Make Every Day Earth Day


photo by Erin Lafferty

One Less Bag

When I was a kid, I spent a summer working in my parents’ deli in Sea Isle City, New Jersey.  I had various odd jobs, but my main job was running the cash register.  I met all kinds of people at work: summer-long, and weekend vacationers, shoebees (a/k/a day trippers), and my favorite, the locals.  Many came in every day for the same items:  coffee, donuts, cigarettes (40 years ago smoking was still okay), a meatball sub.  Some would indulge me with a smile, a word, a bit of wisdom.  I recall one gentleman in particular.  He never took a bag whether he had one or five items despite my repeated offerings.  “If everyone took one less bag,” he would say, “imagine how many trees we could save.”  I credit him with planting the seed of environmentalism in my 11-year old brain.  In the 1970’s, when I was working the register the paper bag ruled.

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About Pam Lazos

writer, blogger, environmentally hopeful
This entry was posted in clean water, conservation, dioxin, eco, environment, environmental conservation, Great Pacific garbage patch, plastics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Make Every Day Earth Day

  1. Elaine Callahan says:

    Where was your parent’s deli in Sea Isle City? I worked for two summers there during college at a bakery that made hoagie rolls and Italian bread for the Southern part of the Jersey Shore. It was around 50th and Landis. One more connection! I knew I liked ya! 🙂

    Be creative today,



    • pjlazos says:

      If Landis is the Main Street that’s right. My first thought was to ask my mom. 😩 Maybe we used bread from your bakery! The world shrinks by the second!


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