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How I Saved the Environment

February 6, 2008

For one of my Christmas presents, both my mother and Caroline’s mother (unbeknownst to each other) gave us reusable grocery-store bags. It’s a good gift—very environmentally friendly. Several countries (China and Italy, I think) have recently made the news by outlawing plastic bags at grocery stores, so it’s probably something Americans should start to consider as well.

I’ll be honest, though: It doesn’t feel very manly to carry canvas bags with groceries in them. The action of carrying bags is, in itself, unmanly, but somehow plastic grocery store-bags, as necessities, avoid that stigma. Yet I was hesitant to use the gifted bags.

But the other day, I decided to put aside my fears of being unmanly. I decided to save the environment.

I must say, it was a freeing experience. WAY more groceries fit into two canvas bags than plastic bags. Less bags equals easier load to carry. I probably won’t use the bags every time, because I need plastic bags for the depositing of cat poop (think depositing money at the bank, except the money is made of poop, and the bank is your trash can). But I’ll be saving the environment more often in the future, I promise you.

I also had a brilliant idea while at the grocery store that day. I was wondering, as I often do, if I had enough juice and milk at home. And as I often do, I assumed I had plenty of both (an inaccurate guess), and bought neither. Do you ever do this? Wonder if you have enough of something in your fridge while you’re at the grocery store?

I have a solution for you.

What if your fridge could read the bar codes of the food in your fridge and post them to your cell phone or PDA for you to check while you’re at the grocery store? This could either be a constant scan, or something you do manually while putting something in the fridge or extracting it to throw away. The fridge could keep track of the dates on which you put food in the fridge, so if you’re wondering how old your eggs are, you can just check the scanned date. Same with other perishables. I seriously think this is a good idea, and probably very inexpensive to implement. Make it happen, cap’n.

Tomorrow:

The Caroline Vault (if we’re lucky)
How I Plan on Saving the Environment in the Future

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One Comment leave one →
  1. aquavator permalink
    February 8, 2008 9:33 pm

    Your last idea is much closer to reality than you think. Do you know about radio-frequency identification (RFID)? The applications I hear about most are shipping and retail. If you go to the store and every item you want to buy is equipped with an RFID tag, the check-out would only have to be a gate you push the cart through and everything would be scanned at once. The same thing could be used in the refrigerators and kitchens of the future.

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