Saturday, April 2, 2011

Earth Month, Day #2: No More Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are everywhere. Just count how many you see whenever you are out in your car driving. I am willing to bet you see at least 5, maybe even 10. Watch this "mockumentary" on plastic bags. Being an nature lover, this gave me a good laugh. But it is also hauntingly true, seeing where all of these plastic bags end up most likely to stay forever.

Daniel and I are try as hard as we can to eliminate plastic bags from our everyday life. The easiest way to start was to invest in a few strong, lightweight, durable, easy to clean, and very easy to use bags. We logged onto one of my favorite "green" websites, Reuseit.Com to find the best bags for us. We settled on some dual handle bags made out of 98% recycled PET. Each one of these bags saves 10 plastic bottles from going into the landfill. The dual handle makes it easier to carry different sized loads, and they are great for all different kinds of shopping. These bags are so strong and durable that they can hold up to 1.5x the volume a typical plastic bag could hold. This was our choice of bag, but invest in whatever you feel fits your lifestyle the best. I would just recommend investing in bags that will last a very long time, as opposed to the free bags that are given out at different events. These bags work for a few months, maybe even a year, but eventually start to tear and will end up in the landfill anyways.

By reducing the use of plastic bags and switching to a more reuse lifestyle, we are reducing pollution and having a better impact on wildlife and their habitats, and moving away from a use and toss culture. Check out the "learn" pages on Reuseit.Com's website, include facts on how many plastic bags are used every minute (1 million) and how many pieces of floating plastic cover every one square mile of the ocean (46,000).

It may take a little bit to remember to bring your reusable bags to the store, but once you get in the habit it becomes second nature. If you happen to forget, always remember there are many ways you can reuse the plastic or paper bags the store gives out. Once you switch from plastic grocery bags to reusable ones, you can slowly start to make other changes. These changes could include using reusable produce bags (or not using produce bags at all). Happy (green) shopping!

[Photo from Reuseit.Com]

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