The trend to recycle, reuse, and reduce is becoming more and more apparent to me. At a Whole Foods store, I noticed a customer bring in empty containers and wait in the cashier line. When it was her turn, the cashier weighed all the containers and marked the weights on each.
The customer then shopped. She filled the containers at the bulk section with walnuts, almonds, steel cut oats, raisins, dried apricots, sesame seeds, puffed rice, whole wheat, gluten free flour, and fresh fish.
In other words, she didn’t use any plastic bags.
The containers were weighed again, minus the container weight, before placing them in re-usable shopping bags to be taken home.
The customer was younger than me and obviously savvier than me. I was unaware of the idea to reuse containers to purchase items.
But my lack of participating in this more sustainable shopping practice also comes from my entrenched habit of expecting the stores to have and provide plastic bags to me.
To be a more sustainable shopper, I will need to un-learn my habit and re-learn a new habit.
I’ve un-learned and re-learned before and realize it’s only successful when spiritually based. As I increase the spiritual qualities of patience and humility, my mind is more flexible. It can un-learn and re-learn more easily. Otherwise, I’m just a human being trying to force a different habit.
I’ve practiced utilizing spirituality to get through this human life with less footprint, more grace, and it has helped me with re-cycling. In the past, I’d buy new whatever I needed. But, now I question myself before making purchases.
For a year now, I’ve needed a bag for my reporting job. While visiting my daughter recently, I asked if she had an extra bag. She did and was willing to pass it on to me to use.
From 21st Century Science and Health, “On our spiritual journey, if we sympathize with mortality, we will be at the beck and call of error and follow a zig-zag course getting nowhere. If we travel with the worldly minded, we get sucked into a nasty cycle. A good example of this is randomly walking around the shopping mall, making feel-good purchases, and eating junk food with friends. We return home, thinking we had a good time and feeling satisfied. However, when re-thinking the situation we realize that too much time and money was wasted. So, we repeat the trip to the mall but buy books on time and financial management, or dieting.
Our moral and spiritual progress will be monotonously slow if we constantly bounce back and forth between futile habits and the hope of forgiveness. Selfishness and stupidity cause constant retrogression. We must wake up to Christ’s demand, however, the waking generally causes suffering. We feel like we are drowning. We struggle to stay above the water. And, through Christ’s precious love our efforts are rewarded with success.
“Work out your salvation,” is the demand of Life and Love, for to this end God works with you, “Until I come back.” Be patient, and “Let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right.” Don’t go back to error, and don’t become apathetic or offended even though you are trying hard and there are no immediate rewards. The reward will come.”
 Phil. 2:12
 Luke 19:13
 Gal. 6:9 (Amplified)