Monday, October 15, 2007

Paper or Plastic? No Thanks!


Today is Blog Action Day. We've all heard the usual environmental mantras, reduce-reuse-recycle, over and over again. If you google 10 Ways Help The Environment, you'll find 125 million links. The majority of them list simple ways to make a difference. Those simple ways can become routine and even save you money. Check a few out.

My focus for Blog Action Day is Plastic Bags. Have you ever opened the door under your kitchen sink and been attacked by a mountain of plastic bags? I did, one too many times. I have fought back and won!

In the past, I used my canvas bags exclusively for grocery store purchases. Most grocers offer some type of Bring Your Own Bag discount or a wooden nickel to donate to a non-profit organization. The problem is, the bags just kept piling up, namely from my retail weakness, Target. Then it hit me, bring the bags everywhere. The cashiers at Target still don't know how to handle it, they have such a scan and place plastic bag routine, I throw off their flow every time. Oh, well.. Feel free to take a peek under my sink the next time you stop by, you won't find a single plastic bag!

My simple tip for using canvas bags, keep them in your car, AT ALL TIMES! I always keep one on the front seat as a reminder. After I get home and unload my purchases, I walk back outside and put them back into my car. It's the worst feeling to be on a clean streak and then forget your bags. If I forget them, I make myself juggle any items I am purchasing, and just say NO to the bag they offer.

Some brilliant minds at Reusable Bags started a website highlighting the FACTS about Plastic Bag Consumption. I warn you, it's depressing. They also sell reusable bags, cool lunch bags (lead-free mind you), and water bottles, all environmentally friendly.

Here are a some sad facts, I pulled from the resuable bag webpage:

Top Facts - Consumption/Environmental Impact

  • Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year.

  • According to the EPA, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year.

  • Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.

  • Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest.

  • Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most often found in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit Center for Marine Conservation.

  • So gather up those canvas bags, sitting at the foot of your closet. Tell the cashier, NO Thanks, when you hear the robotic, Paper or Plastic? Keep an eye on the ticker on the resusable bag webpage, it will keep growing, but not with my help and hopefully not with yours.


    1. Hi -
      Just wanted to let you know I'm sitting in the hotel in Phoenix "stalking" you. I love your blog b/c it doesnt' make me feel quite so far away. Thanks for that. :) - KM

    2.'re not a stalker, I am here for you! I hope to see you on Friday! smiles..


    I always appreciate the gesture to stop and take a moment to comment. Thank you!