 11:22 am Reply

    1. I am slightly distracted by the lovely printed blue fabric of the dress in the last picture. Sorry.
    2. I work as an EMT for a city-contracted ambulance company. You would not believe the amount of disposable-everything we HAVE to use for this false sense of cleanliness. Many of our patients aren’t even “sick” per se. But these “sick” people are everywhere, in public, at Walmart, in the taxi or toilet before you.

    Know what your best defense is? Healthy, intact skin! which, for many, is damaged by harsh “sanitizers.” The next best defense is a working immune system kept fit by regular, small doses of germ exposure (acquired immunity). Here’s to dirty!

    (Although I still wouldn’t lick a doorknob.)

    1. Rebecca Jean
      Mar 24, 2011 at 8:49 pm Reply

      I agree 110%! We are way too obsessed with cleanliness in this country and it’s doing more harm than good. Antibacterial soaps are messing up our waterways and causing the germs we’re trying to kill to adapt. It just isn’t working, nor does it need to. Marketing is a wonderful thing isn’t it? Convinces us to “need” all kinds of things. I’ll keep my money in my pocket and the germs on it too.

      ♥ Rebecca Jean

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