I recently read an article on Pacific Standard that details some ways that gender identity and sexual orientation relate to some people’s “green behavior”. The article gets off to a really great start; it cites a study that showed, at the least, that green behaviors were shown to be associated with more feminine characteristics than masculine ones. It doubles down on this, saying that they could also be perceived as less heterosexual. How should this impact us moving forward? The author proposed that there should be an effort from organizations to offer more masculine projects moving forward. I don’t know what the fuck that means, but they then close with the worst line of the whole thing:
“So, guys, the answer to the question, “Does toting around this reusable shopping bag make me look gay?” is no—but it does raise questions, and eyebrows.” (psgmag.com)
Talk about toxic masculinity (pun absolutely intended)! I don’t think that should be your takeaway, chief. I’d argue that the research you just showed proves that it will be harder than usual to get legislation and policymakers from certain parts of the country to make environmental changes to laws, but you went straight for: tote bags are gay. So, as a GreenPeace donator, and proud tote bag toter, I’m going to break down my rotation of tote bags that I break out when I’m going to Whole Foods (it’s been safeway lately guys, we’re closing on a house). I’m not doing this to show that it’s not gay, we’re not in 7th grade anymore. I’m doing it to show that it’s not gendered at all, it’s just the right thing to do. Call it an Insufferable Product Review
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Disneyland: In Disneyland, anything that is limited edition sells out immediately. They had forks in one restaurant in the new Star Wars Land that they ran out of on day 4. These bags were also limited edition. It’s a perfect subtle flex for people in the now what it is. For everyone else, it’s cool that I’ve been there.
Temescal Brewing: My favorite brewery, nay, place, of all time. Not only are they responsible for my single favorite beer of all time, I love all their can designs. This extends to their merch, too. A simple canvas bag with a bunch of fun geometric patterns that are nice and simple but undoubtedly inline with the rest of their aesthetic. Interestingly enough, Temmy’s prides itself on being an ally to members of the LGBTQ+ community, and as such wants to make something that anyone can use/wear/drink.
GQ Style: This one is my favorite because it confuses people when I walk through the store in my neon green and yellow crocs. The hope is that it makes them think I know something they don’t in the fashion world, but really I just love crocs.
Trader Joe’s Flower Print: I have the audacity to bring a TJ’s bag into a different store? Of course I do, I’m a wild man.
luluemon big tote: I’ve written about lulu in the past, and how my opinion of them has changed over the years. I suppose this one is the closest to a feminine tote bag that we use, but I’m usually at the store in my lululemon commission pants, so my cover is already blown. the little guys are so clutch for lunches too. They’re waterproof!
ChicoBag: Yes, I went to Chico, but this isn’t a Chico State bag. It’s one of the collapsible, totes that has a carabiner to clip onto your belt loop, purse, or whatever else you’re schlepping into the grocery store. If you’re really worried about how it will look, a couple of these guys would be the most low-key approach. For me, this is an emergency bag I keep in one of the side storage compartments in my trunk if I get told that I’m in charge of picking up groceries on my way home that day.
(Coming soon) Reusable Mesh Produce Bags: I’ve had my eye on some reusable produce bags recently, so that I don’t have to use the plastic ones on my onions and cilantro (yes, I’m making guac). This dummy made me pull the trigger on them.
So scary, right? I’m sure people walk past me in the aisle and are confused by my gender and/or sexual identity! To me, this whole thing is ridiculous. I get that machismo is tied to a lot of things that aren’t inherently “green”. Motorsports, grilling, even blowing off your thumb on the 4th of July, throw pollution into the air. But why not try to offset some of those things with some green behavior? Plus, don’t you feel even more shame when the cashier looks at you and says, “you need bags?” Everyone in line behind you judges you, and you lie saying you forgot them in the car; that you should just get them anyway. Also, don’t talk to anyone at the grocery store in the first place. The only thing you should be saying is “excuse me” if you need to go around someone’s cart to get to the hopped grapefruit kombucha.
Buy a bag, you cowards. No one cares.