It was about a week ago that one of our nature guides Jheudy Carballo made the comment to me "Im so proud of what my kid did yesterday". I was expecting the response that his son scored 4 goals in a soccer game or he got straight A's on his report card. To my surprise these were not the childs accomplishments. What Jheudy was so proud of that his son did was walk into the grocery store, buy a few items, and tell the bag boy that he did not need a plastic bag. He got into the car holding all the things in his hand and was on his way. Jheudy noticed what his son did and instantly felt good and proud of what his son did.
Jhuedy was proud because he is a naturalist guide that works for our company and has a sincere love for nature and is always looking for ways to protect it. Jheudy looks at the beautiful natural surroundings of Costa Rica as his workplace, his office, and his home and he wants to do everything to make sure it stays that way. Jheudy starts his lessons by teaching at home to his son. Since his son was young Jheudy has taught to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and REJECT. The last "R" of Reject is exactly why Jheudy was so proud of his son. If you dont need the plastic bag then dont take it. Jhuedy was able to see first hand through his son that it is possible to educate the next generation and leave make this planet a much better place.
Americans use around 100 billion plastic shopping bag each year and less than 1% of these bags are recycled. To make these bags it uses around 12 million barrels of oil. It is important to reuse the plastic bags as many times as you can. It turns out that in places such as San Francisco plastic bags are not even an option as the government voted to ban the use of plastic shopping bags at supermarkets and pharmacies. Most people that would use a plastic bag at a pharmacy would use a plastic bag just to carry a few pills.
When you feel you need a bag or you just get tired of walking out of the store with your hands full there is a solution before using a plastic bag. You can get yourself a reusable bag of nylon, cotton, and other materials (one nylon grocery bag requires the same amount of energy as producing 50 plastic bags). Most places will not care if you arrive with your own bag. Also put the recycle logo on your bag and be a marketer for what you are doing.
Congrats to Jheudy not only for being a good naturalist guide and an excellent father but helping set an example on a simplier and greener way to live your life.