Not a Plastic Bag
I have been making a conscious effort to do everything I can to get “green.” This is not just a trend we’re seeing now, I really think that it’s a lifestyle change. And it’s about time! There are so many simple things that we can do, we just need to change our bad habits into good ones. For example, look at the benefits of just switching to re-useable canvas bags at the grocery story. Plastic bags, like the ones they pack our groceries in, are made from nonrenewable petroleum resources and require the use of toxic chemicals during production and processing. Few facilities collect and recycle plastic bags, and they end up mostly as littler or in landfills, where they can last for several lifetimes. They blow away, are unsightly and can harm wildlife. Paper bags aren’t great, either. Grocery stores use about 10 BILLION brown paper bags a year in the U.S. alone. Pulp and paper mills cause pollution to the air, water, and land, and almost 900 MILLION trees are cut down to provide raw materials for American paper products.
The practical solution: cloth bags. They’re sturdy, durable, and easy to carry. They are washable, and can be used for just about anything. The only thing is that you have to remember to take them with you when you go shopping. I solved that issue; I keep them in the trunk of my car. After I finish unloading the groceries at home, they go right back in the trunk so they’re ready for next time. I absolutely LOVE taking my canvas bags with me when I shop, and I love it when I see other people doing it, too! Some markets are giving customers an incentive for using their own cloth bags, Whole Foods will give you 5 cents off for every paper or plastic bag of theirs you don’t use. I think it might be more effective for companies to charge customers 5 cents for every plastic or paper bag that is used instead, and put that money towards a program where cloth bags become a requirement — it all adds up. I have designed some totally cute canvas bags, and they’re all up in the coffeytalk store. I use 5 bags to do my week’s worth of shopping, and they all have different designs with great messages on them the baggers and checkers smile when they read them! So, the next time you are asked: “Paper or plastic?answer with a resounding: “Neither, I brought my own!”