Friday, May 1, 2009

Plastic Bags, an article from my friend Kristena

5 great reasons NOT to use plastic

1. The U.S uses 380 BILLION plastic bags, sacks and wraps every year. 100 billion of those are shopping bags.

If you have ever walked past a public garage can, you can see how many hamburger wrappers, sandwich wrappers, plastic cups and things of this nature are thrown away.

There have been times I have imagined every garbage can in my town and am overwhelmed with the fact that just one little town can create such waste in one day.

Thinking ahead to 10 years with this same situation, is pretty disheartening.

2 Plastic bags are made from petroleum and 12 MILLION barrels of oil are required to make the bags consumed by the U.S. alone.

3.Only about 1% of plastic bags are recycled. the rest end up in the landfills, on trees,in rivers and oceans which brings us to the next point.

4.Hundreds of thousands of marine mammals, birds, and land animals die every year from eating or being entangled in discarded plastic bags. When swallowed, plastic bags choke animals or block their intestines leading to an agonizing death.

Also, things like straws are picked up by birds, and causing them the same fate.
To reference the marine issue, also called the plastic soup, you can see this link

5.Plastic bags take up to 1000 years to degrade. The process is called photo-degradation where plastic pieces get smaller and smaller, becoming toxic, contaminating soil and waterways, entering our food chain.

So what can be done? Well one VERY EASY way to cut down on plastic consumption is to bring your own tote bags to the store with you.

We keep about 4 in our vehicle and I have a Chico bag in my purse as well.

This is really really simple, it just takes some practice in getting accustomed to grabbing your totes when you enter any store.

Another great way to cut down is to get Eco Bags for your produce and bulk items. Or if you can sew, make your own with really cool fabric.
We keep these in our totes so we can avoid using the plastic bulk food or produce bags.
These are washable,so each time we wash them, we take them back out to the vehicle on our next trip out to it, and put it in our totes.
Again, with practice, it happens easily.

These are really great and I need to thank Emily and Stacey for hooking me up this year with some.

Totes are showing up everywhere and often for free. Take advantage of them and use them. It is so wonderful to know you are doing something to keep all those shopping bags from flying through the air, littering your neighborhood or ending up as the huge problems I have mentioned.

Another way to cut back on plastic consumption is to use glass or ceramic containers with lids to store your foods.

We use Frigoverre by Bormioli Rocco. These bowls next inside each other and really save space in our tiny kitchen. I love them so much for all my food storage. You can see through it, since it is glass, and know exactly what is where, which seems to cut back on food waste. They look nice and can also be used when taking foods to gatherings. I love them!

A huge thanks to the town of Jackson and the efforts they put into keeping things green. The statistics mentioned about was given to students in schools along with a free Bag 2 Differ bag.

No comments: