Friday, February 29, 2008

Bring your own bag

The best answer to "Paper or Plastic?" is "Here! I brought my own bags!" Plastic bags are particularly gross, they're made of a non-renewable resource, petroleum, and they cause all kinds of problems. San Francisco banned plastic bags recently, as well as Bangladesh (where plastic bags were causing flooding problems) and some areas in Alaska. In Ireland, you have to pay extra for a plastic bag, a move which lowered bag consumption by 90%.

Why wait for your government to ban or charge you for a plastic bag? Just stop using them. Canvas bags are really cheap, and you've probably got a few laying around your house anyway. It's also really easy to sew a fabric bag that you can use over and over again (I've been wanting to try this one.) Canvas shopping bags also make great gifts! They also hold a lot more groceries than plastic bags (thus reducing your trips back and forth between the car and the kitchen).

For me, the only hard part about using canvas bags is remembering to take them to the store - so I keep them right by the door, and a lot of times I take them out to the car and leave them in the back, so I've always got them.

Check out these facts from the Sierra Club:
Reusing a bag meant for just one use has a big impact. A sturdy, reusable bag needs only be used 11 times to have a lower environmental impact than using 11 disposable plastic bags.

In New York City alone, one less grocery bag per person per year would reduce waste by 109 tons and save $11,000 in disposal costs.

Well, that ends the official Green Week on Special K, but will certainly not be the end of my sanctimonious preaching about being green. The things I posted about this week are just my own initiatives for the year to decrease my footprint. It doesn't take much to make a big difference. I hope y'all are also doing your best to protect the planet - leave a comment about your own green moves if you like, or host a Green Week on your blog. Peace!

9 comments:

Kathy said...

We seem to be taking the same measures; they're easy enough to implement and if enough people do so, the benefit to our environment will be huge!

I laugh about the reusable bags being where you them because I know have about two dozen---because although I hang them by the garage door I invariably walk right by and end up buying a new cache...not so cost efficient but so far I can handle it. I'm going to try harder to put them back in my car and put some in Rob's as well.

I love the fabric bag; I think I'll order some cool fabric from Sew Mama Sew and whip some up!

I've really enjoyed your Green Week. I'm glad I didn't join you because it would have been quite redundant...

Caitlin said...

FANTASTIC blog week!!
I'm so glad we're friends. :)

Carrie said...

Canvas bags are the best! Mine are all from Target where they cost like 2 dollars each. The hard part now is training the cashier people to use them. This lady yesterday looked like she was having an anxiety attack over bagging my stuff. Also, she had this tick to reach for her plastic bags. I am so organized about it too (big surprise) I put all the stuff on the belt in the order I want them in the bags, but still people don't get it.

On the brighter side, one grocery store here, pays us 15 cents a bag if we bring our own.

In other news, I can't find half of the stuff to make my own laundry soap. All I found was 1 tupperware container and ivory soap from 2 stores. boo!

Special K said...

I'll help you put it together when I get there!

Yeah, a few stores here give a discount if you bring your own bag - one store (Wild Oats) gives you a wooden nickel to make donations to local charities - that's so awesome!

Dear Ol' Dad said...

My "GREEN" started several years ago when I believe my young girls were in middle school, "WE" started RECYCLING! To this day I take our newspapers to our church and put them in the big metal container for some big truck to pick-up once a month, plastic and cans, along with cardboard to another location, (plastic and cardboard both go out to our city recycling area and the cans go to a location just up the road from there where our church has an accountant and the church get a check once a month, it just a depends how many church members drop off cans and how many),...sometimes or a lot of times I grip that I'm still doing this some 18 to 20 some years later,...but I guess we are a lil' bit GREENER because of it......Thanks girls! (LOVE DAD)

Dear Ol' Dad said...

My "GREEN" started several years ago when I believe my young girls were in middle school, "WE" started RECYCLING! To this day I take our newspapers to our church and put them in the big metal container for some big truck to pick-up once a month;.. plastic and cans, along with cardboard to another location, (plastic and cardboard both go out to our city recycling area and the cans go to a location just up the road from there where our church has an accountant and the church get a check once a month, it just depends how many church members drop off cans and how many),...sometimes or a lot of times I gripe that I'm still doing this some 18 to 20 years later,...but I guess we are a lil' bit GREENER because of it......Thanks girls! (LOVE DAD)...about the bag, I guess I'll have to get one.

Dear Ol' Dad said...

My "GREEN" started several years ago when I believe my young girls were in middle school, "WE" started RECYCLING! To this day I take our newspapers to our church and put them in the big metal container for some big truck to pick-up once a month;.. plastic and cans, along with cardboard to another location, (plastic and cardboard both go out to our city recycling area and the cans go to a location just up the road from there where our church has an accountant and the church get a check once a month, it just depends how many church members drop off cans and how many),...sometimes or a lot of times I gripe that I'm still doing this some 18 to 20 years later,...but I guess we are a lil' bit GREENER because of it......Thanks girls! (LOVE DAD)...about the bag, I guess I'll have to get one.

Kathy said...

Its tough having three kids, you have to repeat everything you say at least twice!

Special K said...

ha!